I first read this adventure while floating down the Colorado river in a raft on the slower sections of the journey and found it fascinating as an insight into the people of Afghanistan. It gave me a beginning understanding of their lives,attitudes,beliefs, and problems which our government appears to be totally ignoring in its' attempts to help them. The author's almost incomprehensibly foolhardy trip was so well told that he helped me to almost photographically accompany him and vicariously experience his travails. Read this and you will understand more of the people of this region as you did when you (hopefully) read Greg Mortenson's story of helping the people in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Read them both to get some comprehension of our challenges in this part of the world in addition to hearing two great personal adventure stories.
I bought this book because I'm fascinated by Afghanistan culture but I was somewhat disappointed in it. Yes, it certainly was quite a feat to walk across this country, but I never did get a real understanding of what drove the author to do it. I loved Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and recently, listened to the sequel, Stones into Schools. This book just fell flat by comparison. I don't understand why anyone would give it 5 stars. Maybe they haven't read Three Cups of Tea. Now that is one heck of an adventure about one man finding his purpose in life (building schools for girls in Afghanistan & Pakistan) and struggling to overcome incredible odds in pursuit of his life's work. Greg Mortenson is inspiring. This book wasn't.
I listened to all eight hours, but I wish I hadn't. All these five star reviews made me think it would get better, but it just didn't do much for me. But then, my idea of a good travel book is Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods.