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Paul Theroux

Author of The Great Railway Bazaar

114+ Works 29,887 Members 611 Reviews 91 Favorited

About the Author

Paul Edward Theroux was born on April 10, 1941 in Medford, Massachusetts and is an acclaimed travel writer. After attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst he joined the Peace Corps and taught in Malawi from 1963 to 1965. He also taught in Uganda at Makerere University and in Singapore at show more the University of Singapore. Although Theroux has also written travel books in general and about various modes of transport, his name is synonymous with the literature of train travel. Theroux's 1975 best-seller, The Great Railway Bazaar, takes the reader through Asia, while his second book about train travel, The Old Patagonian Express (1979), describes his trip from Boston to the tip of South America. His third contribution to the railway travel genre, Riding the Iron Rooster: By Train Through China, won the Thomas Cook Prize for best literary travel book in 1989. His literary output also includes novels, books for children, short stories, articles, and poetry. His novels include Picture Palace (1978), which won the Whitbread Award and The Mosquito Coast (1981), which won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Theroux is a fellow of both the British Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Geographic Society. His title Lower River made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2012. Currently his 2015 book, Deep South , is a bestseller. (Bowker Author Biography) Paul Theroux is the distinguished author of numerous award-winning books, including "The Mosquito Coast," "Kowloon Tong," & "Half Moon Street." (Publisher Provided) show less
Image credit: Photographed at BookPeople in Austin, Texas by Frank Arnold

Works by Paul Theroux

The Great Railway Bazaar (1975) 2,860 copies, 68 reviews
The Mosquito Coast (1980) 2,274 copies, 40 reviews
Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Capetown (2002) 2,170 copies, 58 reviews
Riding the Iron Rooster: By Train Through China (1989) 1,857 copies, 35 reviews
The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific (1992) 1,384 copies, 21 reviews
The Pillars of Hercules (1995) 1,354 copies, 16 reviews
My Secret History (1989) 659 copies, 4 reviews
Hotel Honolulu (2001) 631 copies, 14 reviews
Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads (2015) 600 copies, 26 reviews
O-Zone (1986) 584 copies, 4 reviews
Fresh Air Fiend: Travel Writings (2000) — Author — 544 copies, 9 reviews
Kowloon Tong (1997) 534 copies, 9 reviews
My Other Life (1996) 454 copies, 5 reviews
The Elephanta Suite: Three Novellas (2007) 434 copies, 18 reviews
The Lower River (2012) 359 copies, 13 reviews
The Family Arsenal (1976) 326 copies, 1 review
To the Ends of the Earth (1990) 322 copies, 1 review
Millroy the Magician (1993) 311 copies, 7 reviews
Chicago Loop (1991) 288 copies
Blinding Light (2005) 287 copies, 4 reviews
A Dead Hand (2009) 279 copies, 16 reviews
The London Embassy (1982) 276 copies, 4 reviews
Picture Palace (1978) 276 copies, 2 reviews
Saint Jack (1973) 270 copies, 6 reviews
The Consul's File (1977) 260 copies, 3 reviews
On the Plain of Snakes: A Mexican Journey (2019) 241 copies, 6 reviews
The Stranger at the Palazzo d'Oro (2004) 239 copies, 3 reviews
The Best American Travel Writing 2001 (2001) — Editor — 235 copies, 1 review
Half Moon Street: Two Short Novels (1984) 226 copies, 1 review
Patagonia Revisited (1986) 210 copies, 6 reviews
Theroux: Collected Stories (1997) 194 copies, 1 review
World's End and Other Stories (1980) 157 copies, 3 reviews
Figures in a Landscape: People and Places (2018) 147 copies, 2 reviews
Mother Land (2017) 143 copies, 6 reviews
The Black House (1974) 139 copies, 2 reviews
Doctor Slaughter (1984) 113 copies, 4 reviews
Down the Yangtze (1995) 113 copies, 2 reviews
Mr. Bones: Twenty Stories (2014) 108 copies, 4 reviews
Jungle Lovers (1971) — Author — 108 copies, 2 reviews
Sailing Through China (1983) 101 copies, 4 reviews
Sinning with Annie (1972) 100 copies, 1 review
The Greenest Island (1995) 99 copies, 1 review
Girls at Play (1969) 94 copies
Burma Sahib (2024) 91 copies, 5 reviews
Under the Wave at Waimea (2021) 87 copies, 6 reviews
A Christmas Card (1978) 87 copies, 3 reviews
Fong and the Indians (1968) 82 copies
The Bad Angel Brothers: A Novel (2022) 66 copies, 4 reviews
The Mosquito Coast [1986 film] (1986) — Original Author — 64 copies, 1 review
Murder in Mount Holly (2011) 59 copies, 1 review
London Snow (Puffin Books) (1980) 50 copies
Waldo (1967) 48 copies
Dr. Demarr (1990) 37 copies, 1 review
Travelers' Tales GREECE : True Stories (2000) — Contributor — 31 copies
Slow Trains to Simla (1996) 29 copies, 2 reviews
The Collected Short Novels (1998) 25 copies
Poems for Travellers (2019) 15 copies
The Cold World 10 copies
Dispatches D1: In America (1656) 5 copies
Grenzeloos (1999) 4 copies
The White Man's Burden (1987) 4 copies
Action 3 copies
O Outro Lado do Paraíso (2015) 3 copies
Leper Colony 1 copy
El geólogo (2023) 1 copy
Camp Echo (2019) 1 copy
The Furies 1 copy
VolPension 1 copy
Vakantieverhalen — Contributor — 1 copy
The Widow 1 copy

Associated Works

The Secret Agent (1907) — Introduction, some editions — 6,636 copies, 100 reviews
The Sheltering Sky (1949) — Introduction, some editions — 4,359 copies, 80 reviews
The Comedians (1966) — Introduction, some editions — 2,713 copies, 44 reviews
What Maisie Knew (1897) — Editor, some editions — 2,147 copies, 42 reviews
The Worst Journey in the World (1922) — Introduction, some editions — 1,920 copies, 55 reviews
Ali and Nino (1937) — Afterword, some editions — 964 copies, 48 reviews
The Nigger of the Narcissus (1897) — Introduction, some editions — 934 copies, 11 reviews
Cape Cod (1865) — Introduction, some editions — 782 copies, 9 reviews
Birthday Stories (2002) — Contributor — 457 copies, 5 reviews
Telling Tales (2004) — Contributor — 346 copies, 2 reviews
Bad Trips (1991) — Contributor — 233 copies, 6 reviews
Granta 84: Over There: How America Sees the World (2004) — Contributor — 229 copies, 1 review
Sudden Fiction International: Sixty Short-Short Stories (1989) — Contributor — 213 copies
The Best American Travel Writing 2008 (2008) — Contributor — 211 copies
The Best American Essays 1994 (1994) — Contributor — 182 copies
I Should Have Stayed Home: The Worst Trips of the Great Writers (1994) — Contributor — 181 copies, 5 reviews
Granta 88: Mothers (2004) — Contributor — 164 copies, 1 review
Granta 29: New World (1989) — Contributor — 153 copies, 1 review
Murder & Other Acts of Literature (1997) — Contributor — 149 copies, 2 reviews
Granta 61: The Sea (1998) — Contributor — 148 copies
Granta 80: The Group (2002) — Contributor — 147 copies, 1 review
Granta 48: Africa (1994) — Contributor — 145 copies, 4 reviews
Granta 69: The Assassin (2000) — Contributor — 127 copies
Granta 44: The Last Place on Earth (1993) — Contributor — 126 copies, 1 review
Granta 75: Brief Encounters (2001) — Contributor — 125 copies, 1 review
Granta 53: News (1996) — Contributor — 124 copies, 1 review
The Best American Travel Writing 2012 (2012) — Contributor — 117 copies, 2 reviews
Granta 40: The Womanizer (1992) — Contributor — 115 copies, 3 reviews
The Norton Book of Travel (1987) — Contributor — 112 copies, 1 review
Heart of the Land: Essays on Last Great Places (1995) — Contributor — 107 copies
The Best American Travel Writing 2016 (2016) — Contributor — 103 copies, 3 reviews
Granta 114: Aliens (2011) — Contributor — 96 copies
Granta 10: Travel Writing (1984) — Contributor — 89 copies
Great American Mystery Stories of the 20th Century (1989) — Contributor — 76 copies
It Occurs to Me That I Am America: New Stories and Art (2018) — Contributor — 75 copies, 1 review
The Oxford Book of Travel Stories (1996) — Contributor — 74 copies, 1 review
Anonymous Sex (2022) — Contributor — 69 copies, 5 reviews
The Best American Magazine Writing 2007 (2007) — Contributor — 61 copies, 1 review
Oxtravels: Meetings with Remarkable Travel Writers (2011) — Contributor — 57 copies, 3 reviews
Too Late to Turn Back (1938) — Introduction, some editions — 56 copies, 1 review
Literary Traveller: An Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction (1994) — Contributor — 54 copies, 1 review
Cape Cod Stories: Tales from Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard (1996) — Contributor — 52 copies, 5 reviews
Realms of Darkness (1985) — Contributor — 45 copies, 1 review
The Oxford Book of English Love Stories (1996) — Contributor — 37 copies
The Best American Magazine Writing 2011 (2011) — Contributor — 36 copies, 1 review
National Geographic Magazine 1984 v165 #6 June (1984) — Contributor — 34 copies, 1 review
Edge (2004) — Contributor — 32 copies
Exotic Postcards: The Lure of Distant Lands (2007) — Introduction — 32 copies
National Geographic Magazine 1989 v176 #3 September (1989) — Contributor — 27 copies
Sail Away: Stories of Escaping to Sea (2001) — Contributor — 26 copies
National Geographic Magazine 1988 v173 #3 March (1988) — Contributor — 26 copies, 1 review
Wonders: Writings and Drawings for the Child in Us All (1980) — Contributor — 19 copies
Italie reisverhalen (2001) — Contributor — 18 copies
Naar huis (1994) — Contributor — 16 copies
Travelers' Tales CENTRAL AMERICA : True Stories (2002) — Contributor — 16 copies
Visions of America (1600) — Foreword, some editions — 13 copies, 4 reviews
The Playboy Book of Short Stories (1995) — Contributor — 11 copies
Best Detective Stories of the Year - 1978 (1978) — Contributor — 8 copies
Op reis met... — Contributor — 6 copies
Bruin's Midnight Reader (2021) — Contributor, some editions — 3 copies
Best Detective Stories 1980 (1980) — Contributor — 3 copies
Mexico reisverhalen — Contributor — 2 copies
The best of Playboy fiction, Volume 7 (1997) — Contributor — 1 copy

Tagged

20th century (433) adventure (304) Africa (602) American (269) American literature (463) Antarctica (185) anthology (360) Asia (369) British literature (158) China (402) classic (203) classics (239) ebook (173) England (191) English literature (253) espionage (171) essays (434) exploration (188) fiction (4,377) Folio Society (154) Granta (303) history (234) India (228) Kindle (169) literature (704) memoir (424) non-fiction (1,765) novel (906) Paul Theroux (194) railroads (265) read (392) short stories (500) South America (171) to-read (1,887) trains (369) travel (4,541) travel writing (434) travelogue (235) unread (309) USA (169)

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Reviews

I feel that I have grown old with Paul Theroux, and in this book, for the first time he really acknowledges his age. There is some wisdom in his return to the place he became a man, but equally frustrating. Overall, I appreciate how he cuts through things.

I was drawn to this book, because I did a similar journey in the other direction a year after him. In a way I felt that we were comparing notes.
 
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iamnader | 57 other reviews | Jul 6, 2024 |
A fictionalized account of author George Orwell's experience as a young policeman in Burma and the experiences that influenced him to become a writer. While it started a little slow, interest grew as the story progresses and moves to a conclusion. Gave a very real "sense of place" and what it was like to be there during the colonial period. A recommended read for those interested in experiencing this time and place.
 
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jspurdy | 4 other reviews | May 29, 2024 |
An enjoyable novel in which the reader steps inside the mind and world of a young Etonian sent out to Mandalay and the Burmese countryside of the 1920s to dole out justice as a policeman and representative of the British Empire. It is supposedly George Orwell, but we can forget that and take it as fictional considering how much of this is fictional elaboration. Lovely descriptions of the Burmese world of pagodas and wetlands and rivers and villages. It is fascinating to visit a world where the British had the self-belief to think they could administer a land so distant and culturally alien to their own for the benefit of the locals. I will have to read Orwell's own novel Burmese Days next.… (more)
 
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Tom.Wilson | 4 other reviews | May 27, 2024 |
Travel book is one of my favorite genres but as big as his reputation is, Theroux is not one of my favorite travel writers. In fact, I doubt I will read any more by him. I read his book about Patagonia some years ago and was surprised at how arrogant and negative he was. He didn't like any place he went. How did he get to be such a famous and popular travel writer? This book was no better. Oh, he writes well, but I don't enjoy his arrogance, and what is the point of traveling or reading about someone's travels if the traveler doesn't like any of the places he visits? I think what bothered me the most was his repeated statement that he was not a tourist; he was a traveler. Well, a Mediterranean cruise ship does not a traveler make. It makes for a tourist. He rarely stayed in any place for more than a day. That also makes for tourist. He did manage to speak to some interesting people (writers and dignitaries to whom he had some entree) but mostly he talked to taxi drivers. No, I doubt I will be reading any more Theroux. The best parts of the book were the writers and other books he mentioned. I made a note of several of them for future reading. The man may be arrogant and negative, but he is no fool.… (more)
 
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dvoratreis | 15 other reviews | May 22, 2024 |

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Statistics

Works
114
Also by
69
Members
29,887
Popularity
#671
Rating
½ 3.7
Reviews
611
ISBNs
1,039
Languages
21
Favorited
91

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