Book Reviews

Book Review: Walking the earth’s spine


This book tells the story of one man who loves to commune with nature, his unending love to understand the philosophies of the world’s three great monotheistic religions, and his thoughts of his late younger brother.

There is a lot to learn about walking, the power of will, difficulties someone encounters trekking in militarily restricted and remote regions, language barriers, absence of western comforts of accommodation, properly engineered and maintained highways or roads, and even foods.

Jono Lineen is the first human to walk alone the length of the highest maintains of the world, his interaction with the indigenous people, and nature. He is certainly a very determined trekker who does not shy away from adversity and uncomfortable situations that most of us would avoid, before even contemplating such an undertaking.

Throughout the narrative, he reflects on Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity.

He is not judgemental. He simply states what he sees, interprets his encounters with indigenous peoples, and leaves the reader to research further or male up his/her mind regarding the main tenets of each religion.

His descriptions of small town Pakistan and India are revealing as to how generous the poor population is towards foreigners attempting to understand their lives, ways of thinking, and their environments.

Each chapter is sub-divided into daily reports about his activities. He often reflects on the death of his younger brother who died in a tragic boat accident while training to become a member of a rowing team. Although the accident took place years ago, he still seems to be grieving and reproaching himself about his behaviour toward him when he misbehaved and rebelled to law and order.

Jono Lineen certainly accomplished a heroic undertaking by completing this trek under occasionally trying and dangerous circumstances.

The writing is engaging, fast paced, thought provoking, highly interesting and educational.

Highly recommended to all hikers, those interested in nature, and religions.

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