Skip to main content

The Places In Between by Rory Stewart

The Places In Between
By Rory Stewart

BookMattic's Rating: 4.5/5

Goodreads' Rating: 3.87/5

The Places In Between brings you to a world that you never knew existed. The author, Rory Stewart sets out on a journey across Asia on foot and at all costs he avoids any other type of transportation. 


The story centers around Rory's walk across Afghanistan following in the exact footsteps of Afghanistan's first Mughal Emperor named Babur. All in all taking place at the beginning of the American invasion in 2002 which made his travels more intense than it would have normally been at any other time. His purpose of walking months across Afghanistan was to document the culture after the Taliban leaders got brought down and the new government gradually getting set in place. 


This is not just a story or an anthropological telling of culture, although it does have some excerpts from Babur's diary spread throughout the book in not such a logical order or sometimes seeming a little out of place, but a person's true experience and strongly opinionated perspective of the Afgan culture, religion, atmosphere, governmental structure and way of life. I find it amazing that Mr. Stewart would walk across a war torn nation without any weapons aside from his steel tipped walking stick which ends up getting broken at one point yet to find many humble but poor people that gratefully took him in for the night in their dirt floored, mud walled home. 


Not all Rory's nights were spent in 'comfort' though. He ran across some people that were not so hospitable, where eventually he had to sleep in a stable or out in the open. Rory also had a set of guards that were required to go with him by the order of the new government under Ismail Khan's rule. They walked with him about half of the distance across Afghanistan. Each of these guards were unique and one of them even had a clean shaved face which is very rare for an Afgan. The clean shaven guard's favorite possession was his rifle. There was also the oldest guard which liked to make things up about Stewart when in conversation with their hosts. Rory would always end up correcting him but in the end ignored. 


One of the most interesting things I found about The Places In Between was that each region Stewart walked through, the further he got away from the capital city, the more the citizens were separated from the government. It's as if they were their own country separated from the rest of the world, carrying on traditions from centuries before without knowing exactly what's happening in other parts of the country let alone the rest of the world. This aspect gets punctuated specially when he arrives in the Hazara region up in the mountains of Afghanistan. The Hazara are the most interesting people of Afganistan because their appearance is that of Mongolian decent. When reading this section of the book you get the impression that the Hazara are outcasts, cut off from the rest of Afganistan, due to their Asian looks and inability to grow beards.


Overall this is an interesting read with some facts that sometimes feel out of place and a little too much of repeatative meetings in hosts' homes throughout Rory Stewart's long journey on foot. While reading this you may or may not be able to connect with how the author feels and for his reasoning about walking so far but for me it just made me want to start walking. 

Comments

Popular Posts in the Last Month

Top 8 Content Bloggers You Should Read Daily

No matter where you are in this world, how old you are, or how you were raised, unless you’re a pro and have been at blogging for years upon years then you still need someone in your life to help you along.
Even pro content bloggers need to continue learning about the ever-changing landscape of the internet and technology, daily. That means if you’re just starting out then you need to learn extra hard and keep on practicing the new blogging techniques you acquire.

That is why I’ve put together a list of 8 blogs ranging from big names like Forbes and Huffington Post down to more niche-specific sites like Blogging From Paradise, to help you out with your own blogging troubles. The list of blogs is in the order of frequency that I read them in. Meaning that the #1 blog on my list is one I practically read every day because his content is so amazing and detailed.

Related Post:Blogger's Content Guide: Write With Heart

I highly recommend reading at least one of these articles from any of t…

START WITH WHY: Give Yourself A Reason For Everything You Do

This book was amazing! START WITH WHY blew my mind. Why did START WITH WHY blow my mind? Well, it has pretty much changed my perspective on why I do things. Mainly why I’m starting my own business, but also why I spend time reading or watching my favorite program. From now on even the littlest things can START WITH WHY in my life! The concept is fairly simple yet has so much power. Simon Sinek did a thorough job of explaining the importance of WHY and how it can help put your business ahead of others. It's not all about being a leader in business though, it's also about building a connection between you, and your following. The clarity of WHY shines brighter and longer than any HOW or WHAT. The examples of how Apple has dominated technology are because of WHY the company is in business. What makes Apple stand out?


It's not WHAT Apple makes, or HOW they make it. The reason why they have such a loyal following is because of WHY they make their products. Apple is used as the mai…

4 Benefits of Exercise On Your Brain: How Your Productivity and Motivation Improves

Everyone out there is trying to accomplish their dreams and make their life better in some way or another whether it be picking up an old or new hobby, gaining more knowledge, starting their own business, or becoming fit.

For those of you that know me already, you know that I’ve been a competitive runner since I was 10. I’m 32 now, so I’ve had 22 years of running experience and know how much work it takes to get your body in shape to run that extra mile, literally. But for those of you that rarely exercise you may not know that getting your body in shape not only helps your body to become muscular but also helps your brain to think quickly and build on your existing synapses.


I know this for a fact not only from scientific research but also from personal experience. Having a healthy body will also give you a healthy brain.

Here are some applicable thoughts on exercise and the benefits it has on your brain. Faster Cognitive Capabilities Exercises such as running or cycling help oxygen ge…

Blogger's Content Guide: Write With Heart

Yes, right now I’m here at my keyboard typing to you. Yes, YOU, that’s right. If you’re reading this post you are most likely trying to come up with ideas on how to engage better with amazing content with your regular and new blog readers. This is something that seems difficult, but with time, effort and a few ingredients for success you can almost easily overcome this obstacle.

I’ve been at this serious blogging thing for over eight months now and sometimes I still find it hard to come up with ideas for my next post. I question myself ‘Why are you having such a hard time, Matt? It shouldn’t be that difficult!’
Truthfully, it can be difficult to find just the right topic for a post that will attract the right audience. That is one of the trickiest parts of the whole blogging thing. You’re not just writing for yourself, but also all the people interested in the topic you write about as well as all the people that have access to the world wide web.
As a blogger, you have to reach out to you…

10 Reasons Why You Should Read Books Everyday - Part 1

There are hundreds of reasons why you should read books everyday, and in this post we will discuss five of the ten ways in which reading is beneficial. 

The last five of this list is linked right here 10 Reasons Why You Should Read Books Everyday - Part 2

But before we go into the first five reasons why you should read books everyday I want you to imagine this:

You're sitting in your chair at your office and time is coming down to the last part of the day. You look up past the top of your book at your coworkers all playing games on their phones.
A few of them might be reading something but most of them are just messing around, chatting with other coworkers (in an uncontrollably loud manner) or whatsapping with their girlfriend. 

It makes you wonder what kinds of things these people do at home during their down time. Do any of them read books or at least an article on their phone for a minimum of at least 10 minutes daily? Weekly? Monthly? Not at all?

Maybe some of you have experienced t…

Marketing Points From The Tipping Point

The Tipping Point is not what I was expecting it to be especially since it was referred to in Contagious by Jonah Berger(reviewed here). While reading ‘Contagious’ Berger mentions ‘The Tipping Point’ as one of his inspirations to write his book which is much more oriented towards having an effective marketing strategy. I have seen Gladwell’s books several times in the business book section at my local bookstore here in Surabaya but what I didn't realize about the book before I bought it was that it isn't specifically about business.
Yes, some concepts in ‘The Tipping Point’ can be applied to your marketing business plan but Gladwell didn't write it for entrepreneurs. He wrote this for the average person. It's harsh but true. I’d say it's more about the result of a study into why certain things spread and others don't. There's very little mention about how to apply the research to your own life.

The majority of the content goes into epidemic viruses, smoking, a…

The Million Dollar Blog - Blogging Essentials For a Successful Blog

I had no idea blogging could be a successful career, did you? At first my blog, maybe like many of you bloggers out there just started out as a hobby, kind of a spur of the moment thing that you enjoy doing. But now, for me is way more than just a hobby. 
Blogging has turned into my ambition to build a successful business. I still have a long way to go, and I'm going to do my best and never give up on providing quality content for my readers. For some it's hard to get people to engage with your blog, for others it's a sinch, but for EVERYONE it's a matter of process and nothing in the blogosphere happens all at once. 

I would like you to come along with me on this journey of discovery and hope you have just as much fun as me along the way of finding out how to engage audiences in a meaningful conversation about a specific niche, which for me is about books. But I'll cover more on this gushy stuff later because now we have to get into the review.


'The Million Dollar…

10 Reasons Why You Should Read Books Everyday - Part 2

I hope you all enjoyed 10 Reasons Why You Should Read Books Everyday - Part 1 and now for the second part as I promised.

As you may have seen around you that the majority of people don't read books everyday. I know our schedules tend to be busy but I think it's important for you to realize how important it is to create a habit of reading books everyday even if it's only for 15 minutes.

Here are the next five reasons why (in no particular order):
6Reading is fun.
Actually this is the best reason ever to read books everyday! This is probably the top reason for those of you that do read, and no doubt it really is a good one.

Why else would we read if it weren't fun? Well, actually there are several reasons in this list. I don't think this one really needs an explanation. 
7Reading is better than watching movies. Please don't get me wrong about books or movies but I think this goes the same for most of you out there (or maybe not) but anyway, I LOVE MOVIES!

I guess both ha…

Could 'The Kingkiller Chronicles' be the Next 'Game of Thrones'?

Hey, friends, family, and book lovers. I thought that today it would be great to change things up a little since my last few posts have been book reviews and lists or tips. Well, today I would like to bring back the wishlist which I had done regularly for a while. The book I want to talk about with you is the 3rd and the last book in ‘The Kingkiller Chronicles’ series called ‘The Doors of Stone (working title)’ by Patrick Rothfuss that’s coming out in 2018. The exact date isn’t set yet, but for sure it’ll be out next year. I’m hyped up to read this fantasy. You should be too!  

The reason why I'm looking forward to reading the rest of ‘The Kingkiller Chronicles’ is that this series is considered to be one of the best fantasy epics since ‘The Lord of the Rings’. That's a highly rated book to live up to but since I started reading ‘The Name of the Wind’ in July, I can personally vouch that ‘The Kingkiller Chronicles’ series will no doubt make a name for itself in fantasy literatur…

Is It Really That Simple? Leapfrogging Success - 5 Simple Steps To Powerful Presentations and Public Speaking For Nerds, Techies, and Introverts

I'm back! It was a very long holiday, even more than I usually have but it was a much-needed one away from the usual stresses of life.

My first post back from holiday is actually a free ebook, thanks to the author NJ Lechnir, the founder of leapfroggingsuccess.com, that I received after commenting on one of NJ's blog posts, then having a nice conversation through email we ended up deciding that it would be beneficial for both of us for me to read his book in exchange for an honest review.

With no further delay here's what I think of Leapfrogging Success - 5 Simple Steps To Powerful Presentations and Public Speaking For Nerds, Techies, and Introverts.

Author: NJ Lechnir
Published: May 27th, 2017
BookMattic's Rating: 

At first, when I saw the title to Leapfrogging Success I was thinking along the lines of TED Talks since I previously read The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking (click the link for my review) and NJ told me in one of his messages that he loves TED Talks! But …