A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush – Eric Newby (1973)


A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush – Eric Newby (1973)


A travel classic about the author’s misadventures in Afghanistan, written in a humorous and self-deprecating manner that began a new trend in modern travel writing.

Title: A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush

Author: Eric Newby, Evelyn Waugh (preface)

Publisher: Book Club Associates, 1973.

Condition: Hardcover, with dust jacket. Very good. Some creases and a few small closed tears to dust jacket. Book in excellent condition, clean and tight. With black-and-white photographic plates. 247pp., 9″ by 6″.

SKU: newby-hindukush Categories: , ,

About the book (from Wikipedia):

A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush is a 1958 book by the English travel writer Eric Newby. It is an autobiographical account of his adventures in the Hindu Kush, around the Nuristan mountains of Afghanistan, ostensibly to make the first mountaineering ascent of Mir Samir. Critics have found it comic, intensely English, and understated. It has sold over 500,000 copies in paperback.

The action in the book moves from Newby’s life in the fashion business in London to Afghanistan. On the way Newby describes his very brief training in mountaineering in North Wales, a stop in Istanbul, and a nearly-disastrous drive across Turkey and Persia. They are driven out to the Panjshir Valley, where they begin their walk, with many small hardships described in a humorous narrative, supported by genuine history of Nuristan and brief descriptions of the rare moments of beauty along the way. Disagreements with Newby’s Persian-speaking companion Hugh Carless, and odd phrases in an antique grammar book, are exploited to comic effect.

The book has been reprinted many times, in at least 16 English versions and in Spanish, Chinese and German editions. While some critics, and Newby himself, have considered Newby’s Love and War in the Apennines a better book, A Short Walk was the book that made him well-known, and critics agree that it is both understated and very funny in an old-school British way.