Customer Reviews for

The Places in Between

Average Rating 4
( 45 )
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5 Star

(22)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

A man who finds a place in life where he is home.

Pretty much a story about this man's quest to bring antiquity thru to the modern age while trying to recapture what made this country beautiful; it's ancient art and history where much has been eradicated by a self-mutilating people frozen in time, who are caught in a v...
Pretty much a story about this man's quest to bring antiquity thru to the modern age while trying to recapture what made this country beautiful; it's ancient art and history where much has been eradicated by a self-mutilating people frozen in time, who are caught in a vicious political cycle of upheaval and re-birth thru the centuries. He seems to bring out what's left of hope in a hopeless struggle for peace in a region with many conflicts of interest.
It's also about a people who are bound to a life they hate and love at the same time. A land of Cain and Abel.

posted by whitee on March 23, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

And the point is?

Nonfiction writing should always have a point. Stewart writes fluently and well, but it's not clear what he wants the reader to take from his experience. If it's not an exercise in self-indulgent, 'you'll never believe what I did' bravado, travel writing should either d...
Nonfiction writing should always have a point. Stewart writes fluently and well, but it's not clear what he wants the reader to take from his experience. If it's not an exercise in self-indulgent, 'you'll never believe what I did' bravado, travel writing should either debunk a myth about a place or should encourage people to go visit before it's too late. 'Venice is sinking.' It should be an education or a call to action. After centuries of tribal warfare and invasion, what could be surprising about Afghanistan's poverty and descent into chaos? Would anyone in his right mind take a trip there? The quest for the untried and the exotic continues to fascinate, and perhaps as perspectives flatten out through globalization, there will be renewed interest in and a widening market for outlandish ventures like this one. But taking a nineteen-month walk through extreme danger is either courageous or it's foolhearty. If it's courageous, it must have a point. I'm afraid that Stewart's wildly overrated 'masterpiece' of a narrative is meaningful if and only if the reader is unable to imagine Afghanistan then and now. It's a place that is immune to change or if it has changed, it has only decayed. Stewart's description, for its many flashes of extreme beauty, is too close to reported reality to ingite the reader's imagination. One point of enduring interest is his brief dicussion of the young and inexperienced foreign-aid workers and their futile quest to build a liberal and humanitarian nation out of a collection of ancient prejudices and warring factions. Still, the book is worth reading, especially if one feels the need to further concretize the suffering and deprivation of foreign and seldom- visited lands whose victimization has been, in large measure, brought about by an imperialistic quest to 'discover' what was already there.

posted by Anonymous on May 10, 2007

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2007

    And the point is?

    Nonfiction writing should always have a point. Stewart writes fluently and well, but it's not clear what he wants the reader to take from his experience. If it's not an exercise in self-indulgent, 'you'll never believe what I did' bravado, travel writing should either debunk a myth about a place or should encourage people to go visit before it's too late. 'Venice is sinking.' It should be an education or a call to action. After centuries of tribal warfare and invasion, what could be surprising about Afghanistan's poverty and descent into chaos? Would anyone in his right mind take a trip there? The quest for the untried and the exotic continues to fascinate, and perhaps as perspectives flatten out through globalization, there will be renewed interest in and a widening market for outlandish ventures like this one. But taking a nineteen-month walk through extreme danger is either courageous or it's foolhearty. If it's courageous, it must have a point. I'm afraid that Stewart's wildly overrated 'masterpiece' of a narrative is meaningful if and only if the reader is unable to imagine Afghanistan then and now. It's a place that is immune to change or if it has changed, it has only decayed. Stewart's description, for its many flashes of extreme beauty, is too close to reported reality to ingite the reader's imagination. One point of enduring interest is his brief dicussion of the young and inexperienced foreign-aid workers and their futile quest to build a liberal and humanitarian nation out of a collection of ancient prejudices and warring factions. Still, the book is worth reading, especially if one feels the need to further concretize the suffering and deprivation of foreign and seldom- visited lands whose victimization has been, in large measure, brought about by an imperialistic quest to 'discover' what was already there.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 4, 2011

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    Posted March 19, 2013

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    Posted September 28, 2010

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    Posted August 18, 2011

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    Posted October 23, 2008

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    Posted October 22, 2008

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