Already a best-selling addition to the series, this year's Best American Travel Writing is a far-flung collection chosen by travel writer extraordinaire Paul Theroux, who has selected pieces about "the spell in the wilderness, the letter home from foreign parts, the dangerous adventure, the sentimental journey, the exposé, the shocking revelation, the eyewitness report, the ordeal, the quest . . . Travel is an attitude, a state of mind." Theroux's most recent novel is Hotel Honolulu.
The Mundays return after almost a decade in Africa and settle in a dreary cottage in a small and not terribly friendly town where Mundy can work on his book. Munday, an anthropologist was studying a tribe called the Bwamba while in Africa. Soon after settling mysterious things begin to happen. Figures are seen peering in windows. A Bwamba spearpoint disappears at a public lecture. And Munday's wife begins to suffer from unexplained maladies.
From the New York Times best-selling author Paul Theroux, Blinding Light is a slyly satirical novel of manners and mind expansion. Slade Steadman, a writer who has lost his chops, sets out for the Ecuadorian jungle with his ex-girlfriend in search of inspiration and a rare hallucinogen. The drug, once found, heightens both his powers of perception and his libido, but it also leaves him with an unfortunate side effect: periodic blindness. Unable to resist the insights that enable him to write again, Steadman spends the next year of his life in thrall to his psychedelic muse and his erotic fantasies, with consequences that are both ecstatic and disastrous.
"Riveting...CHICAGO LOOP is an icy tale brilliantly imagined." THE BOSTON GLOBE He knifes silently through the shadows of the steamy Chicago summer night, prowling for lonely souls who need his help. The desperate come to him, answering his ads with promises of romantic evenings and possibly a future, never suspecting that they are the prey, chosen to satiate a twisted sexual desire. Parker Jagoda is also a successful businessman with a wife, a child, and a house in the suburbs--respectable, health-conscious, and polite. Nobody knows about his jagged double life, his dark, hungry obsessions. He has fooled everyone except those who gasp their last dying scream. And, of course, he has not fooled himself--which may be the only glimmer of hope left inside the darkest of hearts....
"The Collected Stories" are a first, for Theroux's tales which are funny and sardonic, sensuous and evocative, streaked with terror and cruelty. All glow with Theroux's intelligence, elegance, and ironic wit; with his marvelous sense of place; and with his tragicomic vision. Theroux's canvas stretches from London to Southeast Asia, Boston to Paris, Africa to Eastern Europe, Moscow to the tropics. He portrays colonials, emigres, diplomats, students, would-be writers, academics, and children. Many are trapped in alien situations, or are overwhelmed by larger cultural tremors.
"The Consul's File" is an anthology of short stories about the life of an American Consul sent to Ayer Hitlam in Malaysia to close down the American Consulate there, in the 1970s. The stories are chronological picking up when the narrator arrives in country and ending with a letter he writes as he departs.
In Dark Star Safari the wittily observant and endearingly irascible Paul Theroux takes readers the length of Africa by rattletrap bus, dugout canoe, cattle truck, armed convoy, ferry, and train. In the course of his epic and enlightening journey, he endures danger, delay, and dismaying circumstances.Gauging the state of affairs, he talks to Africans, aid workers, missionaries, and tourists. What results is an insightful meditation on the history, politics, and beauty of Africa and its people, and "a vivid portrayal of the secret sweetness, the hidden vitality, and the long-patient hope that lies just beneath the surface" (Rocky Mountain News). In a new postscript, Theroux recounts the dramatic events of a return to Africa to visit Zimbabwe.
This book is about a trip through Africa, from Cairo to Cape Town: down the Nile, through Sudan and Ethiopia, to Kenya, Uganda, and ultimately to the tip of South Africa. Theroux passes through some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth.
When Jerry Delfont, an aimless travel writer with writer's block (his "dead hand"), receives a letter from an American philanthropist, Mrs. Merrill Unger, with news of a scandal involving an Indian friend of her son's, he is intrigued. Who is the dead boy, found on the floor of a cheap hotel room? How and why did he die? And what is Jerry to make of a patch of carpet, and a package containing a human hand?He is swiftly captivated by the beautiful, mysterious Mrs. Unger-and revived by her tantric massages-but the circumstances surrounding the dead boy cause him increasingly to doubt the woman's motives and the exact nature of her philanthropy. Without much to go on, Jerry pursues answers from the teeming streets of Calcutta to Uttar Pradesh. It is a dark and twisted trail of obsession and need.Beautifully written, A Dead Hand demonstrates the powerful evocation of place and character that has made Paul Theroux one of the most perceptive and engaging writers today.
Twins who hated each other from childhood are separated for years. Then George appears on Gerald's doorstep, stays for a week and drops dead. Finding that his brother had been impersonating a society doctor, Gerald is drawn into a world of bogus medicine, discarded mistresses and lethal drugs.
This startling, far-reaching book captures the tumult, ambition, hardship, and serenity that mark today's India. Theroux's Westerners risk venturing far beyond the subcontinent's well-worn paths to discover woe or truth or peace. A middle-aged couple on vacation veers heedlessly from idyll to chaos. A buttoned-up Boston lawyer finds succor in Mumbai's reeking slums. And a young woman befriends an elephant in Bangalore. We also meet Indian characters as singular as they are reflective of the country's subtle ironies: an executive who yearns to become a holy beggar, an earnest striver whose personality is rewired by acquiring an American accent, a miracle-working guru, and others. As ever, Theroux's portraits of people and places explode stereotypes to exhilarating effect. The Elephanta Suite is a welcome gift to readers of international fiction and fans of this extraordinary writer.
A former American consul joins the disparate members of a group of London terrorists in their murderous activities throughout the city.
One of the earlier novels from the author of "The Mosquito Coast" and "Doctor Slaughter", this is a comic-moral tale about an innocent Chinese store-keeper in East Africa. Although cheated and manipulated by those around him, Fong maintains his sorely-tried faith that "man is good".
Paul Theroux's first collection of essays and articles devoted entirely to travel writing, FRESH AIR FIEND touches down on five continents and floats through most seas in between to deliver a literary adventure of the first order, with the incomparable Paul Theroux as a guide. From the crisp quiet of a solitary week spent in the snowbound Maine woods to the expectant chaos of Hong Kong on the eve of the Hand-over, Theroux demonstrates how the traveling life and the writing life are intimately connected. His journeys in remote hinterlands and crowded foreign capitals provide the necessary perspective to "become a stranger" in order to discover the self. A companion volume to SUNRISE WITH SEAMONSTERS, FRESH AIR FIEND is the ultimate good read for anyone fascinated by travel in the wider world or curious about the life of one of our most passionate travelers.
Contains 54 travel essays and articles written over the last 15 years by travel writer and novelist Paul Theroux. The pieces include the author's musing about the point of travel writing, essays about his own experiences such as snow camping in Maine and sailing down China's Yangtze River, and a series of book reviews. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Half a lifetime ago, Paul Theroux virtually invented the modern travel narrative by recounting his grand tour by train through Asia. In the three decades since, the world he recorded in that book has undergone phenomenal change. The Soviet Union has collapsed and China has risen; India booms while Burma smothers under dictatorship; Vietnam flourishes in the aftermath of the havoc America was unleashing on it the last time he passed through. InGhost Train to the Eastern Star,Theroux re-creates that earlier journey. His odyssey takes him from eastern Europe, still hung-over from communism, through tense but thriving Turkey into the Caucasus, where Georgia limps back toward feudalism while its neighbor Azerbaijan revels in oil-fueled capitalism. Theroux is firsthand witness to it all, encountering adventures only he could have: from the literary (sparring with the incisive Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk) to the dissolute (surviving a week-long bender on the Trans-Siberian Railroad). Wherever he goes, his omnivorous curiosity and unerring eye for detail never fail to inspire, enlighten, inform, and entertain.
First published more than thirty years ago, Paul Theroux's strange, unique, and hugely entertaining railway odyssey has become a modern classic of travel literature. Here Theroux recounts his early adventures on an unusual grand continental tour. Asia's fabled trains -- the Orient Express, the Khyber Pass Local, the Frontier Mail, the Golden Arrow to Kuala Lumpur, the Mandalay Express, the Trans-Siberian Express -- are the stars of a journey that takes him on a loop eastbound from London's Victoria Station to Tokyo Central, then back from Japan on the Trans-Siberian. Brimming with Theroux's signature humor and wry observations, this engrossing chronicle is essential reading for both the ardent adventurer and the armchair traveler.
Paul Theroux describes his travel across the Pacific through daring weather conditions.He crosses isolated islands, bad harbours and coastlines. He travels by Kayak directed by the wind, to wherever the winds take him.
Malawi, the shambling, disturbed republic in Central Africa, is tottering between dictator and agitator. Calvin Mullet, a young man from Hudson, Massachusetts is divorced and paying alimony. Major Beaglehole, an insurance salesman, is a former convict after serving 6 years for killing his superior in cold blood. Despite this, his name is respected and honored by the locals. Here the ideals of these two men are tested.
After eleven years as an American living in London, the renowned travel writer Paul Theroux set out to travel clockwise around the coast of Great Britain to find out what the British were really like. The result is this perceptive, hilarious record of the journey. Whether in Cornwall or Wales, Ulster or Scotland, the people he encountered along the way revealed far more of themselves than they perhaps intended to display to a stranger. Theroux captured their rich and varied conversational commentary with caustic wit and penetrating insight.
Ninety-nine years of colonial rule are ending as the British prepare to hand over Hong Kong to China. For Betty Mullard and her son, Bunt, it doesn't concern them - until the mysterious Mr. Hung from the mainland offers them a large sum for their family business. They refuse, yet fail to realize Mr. Hung is unlike the Chinese they've known: he will accept no refusals. When a young female employee whom Bunt has been dating vanishes, he is forced to make important decisions for the first time in his life - but his good intentions are pitted against the will of Mr. Hung and the threat of the ultimate betrayal.
For all Theroux travel writing fans and particularly the legions of lovers of Dark Star Safari and Eastern Star. Acclaimed travel writer Paul Theroux resumes the African trip recounted in his brilliant Dark Star Safari, from Cairo to Capetown down the right-hand of Africa. For ten years he longed to return Capetown, and travel up the the left-hand side to Congo. After 50 years of travel and past retirement age, this is the last trip of this kind the author will take, and this is the story his fans have been waiting for.
Hood, a renegade American diplomat, envisions a new urban order through the opium fog of his room. His sometimes bedmate, Mayo, has stolen a Flemish painting and is negotiating for publicity with "The Times". Murf the bomb-maker leaves his mark in red whilst his girlfriend Brodie bombs Euston.
Ellis Hock never believed that he would return to Africa. He runs an old-fashioned menswear store in a small town in Massachusetts but still dreams of his Eden, the four years he spent in Malawi with the Peace Corps, cut short when he had to return to take over the family business. When his wife leaves him, and he is on his own, he realizes that there is one place for him to go: back to his village in Malawi, on the remote Lower River, where he can be happy again.Arriving at the dusty village, he finds it transformed: the school he built is a ruin, the church and clinic are gone, and poverty and apathy have set in among the people. They remember him--the White Man with no fear of snakes--and welcome him. But is his new life, his journey back, an escape or a trap?Interweaving memory and desire, hope and despair, salvation and damnation, this is a hypnotic, compelling, and brilliant return to a terrain about which no one has ever written better than Theroux.nlightening The Tao of Travel.
Fourteen-year-old Jilly Farina was enthralled with "Millroy the Magician" at the Barnstable County Fair. After all, he once turned a girl from the audience into a glass of milk and drank her, but when Jilly stepped into the wickerwork coffin during a performance, she had no idea he would transform her dreary life into something truly magical, and a touch bizarre. For Millroy was no ordinary magician. He could smell the future, and Jilly was going to be a part of it. Yet not even Millroy could foresee how far determination and a dream could take him, as he and his new young assistant hit the road -- and the airwaves -- to save America's unhealthy appetite and floundering soul...
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