Harry Hunter's Reviews > An Unexpected Light: Travels in Afghanistan

An Unexpected Light by Jason Elliot
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's review
Jun 19, 2011

really liked it
Read from May 26 to June 19, 2011

Although it took a while to adjust to the slow pace Elliot’s narrative is gripping and vividly brings the people and places he meets and visits to life. His description of the heart pounding truck journey in the north-east was particularly gripping, with the imagery of the precarious route far above the white torrents in the valley below staying with me long after I’d put the book down. However I have skipped through several of Elliot’s essay like asides (the section on the roots of Dervish beliefs in particular comes to mind) which I found to jar the flow of the narrative rather than add to it (other sections such as the discussion of Herat’s cultural significance were fascinating).

I would recommend anyone who has a passing interested in Afghanistan read this along with a more modern take on the country in Rory Stewart’s ‘The places in between’ which includes several of the same themes and characters.
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