Book review: The Light Garden of the Angel King, By Peter Levi


The inaccessibility of Afghanistan adds lustre to this poetic masterpiece about a visit in the inconceivably peaceful late Sixties.

Accompanied by the young Bruce Chatwin, Levi's rackety journey ending in "a Land Rover so battered that it wore holes in my trousers" was punctuated by stupendous ruined mosques ("I have seldom felt so strongly about a building") and surprisingly tempting food ("a solid round goat cheese [that] would hold its own even in Paris").

Levi's iridescent prose transports us to a "highway of archangels".