How Well Do You Know Eric Newby's Adventure in the Hindu Kush?



9 Questions

What is A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush?

What is the book's reputation?

What is the book's writing style?

What are some of the hazards encountered during the journey?

Who recommended the book in the preface?

What is the legacy of the book?

What is the genre of the book?

What is the purpose of the journey in the book?

What is the tone of the book?


A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush by Eric Newby

  • The book is an autobiographical account of Eric Newby's adventures in the Hindu Kush, with the aim of making the first mountaineering ascent of Mir Samir.

  • The book has been described as comic, intensely English, and understated, and has sold over 500,000 copies in paperback.

  • The story moves from Newby's life in the fashion business in London to Afghanistan, with a stop in Istanbul and a nearly-disastrous drive across Turkey and Persia.

  • The book has been reprinted many times, in at least 16 English versions and in Spanish, Chinese, and German editions.

  • The book includes monochrome photographs taken by Newby or Carless, and two hand-drawn maps.

  • A two-page preface by Evelyn Waugh recommends the book, remarking on its "idiomatic, uncalculated manner", and that the "beguiling narrative" is "intensely English".

  • The book is narrated in the first person by Newby and includes descriptions of the geography and history of Nuristan, and brief descriptions of the rare moments of beauty along the way.

  • Newby and Carless try to acclimatize to the altitude with a practice walk, hire an Afghan cook, and buy a "very short" list of supplies.

  • They take on three "very small" horses and their horse-drivers, and despite having horses, they decide to carry 40 pound (20 kg) packs "to toughen ourselves up".

  • They attempt to climb the East ridge in hot weather, reach 18,000 feet before returning for the night, and assure themselves they could succeed if they start earlier and try a different route.

  • Critics have noted that while the book is held in extremely high esteem and is enjoyably comic, it is not nearly as well-written as his later autobiographical book, Love and War in the Apennines.

  • The book has been included in lists of favourite travel books by travel writers and publications such as Outside magazine,, and The Daily Telegraph.

  • The meeting with explorer Wilfred Thesiger represents, in Newby's exaggerated account, a collision between two generations of travel writers who traveled, wrote, and related to strangers quite differently.A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush Summary

  • The book was published in 1958 and is a travelogue of Eric Newby and Hugh Carless' journey through the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan.

  • It is a humorous and self-effacing account of the journey and is described as a classic of travel writing.

  • The book was well-received by critics and has been compared to Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods.

  • The hazards of the journey included crevasses, precipices, thieves, bears, disease, thirst, and hunger.

  • The book is noted for its use of understatement, self-effacement, savage wit, honed irony, and unrelenting honesty.

  • The book has been described as a post-Byronic escapade in which gentlemanly theatrics come to assume the proportions of full-blown farce.

  • Eric Newby's writing has been compared to earlier British travellers such as Robert Byron (The Road to Oxiana, 1937).

  • Newby's combination of whimsy with close observation fits into the British travel writing tradition.

  • The climb of the Central Hindu Kush was described as a "negligible effort" by Austrian alpinist Adolf Diemberger, but more warmly by the Polish mountaineer Boleslaw Chwascinski.

  • In 2012, an expedition attempted the first winter ascent of Mir Samir, citing the book as inspiration.

  • The book is considered a classic of travel writing and has aged well.

  • The legacy of the book continues to inspire adventurers and mountaineers.


Test your knowledge of Eric Newby's classic travelogue, A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush! This quiz will challenge you with questions about the author's adventures in Afghanistan, his writing style, and the book's enduring legacy. Whether you're a fan of travel writing or just looking for a fun literary challenge, this quiz is for you. Keywords: Eric Newby, travelogue, Hindu Kush, Afghanistan, classic, adventure, writing style, legacy.

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