I bought this book almost a year ago when me and my lovely wife visited one of her son’s in London for a weekend. Do you remember when you could just jump on a train and go away for the weekend; good times.
The Kindness of Strangers is a collection of stories from over two dozen different authors, with some big names from the adventure/travel genre, including Alastair Humphreys, Anna McNuff, Ed Stafford and Leon McCarron, to name but a few.
As the title of the book suggests, the stories contained within it’s pages all describe how complete strangers helped them out in some way. There are sisters who gave food and shelter to Anna McNuff during a blizzard; Cho, who intended to walk with Ed Stafford for a few days to help him through a dangerous part of the Amazon, but walked for another two years with him, and Faraz Shibli being handed life saving tea by nomads as he walked across the Gobi Desert.
All of the proceeds from the book go to Oxfam, with all of the authors writing for free. Some of the stories are taken almost verbatim from books already published, others are re-worked sections of published books, while others are completely new stories that have never been published before. Not all of the stories work for me, but with so many, you just know that the next one will. A number of the authors who I had never heard about before I have either downloaded an e-book of theirs, or intend to at some point in the future.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will be placing it in the local Free Little Library on the next street in the next days or two so that other people can enjoy it (read about the Free Little Library here).