In the Land of Giants by Gabi Martinez

Review published on April 18, 2017.

This is a journey in the footsteps of a remarkable adventurer and natural historian – Jordi Magraner. High in the mountains on the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan, Jordi set out to uncover proof of the legendary “Barmanu” or “Yeti”. However, he becomes side-tracked by the plight of the local Kalesh people, who are struggling to survive in the political upheaval of one of the world’s most troubled regions.

What Jordi ultimately discovered was unfortunately not a real monster but the monsters that live in ourselves and others. His life was tragically cut short as he was murdered in his own home.

The author examines the life of Magraner through interviews with family and friends. The picture he creates of the man is an affectionate one, but he does not shy away from sharing all the truths and rumours about the man Jordi was. Personally, I did not feel a great deal of sympathy for Jordi at times. In many ways, he comes across as “his own worst enemy” – regularly falling out with friends and getting into arguments on a frequent basis. However, he was a passionate advocate of the Kalesh and was a gifted natural historian. The author also makes it clear that although Jordi exasperated his friends and family, they never gave up on him and his death was a tragedy they still cannot come to terms with.

This was an engaging book and it conjured up a vivid picture of the Hindu Kush region and the challenges faced by those who live there. It would make an interesting read for a book group.

Sue Hardiman 4/4

In the Land of Giants by Gabi Martinez
Scribe UK 9781925228717 hbk Apr 2017

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