The Land Beyond – A thousand Miles On Foot through the Heart of the Middle East
I am in Asiaat with my daughters right now. Snow is pouring down, we have just received reasonably good news about my daughters health and the boat back home is delayed. What better than finally read and review my friend Leon McCarrons new book from a much warmer Middle East.
I have read hundreds of books as regards to the Middle East, this incredibly interesting part of our world that is oftenly misunderstood by writers, travellers and other visitors. I have followed Leons career and I had for this reason high expectations. And he didn´t disappoint.
Walking of course is a brilliant way to get closer to people, even though locals at times doesn´t understand this choice of travel, but as Leons book shows he does get a very healthy and down to earth view of this volatile area. I specifically like the time when he travels by himself, that part stands out in his book, because as quick as he brings in his friends, the vulnerability disappears from his otherwise great writing. I think his take on the Middle East is very clear and gives a wider perspctive of this often misunderstood area. It is definitely a book which should be included as standard reading of the area.
I wish his writing would has been as deep and involving about his walk through and in Israel, but it is at the end of the trip and his head is full and overwhelmed by strong impressions. I would have liked to know much more about this part of the world and its inhabitants.
Leon is one of few big name British explorers who doesn´t come from the public school sphere. That makes his writing even more important and interesting.