Mr. Bones

      Paul Theroux
Mr. Bones

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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    My Other Life

      Paul Theroux
My Other Life

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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    Blinding Light

      Paul Theroux
Blinding Light

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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    Millroy the Magician

      Paul Theroux
Millroy the Magician

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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    A Dead Hand

      Paul Theroux
A Dead Hand

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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    Sir Vidia's Shadow

      Paul Theroux
Sir Vidia's Shadow

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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    Fresh Air Fiend

      Paul Theroux
Fresh Air Fiend

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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    Murder in Mount Holly

      Paul Theroux
Murder in Mount Holly

Paul Theroux, one of the world’s most popular authors, both for his travel books and his fiction, has produced an off-beat story of 1960s weirdos unlike anything he has ever written.

During the time of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency, Herbie Gneiss is forced to leave college to get a job. His income from the Kant-Brake toy factory, which manufactures military toys for children, keeps his chocolate-loving mother from starvation. Mr. Gibbon, a patriotic veteran of three wars, also works at Kant-Brake. When Herbie is drafted, Mr. Gibbon falls in love with Herbie’s mother and they move in together at Miss Ball’s rooming house. Since Herbie is fighting for his country, Mr. Gibbon feels that he, too, should do something for his country and convinces Miss Ball and Mrs. Gneiss to join him in the venture. They decide to rob the Mount Holly Trust Company because it is managed by a small dark man who is probably a communist. There are some complications. Combine...

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    Dark Star Safari

      Paul Theroux
Dark Star Safari

Dark Star Safari is Paul Theroux's now classic account of a journey from Cairo to Cape Town.

Travelling across bush and desert, down rivers and across lakes, and through country after country, Theroux visits some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth, and some of the most dangerous. It is a journey of discovery and of rediscovery — of the unknown and the unexpected, but also of people and places he knew as a young and optimistic teacher forty years before.

Safari in Swahili simply means "journey", and this is the ultimate safari. It is Theroux in his element — a trip where chance encounter is everything, where departure and arrival times are an irrelevance, and where contentment can be found balancing on the top of a truck in the middle of nowhere.

Praise for Paul Theroux:

'Theroux's work remains the standard by which other travel writing must be judged' Observer

'One...


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    The Lower River

      Paul Theroux
The Lower River

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.

Review

"What we have finally is a relentless tale of suspense adroitly presented. Theroux’s practiced hand in the matter of dialogue and scene-making is strongly in evidence. No one will nod off reading The Lower River...It’s a particular kind of frightening fun to watch evil flexing and spreading its leathery wings, and really feel it. The Lower River gives the reader just that." -- The New York Review of Books

  " ‘The Lower River’ is riveting in its storytelling and provocative in its depiction of this African backwater, infusing both with undertones of slavery and cannibalism, savagery and disease. Theroux exposes paternalism in Hock’s Peace Corps nostalgia, his ‘sense of responsibility, almost a conceit of ownership.’ That sense of responsibility, and Hock’s modest contribution to the welfare of a people he was once genuinely fond of, has been replaced by a harsher mode of operation, run by coldhearted contractors living apart in impregnable compounds. ‘I have to leave,’ Hock pleads. ‘I’m going home.’ To which the village headman replies, with chilling menace, ‘This is your home, father.’ " -- New York Times Book Review

"In this hypnotically compelling fiction, [Theroux] wrestles with questions of good intentions and harsh reality...A gripping and vital novel that reads like Conrad or Greene—in short, a classic." -- Booklist, starred

"Theroux successfully grafts keen observations about the efficacy of international aid and the nature of nostalgia to a swift-moving narrative through a beautifully described landscape." -- PW, starred

"Extraordinary...The suspense is enriched by Theroux’s loving attention to local customs and his subversive insights...Theroux has recaptured the sweep and density of his 1981 masterpiece The Mosquito Coast. That’s some achievement." -- Kirkus, starred

"Theroux's latest can be read as straight-up suspense, but those unafraid of following him into the heart of darkness will be rewarded with much to discuss in this angry, ironic depiction of misguided philanthropy in a country dense with natural resources yet unable to feed its people." -- Library Journal

About the Author

PAUL THEROUX is the author of many highly acclaimed books. His novels include The Lower River and The Mosquito Coast, and his renowned travel books include Ghost Train to the Eastern Star and Dark Star Safari. He lives in Hawaii and on Cape Cod.


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    The Last Train to Zona Verde

      Paul Theroux
The Last Train to Zona Verde

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 Pillars of Hercules

      Paul Theroux
The Pillars of Hercules

"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 collected stories

      Paul Theroux
The collected stories

Part I World's End : World's end -- Zombies -- The imperial icehouse -- Yard sale -- Algebra -- The English adventure -- After the war -- Words are deeds -- White lies -- Clapham junction -- The odd-job man -- Portrait of a lady -- Part II Sinning with Annie : The prison diary of Jack Faust -- A real Russian ikon -- A political romance -- Sinning with Annie -- A love knot -- What have you done to our Leo? -- Memories of a curfew -- Biographical notes for four American poets -- Hayseed -- A deed without a name -- You make me mad -- Dog days -- A burial at Surabaya -- Part III Jungle Bells : Polvo -- Low tide -- Jungle bells -- Warm dogs -- Part IV Diplomatic Relations (i): The Consul's File : The consul's file -- Dependent wife -- White Christmas -- Pretend I'm not here -- Loser wins -- The flower of Malaya -- The autumn dog -- Dengue Fever -- The South Malaysia Pineapple Growers' Association -- The butterfly of the Laruts -- The tennis court -- Reggie Woo -- Conspirators -- The Johore murders -- The tiger's suit -- Coconut gatherer -- The last colonial -- Triad -- Diplomatic relations -- Dear William -- Part V Diplomatic Relations (ii): The London Embassy : Volunteer speaker -- Reception -- Namesake -- An English unofficial rose -- Children -- Charlie Hogle's earring -- The exile -- Tomb with a view -- The man on the Clapham omnibus -- Sex and its substitutes -- The honorary Siberian -- Gone west -- A little flame -- Fury -- Neighbors -- Fighting talk -- The winfield wallpaper -- Dancing on the radio -- Memo

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    The Tao of Travel

      Paul Theroux
The Tao of Travel

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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    Picture Palace

      Paul Theroux
Picture Palace

"Never a dull moment . . . Vivid and deft." — New York Review of Books
Maude Pratt is a legend, a photographer famous for her cutting-edge techniques and uncanny ability to strip away the masks of the world's most recognizable celebrities and luminaries. Now in her seventies, Maude has been in the public eye since the 1920s, and her unparalleled portfolio includes intimate portraits of Gertrude Stein, Hemingway, and Picasso. While Maude possesses a singular capability to expose the inner lives of her subjects, she is obsessive about protecting her own, hiding her deepest secret in the "picture palace" of her memory. But when a young archivist comes to stay in Maude's Cape Cod home and begins sorting through her fifty years of work, Maude is forced to face her past and come to terms, at last, with the tragedies she's buried.
"A breathtaking tale . . . Intangibly, intricately brilliant." — Telegraph (UK)


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    Kowloon Tong

      Paul Theroux
Kowloon Tong

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.


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    Riding the Iron Rooster

      Paul Theroux
Riding the Iron Rooster

From Publishers Weekly

Theroux (The Old Patagonian Express, The Great Railway Bazaar) spent a year exploring China by train, and his impressions about what has and has not changed in the country, as gathered in hundreds of conversations with Chinese citizens, make up a large portion of the book. The Cultural Revolution and the vandalism of the Red Guards have left scars on both the land and the people. Mao's death brought a collective sigh of relief from the population; reforms brought about under Deng Xiaoping have generally been welcomed. Still, this is not a political book. Whether describing his dealings with a rock-hard bureaucracy, musing over the Chinese flirtation with capitalismthey've "turned the free market into a flea market"or commenting on the process of traveling, Theroux conducts the reader through this enormous country with wisdom, humor and a crusty warmth. Along the way are anecdotes about classic Chinese pornography (forbidden to the citizenry, but all right for "foreign friends"); 35-below-zero weather; the Chinese penchant for restructuring nature; and the omnipresent thermos of hot water for making tea. The last chapter, "The Train to Tibet," deals with the extremes to which the Chinese have gone in their attempts to subjugate the Tibetan people. Theroux develops an understanding of China through his travels, but he falls in love with Tibet. As in his previous works, he gives the reader much to relish and think about. BOMC featured selection.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Theroux's penchant for train travel is well knownhis Great Railway Bazaar and The Old Patagonian Express are modern travel classics. On his latest jaunt he takes almost a year to crisscross China, traveling on 40 trains from the southern tropics to the wastelands of the Gobi in western Xinjiang to the dense metropolises of Shanghai, Beijing, and Canton. What emerges is a curious melange of ancient and modern: while some things are literally changing overnight, the Chinese still manufacture spittoons and steam engines. For Theroux, traveling is both about peopletheir thoughts, customs, and peculiaritiesand a form of autobiography, and here we learn as much about his own quirks and fancies as we do about the intriguing world of contemporary China. Laurence Hull, Cannon Memorial Lib., Concord, N.C.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.


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    Deep South

      Paul Theroux
Deep South

One of the most acclaimed travel writers of our time turns his unflinching eye on an American South too often overlooked
Paul Theroux has spent fifty years crossing the globe, adventuring in the exotic, seeking the rich history and folklore of the far away. Now, for the first time, in his tenth travel book, Theroux explores a piece of America — the Deep South. He finds there a paradoxical place, full of incomparable music, unparalleled cuisine, and yet also some of the nation's worst schools, housing, and unemployment rates. It's these parts of the South, so often ignored, that have caught Theroux's keen traveler's eye.

On road trips spanning four seasons, wending along rural highways, Theroux visits gun shows and small-town churches, laborers in Arkansas, and parts of Mississippi where they still call the farm up the road "the plantation." He talks to mayors and social workers, writers and reverends, the working poor and farming families — the...


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