A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush, By Eric Newby

Reviewed,Boyd Tonkin@indyvoices
Friday 05 November 2010 01:00

Genial godfather of modern British travel writing, Eric Newby taught a generation of adventurers how to blend the light touch with the long view.

Harper has re-issued a batch of his best, from the great memoir Love and War in the Appennines to the retrospective A Traveller's Life.

This classic trek from 1958 sees him blunder through the Near East and into Afghanisatn, through a rugged land of dangers and marvels where "we shoot people without permission" (plus ça change). In a gloriously improbable finale, he runs into Wilfred Thesiger himself.

The epic voyager meets his lighter-hearted heir – but Newby, for all comic gift, never loses for one dusty mountain mile his own"capacity for wonderment".

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