‘The imagination has its sanctuaries, too.’
High up in the Hindu Kush, between the ancient pagan Kalash people and the new medievalists of the Taliban, a charismatic young Spaniard, Jordi Magraner, made his home, mastering the local languages and customs before meeting his death in the most mysterious way. In this magisterial book, Gabi Martínez sets off in Jordi’s footsteps to the land of the giants in order to try to solve the riddle of this murder and of Jordi’s life.
Jordi Magraner was a brilliant student of the natural world, whose lab was the ravine and the scarp and the tent. His observational investigations led him to places where the legendary barmanu had been sighted, and he began to develop a thesis about the life of the wild man. His passion for pursuit and discovery took him onto ever more perilous terrain in the Pakistani-Afghan borderlands. And, one by one, Jordi turned his back on the Europeans who sought to assist him, preferring instead to entrust his safety to an Afghan youth fleeing the Taliban, and to a wondrous working dog called Fjord.
Jordi sought other rewards, and followed a winding, rocky path, down which Gabi Martínez resourcefully tracks him on this enthralling journey of detection and adventure in the Himalayas — where the truth is never as clear and pristine as the majestic mountains and the fast-flowing streams.
‘A book that caught me from beginning to end, in which many genres are combined. It is a classic book of adventures, but it is also the biography of a character that has fascinated me, a kind of Lawrence of Arabia with many contrasts.’
John Carlin, author of Playing the Enemy
View all reviews
‘A dark and hypnotic book, the chronicle of a fascination (or two) that leads us to remote and majestic places, to the Kiplingesque Hindu Kush, where adventure has simmered for centuries, and which also leads us to the most remote and sinister side of the human soul.’
‘Martinez ably conjures the scent of juniper, the taste of black, salty tea and the sight of a 40-donkey convoy heading to Panjsh.’
‘The translation skilfully captures the eccentric nature of the prose, and Martínez’s fascination comes through clearly.’
Ali Bhutto, TLS
‘Enthralling from beginning to end, In the Land of Giants is an inspired telling of an uncommon story.’
‘A murder mystery more intriguing than anything you could make up.’