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A classic of travel writing, ‘A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush’ is Eric Newby’s iconic account of his journey through one of the most remote and beautiful wildernesses on earth.
It was 1956, and Eric Newby was earning an improbable living in the chaotic family business of London haute couture. Pining for adventure, Newby sent his friend Hugh Carless the now-famous cable - CAN YOU TRAVEL NURISTAN JUNE? - setting in motion a legendary journey from Mayfair to Afghanistan, and the mountains of the Hindu Kush, north-east of Kabul. Inexperienced and ill prepared (their preparations involved nothing more than some tips from a Welsh waitress), the amateurish rogues embark on a month of adventure and hardship in one of the most beautiful wildernesses on earth - a journey that adventurers with more experience and sense may never have undertaken. With good humour, sharp wit and keen observation, the charming narrative style of ‘A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush’ would soon crystallise Newby's reputation as one of the greatest travel writers of all time.
One of the greatest travel classics from one of Britain's best-loved travel writers, this edition includes new photographs, an epilogue from Newby's travelling companion, Hugh Carless, and a prologue from one of Newby's greatest proponents, Evelyn Waugh.
'The master storyteller. He transformed travel writing' Independent
'One of the most enjoyable reads of the last century' Herald Tribune
'The most successful travel writer of his generation. It's impossible to read this book without laughing aloud' Observer
'Endlessly entertaining and self-deprecating' Daily Mail
'Full of serendipity and surprise' The Economist
'A total success' New Yorker
'Notable addition to the literature of unorthodox travel … tough, extrovert, humorous and immensely literate' Times Literary Supplement
'”A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush” established him as a traveler who not only journeyed fruitfully but had the ability to bring his readers with him' William Trevor, Guardian
'I still think the last few sentences of “A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush” the funniest ending to any book I have read' Geoffrey Moorhouse, The Times
'The book that made [Newby's] reputation … typically ironic in its understatement' Observer
'Newby is easily the best of the bunch' Sunday Times
'All the lyricism, and spirit of adventure and discovery [in] Newby's work' The Times
'As good as its hype' Wanderlust
About the author
Eric Newby was born in London in 1919. In 1938, he joined the four-masted Finnish barque Moshulu as an apprentice and sailed in the last Grain Race from Australia to Europe, by way of Cape Horn. During World War II, he served in the Black Watch and the Special Boat Section. In 1942, he was captured and remained a prisoner-of-war until 1945. He subsequently married the girl who helped him to escape, and for the next fifty years, his wife Wanda was at his side on many adventures. After the war, he worked in the fashion business and book publishing but always travelled on a grand scale, sometimes as the Travel Editor for the Observer. He was made CBE in 1994 and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award of the British Guild of Travel Writers in 2001. Eric Newby died in 2006.