Paul Theroux’s best-selling Dark Star Safari chronicled his epic overland voyage from Cairo to Cape Town, providing an insider’s look at modern Africa. Now, with The Last Train to Zona Verde, he returns to discover how both he and Africa have changed in the ensuing years.
Traveling alone, Theroux sets out from Cape Town, going north through South Africa, Namibia, then into Angola, encountering a world increasingly removed from tourists’ itineraries and the hopes of postcolonial independence movements. After covering nearly 2,500 arduous miles, he cuts short his journey, a decision he chronicles with unsparing honesty in a chapter titled “What Am I Doing Here?” Vivid, witty, and beautifully evocative, The Last Train to Zona Verde is a fitting final African adventure from the writer whose gimlet eye and effortless prose have brought the world to generations of readers.
"Everything is under scrutiny in Paul Theroux’s latest travel book—not just the people, landscapes and sociopolitical realities of the countries he visits, but his own motivations for going where he goes . . . His readers can only be grateful." — Seattle Times
“If this book is proof, age has not slowed Theroux or encouraged him to rest on his achievements . . . Gutsy, alert to Africa's struggles, its injustices and history.” — San Francisco Chronicle
Paul Theroux has spent the past fifty years roaming the globe, describing his encounters with remote people and far-flung places in ten best-selling travel books. Now, for the first time, he explores a part of America—the Deep South. Setting out on a winding road trip, Theroux discovers a region of architectural and artistic wonders, incomparable music, mouth-watering cuisine—and also some of the worst schools, medical care, housing, and unemployment rates in the nation.
Yet, no matter where he goes, Theroux meets the unsung heroes of the South, the people who, despite it all, never left, and also those who found their way home and devoted their lives to rebuilding a place they could never live without.
“Paul Theroux’s latest travel memoir had me at hello . . . Theroux pulls no punches in his quest to understand this overlooked margin of American life.” — Boston Globe
“A vivid contemporary portrait of rural life . . . a deeply affecting personal account.” — Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Half a lifetime ago, Paul Theroux virtually invented the modern travel narrative by recounting his grand tour by train through Asia. In the three decades since, the world he recorded in that book has undergone phenomenal change. The Soviet Union has collapsed and China has risen; India booms while Burma smothers under dictatorship; Vietnam flourishes in the aftermath of the havoc America was unleashing on it the last time Theroux passed through. And no one is better able to capture the texture, sights, smells, and sounds of that changing landscape than Theroux.
Theroux’s odyssey takes him from eastern Europe, still hung-over from communism, through tense but thriving Turkey into the Caucasus, where Georgia limps back toward feudalism while its neighbor Azerbaijan revels in oil-fueled capitalism. Theroux is firsthand witness to it all, traveling as the locals do—by stifling train, rattletrap bus, illicit taxi, and mud-caked foot—encountering adventures only he could have: from the literary (sparring with the incisive Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk) to the dissolute (surviving a week-long bender on the Trans-Siberian Railroad). And wherever he goes, his omnivorous curiosity and unerring eye for detail never fail to inspire, enlighten, inform, and entertain.
PAUL THEROUX was born in Medford, Massachusetts, in 1941 and published his first novel, Waldo, in 1967. His fiction includes The Mosquito Coast, My Secret History, My Other Life, Kowloon Tong, Blinding Light, and most recently, The Elephanta Suite. His highly acclaimed travel books include Riding the Iron Rooster, The Great Railway Bazaar, The Old Patagonian Express, Fresh Air Fiend, and Dark Star Safari. He has been the guest editor of The Best American Travel Writing and is a frequent contributor to various magazines, including The New Yorker. He lives in Hawaii and on Cape Cod.
"[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)."
"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 pleasantly tinged with malice."
--The Washington Post Book World
"THEROUX AT HIS BEST . . . An armchair trip with Theroux is sometimes dark, but always a delight."
"AS SATISFYING AS A GLASS OF COOL WINE ON A DUSTY CALABRIAN AFTERNOON . . . With his effortless writing style, observant eye, and take-no-prisoners approach, Theroux is in top form chronicling this 18-month circuit of the Mediterranean."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
A far-ranging collection of the best travel writing pieces published in 2013, collected by guest editor Paul Theroux. The Best American Travel Writing consistently includes a wide variety of pieces, illuminating the wonder, humor, fear, and exhilaration that greets all of us when we embark on a journey to a new place. Readers know that there is simply no other option when they want great travel writing.
MY SECRET HISTORY is Paul Theroux's tour de force. It is the story of Andre Parent, a writer, a world traveler, a lover of every kind of woman he chances to meet in a life as varied as a man can lead. From his days as an altar boy, to his job as a teenaged lifeguard, and then as a youth caught between the attentions of a beautiful young student and an amorous older woman. And as the boy becomes a man he turns his attention to writing, which brings him fame, and a wife, who may finally bring him to know himself. But not before he sets up his most dangerous secret life, one that any man might envy, but that could cost Andre Parent the delicate balance that makes him who he is....
Vladimir Nabokov J.R.R. Tolkien
Samuel Johnson Eudora Welty
Evelyn Waugh Isak Dinesen
Charles Dickens James Baldwin
Henry David Thoreau Pico Iyer
Mark Twain Anton Chekhov
Bruce Chatwin John McPhee
Freya Stark Peter Matthiessen
Graham Greene Ernest Hemingway
The Tao of Travel is a unique tribute to the pleasures and pains of travel in its golden age.
After eleven years as an American living in London, the renowned travel writer Paul Theroux set out to travel clockwise around the coast of Great Britain to find out what the British were really like. The result is this perceptive, hilarious record of the journey. Whether in Cornwall or Wales, Ulster or Scotland, the people he encountered along the way revealed far more of themselves than they perhaps intended to display to a stranger. Theroux captured their rich and varied conversational commentary with caustic wit and penetrating insight.
“Beneath the deceptive elegance of these stories, land mines lurk, and Theroux detonates them with gusto.” — O, the Oprah Magazine
A family watches their patriarch transform into the singing, wisecracking lead of an old-timey minstrel show. An art collector publicly destroys his most valuable pieces. Two boys stand by as their father wages war on the raccoons living under their house. In this new collection, acclaimed author Paul Theroux shows us humanity possessed, consumed by compulsive desire, 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. Bones is a stunning display of Theroux’s “fluent, faintly sinister powers of vision and imagination” (The New Yorker).
“Fans of Theroux’s fiction will be pleased to observe, in the twenty stories collected in Mr. Bones, clear evidence of how little he has mellowed over time . . . Mr. Bones is a series of characteristically dark and sharply focused snapshots from the world that Paul Theroux has observed—and invented.” — Francine Prose, New York Times Book Review
When he was a young man, Ellis Hock spent four of the best years of his life with the Peace Corps in Malawi. So when his wife of forty-two years leaves him, he decides to return to the village where he was stationed in search of the happiness he’d been missing since he left. But what he finds is not what he expected. 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 Ellis and welcome him with open arms. Soon, however, their overtures turn menacing; they demand money and refuse to let him leave the village. Is his new life an escape or a trap?
“Theroux’s bravely unsentimental novel about a region where he began his own grand career should become part of anybody’s education in the continent.”—Washington Post
“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.”—New York Times Book Review
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.
THE HOUSTON POST
Author and travel writer Paul Theroux does what no one else can: he travels to the isolated, unusual, and fascinating spots of the world, and creates an elegy to them that makes readers feel they are traveling with him. Evocative, breathtaking, intriguing, here is the armchair traveler's guide to the sites of the world he makes us feel we know.
From the Paperback edition.
Steadman 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, of trespass and trangession, and of the trappings of the writer’s life—from the fear of the blank page to the unexpected challenges of the book tour.
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 Donald E. Westlake with Abby Hoffman, add a bit of Gore Vidal at his most vitriolic, and you will have Murder in Mount Holly.
Ellis Hock siempre descartó la posibilidad de volver a África. Propietario de una tienda de ropa de caballero en un pueblo de Massachusetts, sigue soñando con su edén particular: los cuatro años que pasó en Malaui como voluntario de los Cuerpos de Paz. Cuando su mujer lo abandona, decide regresar a la aldea en la que vivió, en la remota región de Lower River, donde cree que puede recuperar la felicidad.
Sin embargo, a su llegada la realidad va a resultar muy distinta a la esperada. Pronto descubrirá la mentira y la estafa, se adentrará en el corazón de las tinieblas y su idealizado retorno se convertirá en una carrera contra la muerte.
La crítica ha dicho...
«Su última y excelente novela... Dura y áspera historia de amor y decepción.» ABC Cultural (5 estrellas)
«Una novela categórica en la que tiene lugar el combate entre el hombre y su pasado, y entre el hombre y la naturaleza. (...) Theroux en estado puro, luciendo oficio y empleándose a fondo.» Javier Aparicio Maydeu, Babelia
«Una lectura que te hace reflexionar, y a veces te incomoda. Ya no se escriben muchos libros como éste.» Andrew Ervin, San Francisco Chronicle
«Una historia salvaje e impactante del amor perdido y recuperado.» Christopher Hope, The Guardian
«El modo en que Theroux eleva la sensación de amenaza es magistral... Theroux jamás ha escrito una novela mejor que En Lower River.» Mark Sanderson, The Telegraph
«Atractiva e hipnótica... Una novela vital y apasionante que se lee como a Conrad o a Greene; en resumen, un clásico.» Keir Graff, Booklist
«Una historia compleja e inquietante con un giro que aporta intensidad... Sensual, intrigante y del todo impredecible, un thriller psicológico que se abre magistralmente a cuestiones morales de mayor alcance.» Patricia Bochi, The Washington Independent Review of Books
«Extraordinario... Theroux ha vuelto a capturar la agilidad y la densidad de su obra maestra, La costa de los mosquitos. Y no es un logro menor.» Kirkus, lectura seleccionada
«Si quiere conocer las zonas oscuras del ser humano, mejor lea a Paul Theroux.» Alfonso García Villalba, El Faro de las Letras
«Oscuro y escalofriante relato de un mundo que se ha ido de madre... Una novela tejida a base de tensión que resulta ser un examen sorprendente de la naturaleza humana y de cómo ésta ataca, de manera brutal, aquello que considera "otro".» Philip Womack, The Telegraph
«En Lower River es apasionante en su forma de narrar una historia, y provocativa en su reflejo del escenario africano.» Patrick McGrath, The New York Times
«El mejor Theroux sigue siendo ese autor que atrae de un modo adictivo, incansablemente curioso y perceptivo, resistente, dicharachero y, en ocasiones, muy divertido.» William Dalrymple, The Washington Post
«El bestiario humano raramente ha encontrado a un observador más vívido.» Time
Hace ya una década, Paul Theroux narraba su épico viaje por tierra desde El Cairo hasta Ciudad del Cabo, y nos ofrecía una visión privilegiada del África moderna. Ahora regresa para descubrir cómo han cambiado en estos años tanto él como el continente africano. Entre townships y safaris a lomos de elefantes, entre paraísos naturales, tradiciones perdidas y zonas devastadas por la guerra y la avaricia desmedida de sus gobernantes, el autor parte de Ciudad del Cabo, se dirige al norte a través de Sudáfrica y Namibia, y se adentra en Angola para tropezarse con un entorno cada vez más apartado de las rutas turísticas y de las esperanzas de los movimientos poscoloniales de independencia.
La crítica ha dicho...
«Un libro para disfrutar, más allá de una visión turística, de la mano de este maestro viajero.»
«El aclamado novelista y escritor de relatos de viajes narra su recorrido por África como turista, aventurero, pensador y crítico esperanzado. Theroux encarna el autor de viajes de pura cepa.»
«Una lectura cautivadora, escalofriante, que describe una realidad con apariencia a veces más propia de una ficción apocalíptica de alguien como Cormac McCarthy.»
Robin McKie, The Guardian
«Potente y conmovedor. Un libro fascinante.»
«Ofrece una visión iluminadora de Sudáfrica, Namibia y Angola, alejada de la complacencia del turista.»
«Su novela, con una exquisita literatura de paisajes, te adentrará en un recorrido por el sur del África más alejada de las rutas turísticas.»
The thrill and risk of pursuit and desire mark the accompanying stories of the sexual awakening and rites of passage of a Boston boyhood, the ruin of a writer in Africa, and the bewitchment of a retiree in Hawaii. This is Paul Theroux at his most allusive and wise, writing with a deep understanding of the frailties of men and boys.
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)
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
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.”
The journeys of Paul Theroux take place not only in exotic, unexpected places of the world but in the thoughts, reading, and emotions of the writer himself. A gathering of people, places, and ideas in fifty glittering pieces of gold.
Adolfo Bioy Casares
J. P. Donleavy
William Somerset Maugham
A. A. Milne
William T. Tilden
David Foster Wallace
Escritores de varias generaciones y nacionalidades -latinoamericanos, estadounidenses y europeos-, apelando al realismo o a lo fantástico, van develando a través de sus cuentos los modos en que el tenis se puede vincular con las más diversas circunstancias de la vida.
«Fabio Morábito, con su talento tan singular para desdibujar los límites entre lo posible y lo extraño, va tejiendo, en torno a la cancha de tenis, un mundo suntuoso hasta la gratuidad y delicadamente despiadado; J. P. Donleavy, por medio de su prosa desbordante y excéntrica, da cuenta de un Wimbledon en el que aún persisten las raquetas de madera y algunas glorias que ya son historia; el tenis como propiciador de una aventura inusualmente afortunada está presente en el cuento clásico de Somerset Maugham, y como epicentro de una felicidad tan perfecta que provoca indignación, en el cuento de Guillermo Martínez, atravesado por un humor inteligente y desconsiderado. La carga de discriminación y de maldad que es posible en unos correctos hombres de negocios que juegan al tenis (Paul Theroux), la cancha de tenis como testigo inalterable de un matrimonio que se derrumba (John Updike), la persistente belleza del juego de un gran tenista (William T. Tilden), el tenis como sueño imposible de un ascenso social (Daniel Moyano), las vicisitudes de una derrota tenística sin atenuantes (A. A. Milne), el interior, desesperado y feroz, de un chico talentoso para el tenis y desahuciado para la vida en sociedad (David Foster Wallace), el tenis como trasfondo de una historia galante con derivaciones indeseables (Adolfo Bioy Casares), van construyendo un mosaico de universos dispares que se revelan con el pretexto del tenis y que, a la vez, son el pretexto para revelar un juego en el que caben la pasión, la destreza, la venganza, el fracaso y la búsqueda de felicidad.»
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
To those in her Cape Cod town, Mother is an exemplar of piety, frugality, and hard work. To her husband and seven children, she is the selfish, petty tyrant of Mother Land. She excels at playing her offspring against each other. Her favorite, Angela, died in childbirth; only Angela really understands her, she tells the others. The others include the officious lawyer, Fred; the uproarious professor, Floyd; a pair of inseparable sisters whose devotion to Mother has consumed their lives; and JP, the narrator, a successful writer whose work she disparages. As she lives well past the age of 100, her brood struggles with and among themselves to shed her viselike hold on them.
Mother Land is a piercing portrait of how a parent’s narcissism impacts a family. While the particulars of this tale are unique, Theroux encapsulates with acute clarity and wisdom a circumstance that is familiar to legions of readers. And beyond offering the shock and comfort of recognition, Mother Land presents for everyone an engrossing, heartbreaking, and often funny saga of a vast family that bickers, colludes, connives, and ultimately overcomes the painful ties that bind them.
Gauging the state of affairs, he talks to Africans, aid workers, missionaries, and tourists. What results is an insightful meditation on the history, politics, and beauty of Africa and its people, and "a vivid portrayal of the secret sweetness, the hidden vitality, and the long-patient hope that lies just beneath the surface" (Rocky Mountain News). In a new postscript, Theroux recounts the dramatic events of a return to Africa to visit Zimbabwe.
With The Sex Lives of Cannibals, Maarten Troost established himself as one of the most engaging and original travel writers around. Getting Stoned with Savages again reveals his wry wit and infectious joy of discovery in a side-splittingly funny account of life in the farthest reaches of the world. After two grueling years on the island of Tarawa, battling feral dogs, machete-wielding neighbors, and a lack of beer on a daily basis, Maarten Troost was in no hurry to return to the South Pacific. But as time went on, he realized he felt remarkably out of place among the trappings of twenty-first-century America. When he found himself holding down a job—one that might possibly lead to a career—he knew it was time for he and his wife, Sylvia, to repack their bags and set off for parts unknown.
Getting Stoned with Savages tells the hilarious story of Troost’s time on Vanuatu—a rugged cluster of islands where the natives gorge themselves on kava and are still known to “eat the man.” Falling into one amusing misadventure after another, Troost struggles against typhoons, earthquakes, and giant centipedes and soon finds himself swept up in the laid-back, clothing-optional lifestyle of the islanders. When Sylvia gets pregnant, they decamp for slightly-more-civilized Fiji, a fallen paradise where the local chiefs can be found watching rugby in the house next door. And as they contend with new parenthood in a country rife with prostitutes and government coups, their son begins to take quite naturally to island living—in complete contrast to his dad.
From London to New York, Ewan and Charley chased their shadows through Europe, the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia, across the Pacific to Alaska, then down through Canada and America. But as the miles slipped beneath the tyres of their big BMWs, their troubles started. Exhaustion, injury and accidents tested their strength. Treacherous roads, unpredictable weather and turbulent politics challenged their stamina. They were chased by paparazzi in Kazakhstan, courted by men with very large guns in the Ukraine, hassled by the police, and given bulls' testicles for supper by Mongolian nomads.
And yet despite all these obstacles they managed to ride over 20,000 miles in four months, changing their lives forever in the process. As they travelled they documented their trip, taking photographs, and writing diaries by the campfire. Long Way Round is the result of their adventures - a fascinating, frank and highly entertaining travel book about two friends riding round the world together and, against all the odds, realising their dream.
“The nation’s premier nature writer” travels to a landscape at once barren and beautiful, perilous and alluring, austere yet teeming with vibrant life, and shot through with human history (San Francisco Chronicle). The Arctic has for centuries been a destination for the most ambitious explorers—a place of dreams, fears, and awe-inspiring spectacle. This “dazzling” account by the author of Of Wolves and Men takes readers on a breathtaking journey into the heart of one of the world’s last frontiers (The New York Times).
Based on Barry Lopez’s years spent traveling the Arctic regions in the company of Eskimo hunting parties and scientific expeditions alike, Arctic Dreams investigates the unique terrain of the human mind, thrown into relief against the vastness of the tundra and the frozen ocean. Eye-opening and profoundly moving, it is a magnificent appreciation of how wilderness challenges and inspires us.
Renowned environmentalist and author of Desert Solitaire Edward Abbey has called Arctic Dreams “a splendid book . . . by a man who is both a first-rate writer and an uncompromising defender of the wild country and its native inhabitants”—and the New Yorker hails it as a “landmark” work of travel writing. A vivid, thoughtful, and atmospheric read, it has earned multiple prizes, including the National Book Award, the Christopher Medal, the Oregon Book Award, and a nomination for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Barry Lopez including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.
Maarten Troost has charmed legions of readers with his laugh-out-loud tales of wandering the remote islands of the South Pacific. When the travel bug hit again, he decided to go big-time, taking on the world’s most populous and intriguing nation. In Lost on Planet China, Troost escorts readers on a rollicking journey through the new beating heart of the modern world, from the megalopolises of Beijing and Shanghai to the Gobi Desert and the hinterlands of Tibet.
Lost on Planet China finds Troost dodging deadly drivers in Shanghai; eating Yak in Tibet; deciphering restaurant menus (offering local favorites such as Cattle Penis with Garlic); visiting with Chairman Mao (still dead, very orange); and hiking (with 80,000 other people) up Tai Shan, China’s most revered mountain. But in addition to his trademark gonzo adventures, the book also delivers a telling look at a vast and complex country on the brink of transformation that will soon shape the way we all work, live, and think. As Troost shows, while we may be familiar with Yao Ming or dim sum or the cheap, plastic products that line the shelves of every store, the real China remains a world—indeed, a planet--unto itself.
Maarten Troost brings China to life as you’ve never seen it before, and his insightful, rip-roaringly funny narrative proves that once again he is one of the most entertaining and insightful armchair travel companions around.
In September 1960, John Steinbeck embarked on a journey across America. He felt that he might have lost touch with the country, with its speech, the smell of its grass and trees, its color and quality of light, the pulse of its people. To reassure himself, he set out on a voyage of rediscovery of the American identity, accompanied by a distinguished French poodle named Charley; and riding in a three-quarter-ton pickup truck named Rocinante.
His course took him through almost forty states: northward from Long Island to Maine; through the Midwest to Chicago; onward by way of Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana (with which he fell in love), and Idaho to Seattle, south to San Francisco and his birthplace, Salinas; eastward through the Mojave, New Mexico, Arizona, to the vast hospitality of Texas, to New Orleans and a shocking drama of desegregation; finally, on the last leg, through Alabama, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey to New York.
Travels with Charley in Search of America is an intimate look at one of America's most beloved writers in the later years of his life—a self-portrait of a man who never wrote an explicit autobiography. Written during a time of upheaval and racial tension in the South—which Steinbeck witnessed firsthand—Travels with Charley is a stunning evocation of America on the eve of a tumultuous decade. This Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition also features French flaps and deckle-edged paper.
For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, McCandless had roamed through the West and Southwest on a vision quest like those made by his heroes Jack London and John Muir. In the Mojave Desert he abandoned his car, stripped it of its license plates, and burned all of his cash. He would give himself a new name, Alexander Supertramp, and , unencumbered by money and belongings, he would be free to wallow in the raw, unfiltered experiences that nature presented. Craving a blank spot on the map, McCandless simply threw the maps away. Leaving behind his desperate parents and sister, he vanished into the wild.
Jon Krakauer constructs a clarifying prism through which he reassembles the disquieting facts of McCandless's short life. Admitting an interst that borders on obsession, he searches for the clues to the dries and desires that propelled McCandless. Digging deeply, he takes an inherently compelling mystery and unravels the larger riddles it holds: the profound pull of the American wilderness on our imagination; the allure of high-risk activities to young men of a certain cast of mind; the complex, charged bond between fathers and sons.
When McCandless's innocent mistakes turn out to be irreversible and fatal, he becomes the stuff of tabloid headlines and is dismissed for his naiveté, pretensions, and hubris. He is said to have had a death wish but wanting to die is a very different thing from being compelled to look over the edge. Krakauer brings McCandless's uncompromising pilgrimage out of the shadows, and the peril, adversity , and renunciation sought by this enigmatic young man are illuminated with a rare understanding--and not an ounce of sentimentality. Mesmerizing, heartbreaking, Into the Wild is a tour de force. The power and luminosity of Jon Krakauer's stoytelling blaze through every page.
From the Trade Paperback edition.