Magazine article Geographical

THE LAND BEYOND: A Thousand Miles on Foot through the Heart of the Middle East

Magazine article Geographical

THE LAND BEYOND: A Thousand Miles on Foot through the Heart of the Middle East

Article excerpt

THE LAND BEYOND

A Thousand Miles on Foot through the Heart of the Middle East

by Leon McCarron

IB Tauris * [pounds sterling]17.99 (hardback)

* With a thousand-mile, half-year journey being a not-insignificant distance to walk, perhaps the most remarkable thing about this book is that such an intense and immersive experience has been slimmed down to a tome of this size. McCarron's trek takes him from Jerusalem, north through the West Bank towards the Sea of Galilee, then south through Jordan via Amman, Petra and Aqaba, before entering Egypt and marching all the way to the iconic Mount Sinai. Thankfully, it's the richest and most insightful details which have been preserved.

Understandably, there is a heavy emphasis on factual information, with historical storytelling and cultural context reigning supreme. The reality that he is actually walking the region is sometimes an afterthought, albeit a rich and detailed one. McCarron frequently utilises an experienced, mature, non-judgemental exterior as the vehicle by which to carry us through a remarkably diverse Middle East, and into the lives of the many engaging and fascinating characters he and his companions encounter along the way; from curious Palestinians to aubergine-throwing teenagers. …

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