Damon takes three tough, emotionally testing journeys through Greece, Africa and India. On each odyssey he becomes the follower, the lover, then the guardian of his chosen travelling companion. Despite his best efforts, each quest ends in frustration, loneliness and despair. Don't be deterred by the bleakness of the book. Stick with it and let the emotional honesty, sense of place and readability of this story cast its spell.
Even then his journey isn't over, though in another sense it ended long ago. He considers returning to South Africa , but in truth he doesn't want to, and what would be the point. So he continues travelling, or running away, up into the high mountains, to Ladakh. He only does return home, in fact, a month or two later, when there is a genuine threat of nuclear war between Pakistan and India, and his fumbling, half-hearted exit feels like a fitting conclusion to the story.