The Kindness Of Strangers Ed. By Fearghal O’Nuallain

3.5 out of 5 stars

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

Travel is supposed to be challenging, you are out of your comfort zone, you are in unfamiliar places, often surrounded by people who don’t speak the same language as you and have a very different culture. It can pay rich dividends and give you an insight into how people live and how different it is to your way of life. These places that you see, the sunsets that you watch and the interactions that you have with other people, shape who you are.

It is no coincidence that kindness starts with ‘kin’

There are moments though where you are at your lowest ebb or something has happened where you need help and this book is full of those moments where travel writers needed that little bit of compassion from the people around them. There are stories from the well known, such as Benedict Allen and Ed Stafford and other stories from writers that I have not come across, such as Faraz Shibli and Tina Brocklebank.

The stories are as varies as the people who have written them; one writer tries to outrun a blizzard on her bicycle, an out of work forestry worker who would join Ed Stafford on the longest walk of his life and two men who wanted to do the Lands End to John O Groats route starting only in their underwear and who were utterly reliant on the generosity of strangers to clothe and feed them.

I am a part of all that I have met – Tennyson, Ulysses

This is a heartwarming collection of stories from travel writers who have experienced human kindness that was given selflessly by people who were are often in pretty dire straits themselves. That those people who showed compassion and empathy to others in their greatest need shows that as a species we are capable of doing these things.

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2 Comments

  1. Liz Dexter

    This sounds good but obviously missed something given the 3.5 stars. I read a similar one fairly recently (an older book) https://librofulltime.wordpress.com/2021/02/24/book-review-don-george-ed-the-kindness-of-strangers/ and it didn’t entirely work for me as some of the people felt pretty entitled, and some of the kindnesses were just near-misses rather than actual acts of kindness!

    • Paul

      I think it the variability in the writing as you’d expect with a variety of different authors behind it. Off to look at that review now

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