In the spirit of his much-loved Sunrise with Seamonsters and Fresh Air Fiend, Paul Theroux’s latest collection of essays leads the reader through a dazzling array of sights, characters, and experiences, as Theroux applies his signature searching curiosity to a life lived as much in reading as on the road. This writerly tour-de-force features a satisfyingly varied selection of topics that showcase Theroux’s sheer versatility as a writer. Travel essays take us to Ecuador, Zimbabwe, and Hawaii, to name a few. Gems of literary criticism reveal fascinating depth in the work of Henry David Thoreau, Graham Greene, Joseph Conrad, and Hunter Thompson. And in a series of breathtakingly personal profiles, we take a helicopter ride with Elizabeth Taylor, go surfing with Oliver Sacks, eavesdrop on the day-to-day life of a Manhattan dominatrix, and explore New York with Robin Williams.
An extended mediation on the craft of writing binds together this wide-ranging collection, along with Theroux’s constant quest for the authentic in a person or in a place.
Desde niño, Paul Theroux no es capaz de escuchar el silbido de un tren sin sentir un deseo imperioso de subirse a él. Ahora bien, al contrario que el viajero tradicional, que utiliza este medio de transporte de forma meramente utilitaria para llegar a su destino, lo que a Theroux le interesa son los ferrocarriles mismos. Quiere conocerlos todos, y para ello se propone ir desde la londinense estación de Victoria hasta Tokio saltando a todos los que encuentre a su paso.
«En la mejor tradición del viaje sin otro propósito que la diversión y la aventura. Una lectura compulsiva.»
«Divertido, sardónico, extremadamente sensible... y muy ameno.»
The New York Times
Ninety-nine years of colonial rule are ending as the British prepare to hand over Hong Kong to China. Betty Mullard and her son, Bunt, have lived here for years, mostly keeping apart from their foreign surroundings, except for some indulgence in the local food, or in Bunt’s case, the local girls. The handover is not a concern for them—until the mysterious Mr. Hung from the mainland offers them a large sum for their family business.
They refuse. But they fail to realize that Mr. Hung is unlike the other Chinese people 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.
“A compact, provocative gem of a novel” (The Boston Globe), from an award-winning author acclaimed for both his fiction and his travel memoirs—including Deep South, The Great Railway Bazaar, and The Mosquito Coast—Kowloon Tong was praised by Bette Bao Lord in The Washington Post Book World as “a taut, illuminating story that transcends its timely subject.”
This startling, far-reaching book captures the tumult, ambition, hardship, and serenity that mark today’s India. Theroux’s Westerners risk venturing far beyond the subcontinent’s well-worn paths to discover woe or truth or peace. A middle-aged couple on vacation veers heedlessly from idyll to chaos. A buttoned-up Boston lawyer finds succor in Mumbai’s reeking slums. And a young woman befriends an elephant in Bangalore.
We also meet Indian characters as singular as they are reflective of the country’s subtle ironies: an executive who yearns to become a holy beggar, an earnest young striver whose personality is rewired by acquiring an American accent, a miracle-working guru, and others.
As ever, Theroux’s portraits of people and places explode stereotypes to exhilarating effect. The Elephanta Suite urges us toward a fresh, compelling, and often inspiring notion of what India is, and what it can do to those who try to lose—or find—themselves there.
No puedes transitar el camino hasta que tú mismo te conviertes en el camino.
Paul Theroux celebra cincuenta años de viajar por el mundo y reúne lo mejor de su obra y los pasajes más memorables de aquellos autores que lo han formado como lector y viajero: Vladimir Nabokov, Samuel Johnson, Evelyn Waugh, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Graham Greene y DH Lawrence entre otros se dan cita en estas páginas. Guía filosófica y libro de viajes a la vez, El Tao del viajero es una obra para regalar y atesorar, para leer una y otra vez, como libro de cabecera que marca el camino espiritual del viajero que todos llevamos dentro.
La crítica ha dicho:
«Theroux sigue siendo ese autor que atrae de un modo adictivo, incansablemente perceptivo y curioso.»
The Washington Post
«Siga a Theroux dondequiera que vaya, se verá sorprendido y cautivado...»
Globe and Mail
«Paul Theroux: monumento vivo de la prosa de viajes.»
«Lectura perfecta para el verano que se le avecina a quien quiera viajar; a quien, queriendo, no pueda; y a quien, precisamente por no querer o no poder, está dispuesto a emprender un viaje imaginario.»
Enrique de Hériz, El Periódico de Catalunya
«Paul Theroux aúna sabiduría e ironía. El Tao del viajero es una guía escueta y fundamental... Un placer viajar por sus palabras.»
Laura Revuelta, ABC Cultural
Years after a pandemic sweeps across Europe, wiping out its all-white population, a pilgrim returns to his Polish birthplace in search of the only other non-white kid he knew at school...
An inscrutable hotelier loses his composure when a secret passage is discovered in his hotel, leading to a mysterious room and a previously hidden existence...
Born in what is now Ukraine to Polish parents, naturalised as a British citizen, and schooled on the high seas of international commerce, Joseph Conrad was a true citizen of the world. His novels bore witness to the dehumanising repercussions of empire, explored a world in which state-sponsored terrorism ruined individuals' lives, and pioneered complex narrative structures and subjective points-of-view in what was to become the first wave of literary modernism.
To mark his 160th birthday, 14 authors and critics from Britain, Poland and elsewhere have come together to celebrate his legacy with new pieces of fiction and non-fiction. Conrad felt that the writer's task was to offer 'that glimpse of truth for which you have forgotten to ask.' In an age of increasing isolationism, these celebrations remind you of the value of such glimpses.
When Jerry Delfont, an aimless, blocked travel writer, receives a letter from an American philanthropist, Mrs. Merrill Unger, he is intrigued. She informs him about a scandal, involving an Indian friend of her son’s. 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?
Jerry 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.
From the author of The Great Railway Bazaar, A Dead Hand is offers “an abundance of richly drawn characters . . . Theroux has used his travel writer’s eye and ear and his novelist’s imagination to craft a tense, disturbing, funny and horrifying book around all of them” (San Francisco Chronicle).
“The real pleasure is Theroux’s talent for rendering place and his irreverent comments on everything from the British royals to pop culture, aging, and yes, the venerable Mother Teresa.” —Publishers Weekly