The Places in Between
The Places in Between (published 2004-2006) is a travel narrative by Scottish author Rory Stewart about his solo walk across north-central Afghanistan in 2002. Stewart started in Herat and ended in Kabul following the Hari River from west to east. Along the way he travels through some of the most rugged, isolated and poor parts of the country. Set at the same time as the American invasion and occupation of Afghanistan after the events set in motion by 9/11, Stewart made the walk in the middle of winter, adding additional hardship as he passed through the mountainous Ghor and Koh-i-Baba regions and its many snow-bound passes and villages.
The Places in Between has been critically applauded. It won the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, a Scottish Arts Council prize and the Spirit of Scotland award in 2005 and was short-listed for the Guardian First Book Award and the John Llewlyn Rhys prize. The New York Times Book Review named it one of the top-10 books of 2006, a distinction the NYT rarely gives to travel books.
The book was first published as a hardcover by Picador in the UK on 4 June 2004 (ISBN 0330486330). A second revised edition was published as a paperback in the UK on 1 April 2005 (ISBN 0330486349). On 8 May 2006 a further revised American paperback edition was published by Harvest Books (ISBN 0156031566). An audio recording was made in 2006 narrated by Rory Stewart while he was in Kabul and published by Recorded Books (ISBN 1428116702) based on the Harvest Books edition.
Notable sites that Stewart saw include:
- The cities of his starting and ending points Herat and Kabul as well as Chaghcharan and Bamyan City.
- The Minaret of Jam located among the ruins of the ancient city of Firuzkuh (Firuz Koh).
- The Buddhas of Bamyan, just seven months after the Taliban blew them up.
The Places in Between was dramatised by writer Benjamin Yeoh in a 45-minute radio play of the same name directed by Kirsty Williams, first broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Afternoon Play on 15 February 2007. The play was the radio pick of the day in both the Guardian  "a superb dramatisation of writer Rory Stewart's trip... Entertaining and informative" and The Times.
- "The 10 Best Books of 2006", from The New York Times Book Review
- BBC – Afternoon Play – The Places In Between
- Guardian Radio Pick of the Day
- Times Pick of the day, Chris Campling
- The Places in Between, official book site with excerpts.