In The Land of Giants

In The Land of Giants


In The Land Of Giants

Original title: Sólo para gigantes
Author: Gabi Martínez

A fascinating mix of biography, cultural history and whodunnit that tells the story of Jordi Magraner, an enigmatic, charismatic mountaineer-zoologist, who was found murdered in the Hindu Kush in 2002. Originally from Spain and raised in France, Jordi had been living in Pakistan tracking down the Yeti, also known as the barmanu.  Jordi 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 turns his back on the Europeans who seek to assist him, preferring instead to home-school a local boy, and entrust his safety to an Afghan youth fleeing the Taliban, and to a wondrous working dog called Fjord. When the European scientific establishment eventually gives his ideas about the wild men of the mountains credence, Jordi perversely rejects their support.

Gabi Martínez, a Spanish writer, particularly known for his travel writing, essays and award-winning fiction 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. Through diary excerpts, letters, and interviews with Jordi’s family and friends, he pieces together a picture of the Yeti hunter’s life in the Hindu Kush, and a list of suspects including the CIA, drug rings, the Taliban, and even Jordi’s own friends. This enthralling journey of detection and adventure in the Himalayas is a Spanish counterpart to Krakauer’s Into the Wild, with fleckings of Chatwin, Thesiger and even T.E. Lawrence about it.

Original language

SPAIN | Alfaguara

Translation rights

CATALAN | Amsterdam (Ara Llibres)
ENGLISH (World) | Scribe
FRANCE | Autrement
PORTUGUESE (Brazil) | Rocco

“When reading this book, one gets gusts of the best Kipling, and also of Chatwin, even of Robert Byron. It’s the story of an obsessive trip, of a murder, of several love affairs, of a journey, of an adventurer who got lost forever, of the danger enclosed when trying to uncover an elusive truth and a truth only meaningful for who wants to tell it (and then, of course, to the fortunate reader). Fascinating from start to finish, it is such an incredible story as excessive reality can be.” Javier Marías

“A dark and hypnotic book, the chronicle of a fascination (or two) that leads us to remote and majestic places, to the kiplinesque Nuristan, where adventure keeps cooking over the centuries, and which also takes us to the most remote and sinister side of the human soul” Jacinto Antón, El País

“If there was one story I would like to take to the big screen it would be this wonderful book by Gabi Martínez”, Agustí Villaronga, film director

“(…) What shines in Sólo para gigantes is the depth and wisdom of the investigation and the brightness in the prose of this young chronicler who has widened the field of possibilites of narrative journalism in Spanish”, Roberto Herrscher, Cultura/s (La Vanguardia)

“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. As the plot sets out with a murder, one could also say it is at the same time a noir novel in which the reader will look for traces that will lead him to discover the mystery” John Carlin, author of Playing the Enemy and Rafa

“A fascinating and excellent book. A merge of travel literature, investigation reportage, a mere document, and high literature” Agustín Fernández Mallo, El Cultural (El Mundo)

“La vie de Jordi Magraner est un roman d’aventures :la quête du yéti dans les vallées perdues aux confins du Pakistan et de l’Afghanistan, où des ethnies oubliées luttent pour ne pas disparaître. Une histoire hors du commun, tragique, vitale, par le maître espagnol du roman d’investigation contemporain.” Mathias Énard

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