The London Embassy

The London Embassy

Paul Theroux

Travel / Nonfiction / Fiction

'No one ever sees me write. One of the triumphs of fiction is that it is created in the dark. It leaves my house in a plain wrapper, with no bloodstains. Unlike me, my stories are whole and indestructible.' In The Collected Stories, Paul Theroux's canvas stretches from London to South-East Asia, from Boston to Paris, from Africa to Eastern Europe and from Moscow to the tropics in this vibrant collection. Full of suspense and the unexpected, these stories by the acclaimed author of The Old Patagonian Express and Dark Star Safari delve into the worlds of a vast spectrum of characters and display throughout a flair that shows Theroux to be a master of the form. Praise for Paul Theroux: 'A shimmering, kaleidoscopic and very entertaining collection' Sunday Telegraph 'You close the book feeling you have read a single big narrative rather than a series of short ones . . . As a short-story...
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On the Plain of Snakes

On the Plain of Snakes

Paul Theroux

Travel / Nonfiction / Fiction

Legendary travel writer Paul Theroux drives the entire length of the US–Mexico border, then goes deep into the hinterland, on the back roads of Chiapas and Oaxaca, to uncover the rich, layered world behind today's brutal headlines.Paul Theroux has spent his life crisscrossing the globe in search of the histories and peoples that give life to the places they call home. Now, as immigration debates boil around the world, Theroux has set out to explore a country key to understanding our current discourse: Mexico. Just south of the Arizona border, in the desert region of Sonora, he finds a place brimming with charm, yet visibly marked by both the US Border Patrol looming to the north and mounting discord from within. With the same humanizing sensibility he employed in Deep South, Theroux stops to talk with residents, visits Zapotec mill workers in the highlands, and attends a Zapatista party meeting, communing with people of all stripes who remain south of...
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Blinding Light

Blinding Light

Paul Theroux

Travel / Nonfiction / Fiction

Slade Steadman is the ultimate one-book wonder. His lone opus, published twenty years ago, was Trespassing, a cult classic about his travels through dozens of countries without benefit of passport. With his soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend Ava in tow, he sets out for Ecuador"s jungle in search of a rare hallucinogenic drug and the cure for his writer"s block. Amid a gang of thrill-seeking tourists, Steadman finds his drug and his inspiration but is beset with an unnerving side effect — periodic blindness. His world is altered profoundly; Ava stays by his side, he writes an erotic, autobiographical novel with the drug serving as muse, and he returns to stardom, now as a Blind Writer. He becomes addicted to the drug and the insights it provides, only to have them desert him, along with his sight. Will he regain his vision? His visions? Or will he forgo the world of his imagining and his ambition? As Theroux leads us toward the answers, he makes fresh magic out of the venerable intertwined themes of sight and insight. He also offers incisive, sometimes hilarious takes on the manifold ironies of travel and the trappings of the writer"s life — from the fear of the blank page to the unexpected challenges of the book tour.
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A Dead Hand

A Dead Hand

Paul Theroux

Travel / Nonfiction / Fiction

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...
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Millroy the Magician

Millroy the Magician

Paul Theroux

Travel / Nonfiction / Fiction

Fourteen-year-old Jilly Farina walks into the tent at the County Fair and finds her life transformed. Fixing her with his hypnotic gaze, Millroy the Magician performs astonishing miracles. When she is later magicked into his trailer and Millroy promises to train her as his assistant, Jilly feels safe for the first time in her short life.But Millroy is more than a mere stage show magician. A vegetarian and health fanatic, a possessor of healing and hypnotic powers, Millroy's mission is to change the eating habits of an entire nation. And through Jilly he has found the strength to preach his evangelical message.With Millroy's messianic fervour ever growing, Jilly begins to have doubts - but Millroy knows that without Jilly there will be no magic . . .
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My Other Life

My Other Life

Paul Theroux

Travel / Nonfiction / Fiction

In the Washington Post Book World, Sven Birkerts called this exuberant novel "a complex and gripping work of invention and confession . . . I understood again how the prose of a true writer can bring us to a world beyond." The book spans almost thirty years in the life of a fictional "Paul Theroux," who moves through young bachelorhood in Africa, in and out of marriage, affairs, and employment, and between continents. It's a wry, worldly, erotic, and deeply moving account of one man's first half century - "among the strongest things Theroux has ever written" (New York Times Book Review).**
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Sir Vidia's Shadow

Sir Vidia's Shadow

Paul Theroux

Travel / Nonfiction / Fiction

This heartfelt and revealing account of Paul Theroux's thirty-year friendship with the legendary V. S. Naipaul is an intimate record of a literary mentorship that traces the growth of both writers' careers and explores the unique effect each had on the other. Built around exotic landscapes, anecdotes that are revealing, humorous, and melancholy, and three decades of mutual history, this is a personal account of how one develops as a writer and how a friendship waxes and wanes between two men who have set themselves on the perilous journey of a writing life.
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Mr. Bones

Mr. Bones

Paul Theroux

Travel / Nonfiction / Fiction

A dark and bitingly humorous collection of short stories from the "brilliantly evocative" (Time) Paul Theroux A family watches in horror as their patriarch transforms into the singing, wise-cracking lead of an old-timey minstrel show. A renowned art collector relishes publicly destroying his most valuable pieces. Two boys stand by helplessly as their father stages an all-consuming war on the raccoons living in the woods around their house. A young artist devotes himself to a wealthy, malicious gossip, knowing that it's just a matter of time before she turns on him. In this new collection of short stories, acclaimed author Paul Theroux explores the tenuous leadership of the elite and the surprising revenge of the overlooked. He shows us humanity possessed, consumed by its own desire and compulsion, always with his carefully honed eye for detail and the subtle idiosyncrasies that bring his characters to life. Searing, dark, and sure to unsettle, Mr....
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The Last Train to Zona Verde

The Last Train to Zona Verde

Paul Theroux

Travel / Nonfiction / Fiction

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.
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The Tao of Travel

The Tao of Travel

Paul Theroux

Travel / Nonfiction / Fiction

Paul Theroux 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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Fresh Air Fiend

Fresh Air Fiend

Paul Theroux

Travel / Nonfiction / Fiction

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.
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The Pillars of Hercules

The Pillars of Hercules

Paul Theroux

Travel / Nonfiction / Fiction

"DAZZLING."--Time"[THEROUX'S] WORK IS DISTINGUISHED BY A SPLENDID EYE FOR DETAIL AND THE TELLING GESTURE; a storyteller's sense of pacing and gift for granting closure to the most subtle progression of events; and the graceful use of language. . . . We are delighted, along with Theroux, by the politeness of the Turks, amazed by the mountainous highlands in Syria, touched by the gesture of an Albanian waitress who will not let him pay for his modest meal. . . . The Pillars of Hercules [is] engrossing and enlightening from start (a damning account of tourists annoying the apes of Gibraltar) to finish (an utterly captivating visit with Paul Bowles in Tangier, worth the price of the book all by itself)."--Chicago Tribune"ENTERTAINING READING . . . WHEN YOU READ THEROUX, YOU'RE TRULY ON A TRIP."--The Boston Sunday Globe"HIS PICARESQUE NARRATIVE IS STUDDED WITH SCENES THAT STICK IN THE MIND. He looks at strangers with a novelist's eye, and his portraits are...
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The Stranger at the Palazzo D'Oro

The Stranger at the Palazzo D'Oro

Paul Theroux

Travel / Nonfiction / Fiction

The story of a love affair between a young man and an older woman in Taormina, Sicily, in the sixties.' This is my only story. Now that I am sixty I can tell it' He, the narrator, is a twenty-one-year-old American art student travelling the world. She is a countess - apparently cold, haughty and inaccessible. And with her is the doctor Haroun, her gay travelling companion. When he makes their acquaintance at the Palazzo D'Oro, the narrator finds himself filled with unexpected lust and playing a part in something he doesn't quite understand. Finally, aged sixty, he returns to Taormina to tell his story and confront the present. Filled with Theroux's typically effortless but devastating depictions of place, The Stranger at the Palazzo D'Oro is a brilliant portrayal of ageing and decay, and a shocking tale of nostalgia and sensuality in a golden age. Echoing the ambiguities of risk and remembered sexuality, the accompanying tales enlarge upon these themes of age and pursuit - the sexual awakening and rites of passage in an American boyhood, the mirror of a writer in Africa at a moment of crisis, and of a man in Hawaii bewitched by dishevelled nymphs.
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