The Places In Between

Rory Stewart

2004 Nominee

John Llewellyn Rhys Prize

09 May 2024
400 pages


Winner of the RSL Ondaatje Prize
Shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award

‘A striding, glorious book . . . A flat-out masterpiece’ The New York Times Book Review

Caught between hostile nations, warring factions and competing ideologies, Afghanistan was in turmoil following the US invasion. Travelling entirely on foot and following the inaccessible mountainous route once taken by the Mughal emperor Babur the Great, Rory Stewart was nearly defeated by the extreme, hostile conditions.

Only with the help of an unexpected companion, and the generosity of the people he met on the way, did he survive to report back on his journey with unique insight on a region closed to the world by twenty-four years of war.

‘This evocative book feels like a long-lost relic of the great age of exploration’ The Guardian

This is traveling at its hardest and travel-writing at its best
With a deft, at time poetic vividness, he describes an awesome landscape, scarred by a present and a past of violence and death . . . His encounters with Afghans are tragic, touching and terrifying
[Stewart] must have balls of steel, but he writes like and angel all the same