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Paul Theroux

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August 16, 2013 | By Christopher Reynolds
It's been half a century since Paul Theroux showed up as a fresh-faced Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi, Africa. It's been 38 years since “The Great Railway Bazaar” made his name as a travel writer, and about 11 since he traveled overland from Cairo to Cape Town for the book “Dark Star Safari.” His newest work is “The Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari,” which begins in Cape Town and winds up amid menace and melancholy...
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NEWS
August 16, 2013 | By Christopher Reynolds
It's been half a century since Paul Theroux showed up as a fresh-faced Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi, Africa. It's been 38 years since “The Great Railway Bazaar” made his name as a travel writer, and about 11 since he traveled overland from Cairo to Cape Town for the book “Dark Star Safari.” His newest work is “The Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari,” which begins in Cape Town and winds up amid menace and melancholy...
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 16, 2012 | By Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times
The Lower River A Novel Paul Theroux Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 336 pp., $25 When Ellis Hock's wife gives him a smartphone for his 62nd birthday, he shrugs it off, saying he's fine with his clamshell-style one. To bring Hock, the third-generation proprietor of a men's clothing shop in Medford, Mass., up to date, his wife of 30-some years sets up the smartphone for him. Downloading his email, she discovers piles of warm, intimate...
ENTERTAINMENT
July 16, 2012 | By Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times
The Lower River A Novel Paul Theroux Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 336 pp., $25 When Ellis Hock's wife gives him a smartphone for his 62nd birthday, he shrugs it off, saying he's fine with his clamshell-style one. To bring Hock, the third-generation proprietor of a men's clothing shop in Medford, Mass., up to date, his wife of 30-some years sets up the smartphone for him. Downloading his email, she discovers piles of warm, intimate...
ENTERTAINMENT
January 27, 2010 | By Tim Rutten
Paul Theroux's contribution to the revival of contemporary travel writing is so seminal that casual readers may be inclined to forget that most of his rather astonishingly prodigious output has been literary fiction. "A Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta" is his 29th fictional work and his 44th book, which isn't bad for a 43-year career. The subtitle suggests that Theroux intends this new volume to be considered as a novel of crime and detection, which makes it his first venture into that genre.
BOOKS
July 14, 1991 | Michael Harris
Parker Jagoda is a Chicago developer who specializes in gutting and renovating old buildings while leaving their exterior brickwork intact. He has done the same thing with his life. The facade still stands--marriage, baby, BMW, a fastidious health-food diet, the ability to be shocked by Robert Mapplethorpe's photos--but Jagoda's interior has been converted into a singles bar.
BOOKS
December 3, 1989 | CHARLES SOLOMON
At a time when airlines emphasize the speed with which they transport people, Paul Theroux argues that traveling should be an end in itself: "We have become used to life being a series of arrivals or departures, of triumphs and failures, with nothing noteworthy in between." His descriptions of the Latin American railways--both the gleaming modern marvels and the dilapidated wrecks--are vivid and evocative.
BOOKS
October 20, 1996 | Martin Rubin, Martin Rubin is a writer and critic living in Pasadena
This is a problematic book, a tricky book, an infuriating book. It is also frequently amusing and highly absorbing. In short, a lot of fun to read but hard to penetrate at a deeper level. And it is necessary to look beneath the surface, for "My Other Life" is obviously not designed solely to entertain, well though it does that. Just what is Paul Theroux up to this time? He tells us this is a novel. Also, that it is an "imaginary memoir."
BOOKS
June 11, 1989 | Andrew Jaffe, Jaffe reported from Africa for Newsweek in the 1970s. He now lives in New York, where he edits an advertising magazine and struggles with his own first novel about Africa. and
Paul Theroux has written a shelf full of books--25 in all--and unlike Hemingway and Steinbeck, his writing has improved, not diminished with age, as he lets his imagination replay the many adventures of his own wide-ranging life. The result in "My Secret History" is a wonderful book--no doubt spiced with some elements of autobiography--about the haunting guilt of a young man born Catholic to a family of modest means in suburban Boston as he grows into adulthood and sets off in search of sexual adventure.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 26, 2007 | Adam Langer, Special to The Times
My one personal encounter with Paul Theroux occurred in 2000 at a luncheon celebrating the publication of "Fresh Air Fiend," a collection of his travel writing. I was standing with half a dozen others when an ebullient Theroux bounded over, placed a hand on someone's shoulder, then, without any sort of greeting or other preamble, asked our group, "Have you ever been to Seville?" Silence ensued.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 27, 2010
A Dead Hand A Crime in Calcutta: A Novel Paul Theroux Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 280 pp., $26
ENTERTAINMENT
January 27, 2010 | By Tim Rutten
Paul Theroux's contribution to the revival of contemporary travel writing is so seminal that casual readers may be inclined to forget that most of his rather astonishingly prodigious output has been literary fiction. "A Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta" is his 29th fictional work and his 44th book, which isn't bad for a 43-year career. The subtitle suggests that Theroux intends this new volume to be considered as a novel of crime and detection, which makes it his first venture into that genre.
OPINION
September 20, 2008
Re "Thoreau's moose," Opinion, Sept. 14 Thank you, Paul Theroux, for reminding us of yet another salient difference between Republicans and Democrats -- the love of hunting as sport. I wonder, has Palin read my favorite of all Dr. Seuss books, "Thidwick, the Big-Hearted Moose," to her children, or is this one that she would-if-she-could have removed from the Wasilla library shelves? To think that the ability to "field-dress" a moose is evidence of ability to lead and worthy of cheers is mind-boggling.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 20, 2008 | Tim Rutten, Times Staff Writer
In 1973, an expatriate American novelist possessed of great ambitions, pretty good reviews and slender means set out from London's Victoria Station to circumnavigate the great Eurasian land mass, mostly by train. Two years later, he published an account of that epic journey, "The Great Railway Bazaar." The 32-year-old novelist was Paul Theroux, and it overstates nothing to say that his book turned the page and set down the beginnings of a new chapter in one of literature's oldest continuous genres: travel writing.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 26, 2007 | Adam Langer, Special to The Times
My one personal encounter with Paul Theroux occurred in 2000 at a luncheon celebrating the publication of "Fresh Air Fiend," a collection of his travel writing. I was standing with half a dozen others when an ebullient Theroux bounded over, placed a hand on someone's shoulder, then, without any sort of greeting or other preamble, asked our group, "Have you ever been to Seville?" Silence ensued.
BOOKS
March 11, 2007 | Steve Almond, Steve Almond is the author of the forthcoming essay collection "(Not That You Asked)."
AMERICA as a source of European literary fascination dates back at least as far as Alexis de Tocqueville, who spent nine months traversing the country in 1831, interviewing everyone from presidents to prisoners on his way to compiling "Democracy in America." Louis Theroux's aims in "The Call of the Weird" are a bit more humble. The book documents his ramblings through a variety of fringe American subcultures, each more dismal than the last.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 1, 2003 | Merle Rubin, Special to The Times
The British are thinking of imposing a stiff tax on air travel: probably no coincidence in a country where each year hordes of over-privileged secondary school graduates delay embarking on their university education to spend a so-called "gap year" tooling around exotic locales, getting bitten by snakes, devoured by crocodiles and generally making a nuisance of themselves -- in short, slumming on a global scale.
BOOKS
March 20, 1994 | Terry Tempest Williams, Terry Tempest Williams' new book, The Unspoken Word (Pantheon), is due out in April
"My name is Millroy and I am a messenger, he said. He leaned his wide bright face into the bigness of the TV screen. I was once so fat I was imprisoned in the darkness of my body--trapped in my own fatness. Every day was a living hell, and I suffered just like you. But the Lord spoke to me saying, 'Change your ways, Fatso!' " So begins one of Millroy the Magician's evangelical diatribes in Paul Theroux's new novel.
BOOKS
July 3, 2005 | Tom Miller, Tom Miller is the author of many books, including "The Panama Hat Trail: A Journey From South America," "Trading With the Enemy: A Yankee Travels Through Castro's Cuba" and "Jack Ruby's Kitchen Sink: Offbeat Travels Through America's Southwest," winner of the 2001 Lowell Thomas Award for Best Travel Book.
Slade STEADMAN'S last book was so enormously successful that it spawned a movie, a television series and a booming line of high-end travel accessories. The fictional travel writer became a brand, licensed and merchandised, and when he began to refuse the public appearances he had so relished earlier, "he was seen as grumpy, uncooperative, a snob." The book was called "Trespassing," an account of a year traveling the world without benefit of a passport.
BOOKS
February 8, 2004 | Michael Harris, Michael Harris is a regular contributor to Book Review.
In one of the four long stories in his new collection, "The Stranger at the Palazzo d'Oro," Paul Theroux indirectly gives us his artistic credo. The protagonist of "An African Story" is Lourens Prinsloo, a 60-ish South African writer who loses his farm and family because of a disastrous affair with a black woman.
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