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The Kingdom by the Sea by Paul Theroux

The Kingdom by the Sea (1983)

by Paul Theroux

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Penguin Audiobooks (PEN 253)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,312228,953 (3.52)34
  1. 10
    Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson (John_Vaughan)
  2. 10
    Coasting by Jonathan Raban (John_Vaughan)
    John_Vaughan: One friend on foot the other sailing, both vividly describing England. An amusing comparision can be made by refering to a meeting of these two friendly rivals - a different version of events and views in each book.
  3. 00
    The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane (John_Vaughan)
  4. 00
    Walking to Canterbury : A modern journey through Chaucer's medieval England by Jerry Ellis (John_Vaughan)
    John_Vaughan: Both visting and touring authors are American, but their individual viewpoints are very distinct.

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» See also 34 mentions

English (18)  Dutch (3)  All languages (21)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
This is another book on the Road Scholar recommended books for a trip I am taking. While there are interesting stories and insights, overall the book is depressing. My overall impression of the author is that he was often unkind and patronizing. While Road Scholar may be interested in lowering the expectations of people going on their tours, this book is more of an anti-travel guide than a travel guide. ( )
  KateSavage | Mar 29, 2019 |
Reread during my recent Theroux binge. ( )
  bookofmoons | Sep 1, 2016 |
A circuit around the english coastline which is for the most part quite depressing. The death of industry, closure of rail routes has led to third world living conditions in many of the cities that hug the coast.
  danoomistmatiste | Jan 24, 2016 |
A circuit around the english coastline which is for the most part quite depressing. The death of industry, closure of rail routes has led to third world living conditions in many of the cities that hug the coast.
  kkhambadkone | Jan 17, 2016 |
Typical Theroux arrogance. Highlights: painting a comprising picture of places by representing seemingly scattered, incoherent pieces of information or anecdote.
He does that even better with people.
All this drowns out the first pages full of complaints and undifferentiated criticism and the fact that neither his idea nor his itinerary is anything out of the common.

I think he makes up a lot of his encounters or at least exaggerates heartily when it comes to the description of the people he meets and things he sees. But travel writing is fiction after all.
  Kindlegohome | Jul 9, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Mr. Theroux is never less than readable, and many of his observations are disturbingly to the point. One scene, when his railway carriage of polite, self- effacing English folk is invaded by violent, swearing skinheads, will stick in the memory for a long time. It is exactly the sort of thing that happens often and everybody pretends not to notice. His perception of the kingdom of the sea may be a partial one, and in my view jaundiced, but it makes a stimulating book for all that.
added by John_Vaughan | editNY Times, Auberon Waugh (Jul 19, 1983)

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Theroux, Paulprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davids, TinkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keith, RonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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'... er zijn hartstochtelijke pelgrims, vage buitenlanders en andere onterfden nodig om de "goede kanten" van dit bewonderenswaardige land te waarderen.'

Henry James, English Hours
'Een van de lessen van reizen is - dat een paar van de merkwaardigste volksstammen vlak naast je blijken te wonen.'
Robert Louis Stevenson, Across the Plains
I dedicate this Book to those friends of mine in Britain who, giving me a welcome I must ever gratefully and proudly remember, left my judgment free; and who, loving their country, can bear the truth, when it is told good-humouredly and in a kind spirit. Adapted from Charles Dickens's dedication to American Notes, 1842
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Everyone seemed to be going to China that year, or else writing rude things about the Arabs, or being frank about Africa.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140071814, Paperback)

Award winning writer Paul Theroux embarks on a journey that, though closer to home than most of his expeditions, uncovers some surprising truths about Britain and the British people in the '80s in "The Kingdom by the Sea: A Journey Around the Coast of Great Britain". Paul Theroux's round-Britain travelogue is funny, perceptive and 'best avoided by patriots with high blood pressure...' After eleven years living as an American in London, Paul Theroux set out to travel clockwise round the coast and find out what Britain and the British are really like. It was 1982, the summer of the Falklands War, the ideal time, he found, to surprise the British into talking about themselves. The result makes superbly vivid and engaging reading. "A sharp and funny descriptive writer. One of his golden talents, perhaps because he is American and therefore classless in British eyes, is the ability to chat up and get on with all sorts and conditions of British...Theroux is a good companion". ("The Times"). "Filled with history, insights, landscape, epiphanies, meditations, celebrations and laments". ("The New York Times"). "Few of us have seen the entirety of the coast and I for one am grateful to Mr Theroux for making my journey unnecessary. He describes it all brilliantly and honestly". (Anthony Burgess, "Observer"). 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 other non-fiction titles, "Riding the Iron Rooster", "The Happy Isles of Oceania", "Sunrise with Seamonsters", "The Tao of Travel", "Ghost Train to the Eastern Star", "The Old Patagonian Express", "The Great Railway Bazaar", "Dark Star Safari", "Fresh-air Fiend", "Sir Vidia's Shadow", "The Pillars of Hercules", and his novels and collections of short stories, including the James Tait Black Memorial Prize winner "The Mosquito Coast" are available from Penguin.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:16 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A candid and compulsive account of a journey round the coast of Great Britain.

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