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Books by Paul Theroux

  • On the Plain of Snakes

    Paul Theroux

    Product Code: CBINE
    Hardback
    The master of contemporary travel writing, Paul Theroux, immerses himself in the beautiful and troubled heart of modern Mexico Nogales is a border town caught between Mexico and the United States of America. A forty-foot steel fence runs through its centre, separating the prosperous US side from the impoverished Mexican side. It is a fascinating site of tension, now more than ever, as the town fills with hopeful border crossers and the deportees who have been caught and brought back. And it is here that Paul Theroux will begin his journey into the culturally rich but troubled heart of modern Mexico. Moving through the deserts just south of the Arizona border, Theroux finds a place brimming with charm, yet visibly marked by both the US border patrol looming to the north and mounting discord from within. Attending local language and culinary schools, driving through the country and meeting its people, Paul Theroux gets under the skin of Mexico. From the writer praised for his 'curiosity and affection for humanity in all its forms' (New York Times Book Review), On The Plain of Snakes is an urgent and mesmerising exploration of a region in conflict. Praise for Paul Theroux: 'As cool as Maugham... as observant, intuitive, wry, inventive and eloquent as Graham Greene' Sunday Times 'Theroux's work remains the standard by which other travel writing must be judged' Observer 'The world's most perceptive travel writer' Daily Mail 'One of the most accomplished and worldly-wise writers of his generation' The Times
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  • Mother Land

    Paul Theroux

    Product Code: BQZKR
    Paperback
    'Downright hilarious... Like watching a slow-motion car crash. Theroux possesses a fabulously nasty sense of humour' Stephen King A riotously dysfunctional portrait of one all-American family and its diabolical matriarch - by one of America's most acclaimed writers Everyone in Cape Cod thinks that Mother is a wonderful woman: pious, hard-working, frugal. Everyone except her husband and seven children. To them she is a selfish and petty tyrant -- endlessly comparing her many living children to the one who died in childbirth, keeping a vice-like hold on her offspring even as they try to escape into adulthood. Welcome to Mother Land: a suffocating kingdom of parental narcissism. This is an engrossing, hilarious and heartbreaking portrait of a modern family -- the bickering, the conspiracies, and the drive to overcome the painful ties that bind. 'Brilliantly depicts characters in pinpoint prickly prose' Guardian 'Funny and wonderfully mean spirited' Saturday Review 'The family dynamic has been rendered exceptionally well' Herald
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  • Mother Land

    Paul Theroux

    Product Code: BKNVF
    Hardback
    A darkly hilarious portrait of one dysfunctional American family and its scheming matriarchEveryone in Cape Cod thinks that Mother is a wonderful woman: pious, hard-working, frugal. Everyone except her husband and seven children. To them she is a selfish and petty tyrant -- endlessly comparing her many living children to the one who died in childbirth, keeping a vice-like hold on her offspring even as they try to escape into adulthood. Welcome to Mother Land: a suffocating kingdom of parental narcissism. This is an engrossing, hilarious and heartbreaking portrait of a modern family -- the bickering, the conspiracies, and the drive to overcome the painful ties that bind.
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  • The Great Railway Bazaar,

    Paul Theroux

    Product Code: BIZNP
    Paperback
    The Great Railway Bazaar is Paul Theroux's classic and much-loved homage to train travel. The Orient Express; The Khyber Pass Local; the Delhi Mail from Jaipur; the Golden Arrow of Kuala; the Trans-Siberian Express; these are just some of the trains steaming through Paul Theroux's epic rail journey from London across Europe through India and Asia. This was a trip of discovery made in the mid-seventies, a time before the West had embraced the places, peoples, food, faiths and cultures of the East. For us now, as much as for Theroux then, to visit the lands of The Great Railway Bazaar is an encounter with all that is truly foreign and exotic - and with what we have since lost. Praise for Paul Theroux: 'Theroux's work remains the standard by which other travel writing must be judged' Observer 'One needs energy to keep up with the extraordinary, productive restlessness of Paul Theroux ...[ He is] the most gifted, most prodigal writer of his generation' Jonathan Raban 'Always a terrific teller of tales and conjurer of exotic locales, he writes lean prose that lopes along at a compelling pace' Sunday Times Paul Theroux's books include Dark Star Safari, Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, Riding the Iron Rooster, The Great Railway Bazaar, The Elephanta Suite, A Dead Hand, The Tao of Travel and The Lower River. The Mosquito Coast and Dr Slaughter have both been made into successful films. Paul Theroux divides his time between Cape Cod and the Hawaiian islands.
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  • The Great Railway Bazaar,

    Paul Theroux

    Product Code: BICWL
    Paperback
    The Great Railway Bazaar is Paul Theroux's account of his epic journey by rail through Asia. Filled with evocative names of legendary train routes - the Direct-Orient Express, the Khyber Pass Local, the Delhi Mail from Jaipur, the Golden Arrow to Kuala Lumpur, the Hikari Super Express to Kyoto and the Trans-Siberian Express - it describes the many places, cultures, sights and sounds he experienced and the fascinating people he met. Here he overhears snippets of chat and occasional monologues, and is drawn into conversation with fellow passengers, from Molesworth, a British theatrical agent, and Sadik, a shabby Turkish tycoon, while avoiding the forceful approaches of pimps and drug dealers. This wonderfully entertaining travelogue pays loving tribute to the romantic joys of railways and train travel.
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  • Deep South

    Paul Theroux

    Product Code: AREON
    Paperback
    This is Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller. Acclaimed and beloved travel writer Paul Theroux turns his attention to his own country - America - for the first time in Deep South. For the past fifty years, Paul Theroux has travelled to the far corners of the earth - to China, India, Africa, the Pacific Islands, South America, Russia, and elsewhere - and brought them to life in his cool, exacting prose. In Deep South he turns his gaze to a region much closer to his home. Travelling through North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas, Paul Theroux writes of the stunning landscapes he discovers - the deserts, the mountains, the Mississippi - and above all, the lives of the people he meets. The South is a place of contradictions. There is the warm, open spirit of the soul food cafes, found in every town, no matter how small. There is the ruined grandeur of numberless ghostly towns, long abandoned by the industries that built them. There are the state gun shows and the close-knit, subtly forlorn tribe of people who attend and run them. Deep in the heart of his native country, Theroux discovers a land more profoundly foreign than anything he has previously experienced.
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  • The Mosquito Coast

    Paul Theroux

    Product Code: AONAO
    Paperback
    The Mosquito Coast - winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize - is a breathtaking novel about fanaticism and a futile search for utopia from bestseller Paul Theroux. Published as a Penguin Essential for the first time. Allie Fox is going to re-create the world. Abominating the cops, crooks, junkies and scavengers of modern America, he abandons civilisation and takes the family to live in the Honduran jungle. There his tortured, messianic genius keeps them alive, his hoarse tirades harrying them through a diseased and dirty Eden towards unimaginable darkness. "Stunning...exciting, intelligent, meticulously realised, artful." (Victoria Glendinning, Sunday Times). "An epic of paranoid obsession that swirls the reader headlong to deposit him on a black mudbank of horror." (Christopher Wordsworth, Guardian). "Magnificently stimulating and exciting." (Anthony Burgess).
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  • The Lower River

    Paul Theroux

    Product Code: AGJJT
    Paperback
    Award-winning writer Paul Theroux draws upon personal experience of living in Malawi in his eye-opening novel, about one man's return to an Africa he no longer recognises, "The Lower River". Decades ago Massachusetts salesman Ellis Hock spent four years in Africa - and the continent has never left him. So when his wife walks out and his business goes belly up, Ellis turns back to the one place in which he briefly found happiness. Yet returning to the village of Malabo shocks him. The school he built is a ruin. The people he remembers are poor, apathetic, hostile. The country labours as if under a great, invisible burden. However, Ellis is determined. This is his escape, a paradise regained. But escape can be a snare, a trap for the unwary..."The Lower River" is a hypnotic, compelling and brilliant return to a terrain no one has ever written better about than Paul Theroux: the tragic stage of modern Africa, AIDS-ravaged and despairing in the face of creeping consumerism, greed and dependence. "Remarkable, admirable, riveting, heartbreaking. A masterly, moving portrait of how Africa ensnares and enchants". ("Guardian"). "Terrific writing. Theroux's senses are always on full alert". ("Evening Standard"). "Powerful, vivid, shocking". ("The Times"). "Theroux invests this very 21st-century journey into the heart of ennui with a caustic bite, like the snakes that pop up throughout". ("Metro"). "The sense of menace is masterful. Theroux has never written a better novel". ("Sunday Telegraph"). American travel writer Paul Theroux is known for the rich descriptions of people and places that is often streaked with his distinctive sense of irony; his novels and collected short stories, "My Other Life", "The Collected Stories", "My Secret History", "The Stranger at the Palazzo d'Oro", "A Dead Hand", "Millroy the Magician", "The Elephanta Suite", "Saint Jack", "The Consul's File", "The Family Arsenal", "The Mosquito Coast", and his works of non-fiction, including the iconic "The Great Railway Bazaar" are available from Penguin.
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  • The Tao of Travel

    Paul Theroux

    Product Code: AECAI
    Paperback
    This is a compendium of travel writing from a master traveller Paul Theroux who celebrates fifty years of wandering the globe by collecting the best writing on travel from the books that shaped him, as a reader and a traveller. Part philosophical guide, part miscellany, part reminiscence, "The Tao of Travel" enumerates 'The Contents of Some Travellers' Bags' and exposes 'Writers Who Wrote About Places They Never Visited'; tracks extreme journeys in 'Travel As An Ordeal' and highlights some of 'Travellers' Favourite Places'. Excerpts from the best of Theroux's own work are interspersed with selections from travellers both familiar and unexpected, including Vladimir Nabokov, Henry David Thoreau, Graham Greene, Ernest Hemingway and more. "The Tao of Travel" is a unique tribute to the pleasures and pains of travel in its golden age.
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  • The Elephanta Suite

    Paul Theroux

    Product Code: ADCDT
    Paperback
    This fabulous, far-reaching book breathtakingly captures the tumult, ambition, hardship and serenity that mark modern India. Theroux's characters risk venturing far beyond its well-worn paths to discover woe or truth or peace. In this title: a holidaying middle-aged couple veer heedlessly from idyll to chaos; a buttoned-up Boston lawyer finds relief in Mumbai's reeking slums; and, a young woman befriends an elephant in Bangalore. We also meet Indian characters as distinctive as they are indicative of their country's subtle ironies: an executive who yearns to become a holy beggar, an earnest young striver whose personality is transformed by acquiring an American accent, a miracle-working guru, and more. "The Elephanta Suite" urges us towards a fresh, compelling, and often inspiring notion of India and its effect on those who try to lose - or find - themselves there.
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  • The Consul's File

    Paul Theroux

    Product Code: ACIKR
    Paperback
    Spencer Savage, a young American consul, is posted to Ayer Hitam, a small Malaysian town, in the 1970s. Told to close down this remote outpost in the sweltering jungle, he instead finds himself drawn to the many characters he meets among the Malays, Indians, Japanese, Chinese, and the clubbable expat Brits. Through his eyes we see the rich tapestry of multi-ethnic life in post-colonial Malaysia, from adultery to murder, from ghost stories to the murky waters of diplomatic politics. It is a brilliant portrait of a vanished time, a lost landscape and scattered people.
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  • Fresh-air Fiend

    Paul Theroux

    Product Code: ACIKQ
    Paperback
    Whether visiting the King of the Lozis at a bend in the Zambezi river or crossing the United States in a railway car of unsurpassable luxury, relating his experiments with biblical dieting, or detailing the illneses and diseases suffered in half a lifetime of travel, Paul Theroux, the fresh-air fiend himself, is always an entertaining and honest guide. Full of startling encounters and memorable scenes, fascinating and sometimes bizarre locations, and enlightening musings on themes as various as sexual attraction and the point of travel writing itself, this extensive collection of his shorter pieces is a rich and remarkable book from a superb writer.
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  • Sir Vidia's Shadow

    Paul Theroux

    Product Code: ACIKP
    Paperback
    "Both unputdownable and utterly engaging". (Jonathan Raban, "The Times Literary Supplement"). "I started reading Theroux's "Sir Vidia's Shadow", the story of his friendship with V. S. Naipaul over thirty years and five continents - its origins, development, and sad, enigmatic termination. I couldn't, as they say, put it down. I don't know of a more revealing study of the peculiar nature of friendship between professional writers, an unstable compound of empathy, solidarity and rivalry. Theroux's portrait of Naipaul ...may be [his] finest literary creation". (David Lodge, "Guardian" Books of the Year). "Thoroughly compelling. We can call it a memoir, or a biographical sketch, but it has more in it - more candour, more intensity, more angry puzzlement - than we would normally expect from either of these genres. I can think of no other book that renders in such merciless detail a still-living public figure". ("Sunday Telegraph").
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  • Ghost Train to the Eastern Star

    Paul Theroux

    Product Code: ABXOY
    Audio
    In "Ghost Train to the Eastern Star", Paul Theroux retraces the steps he took thirty years ago in his classic "The Great Railway Bazaar". From the Eurostar in London, he once again sets out on a journey to the East, travelling overland through Eastern Europe, India and Asia. Infused with the changes that have shaped the exterior landscape and enriched with developments to his own perceptions and psychology, "Ghost Train to the Eastern Star" is an absorbing and beautifully written follow-up to "The Great Railway Bazaar". This recording is unabridged. Typically abridged audiobooks are not more than 60 per cent of the author's work and as low as 30 per cent with characters and plotlines removed.
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  • The Old Patagonian Express

    Paul Theroux

    Product Code: AADVL
    Paperback
    The "Old Patagonian Express" tells of Paul Theroux's train journey down the length of North and South America. Beginning on Boston's subway, he depicts a voyage from ice-bound Massachusetts to the arid plateau of Argentina's most southerly tip, via pretty Central American towns and the ancient Incan city of Macchu Pichu. Shivering and sweating by turns as the temperature and altitude rise and plummet, he describes the people he encountered - thrown in with the tedious, and unavoidable, Mr Thornberry in Limon and reading to the legendary blind writer, Jorge Luis Borges, in Buenos Aires. Witty, sharply observed and beautifully written, this is a richly evocative account of travelling to 'the end of the line'.
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