|Publisher:||Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||5.14(w) x 7.78(h) x 0.89(d)|
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Traveling along the whole coast of the United Kingdom sounds like a daunting task. The joy of traveling in Great Britain is that one can reach any place reasonably fast by road or train by its hub and spoke system centered on London. Relying on the failing tangential railroads and doing it at the nadir of "Britain isn't working" and the Falkland War is a guarantee for misery. Arriving in Bristol after having traveled across the South of England, Theroux' enthusiasm is mostly spent. A cantankerous, middle-aged man, living out of his rucksack, discovers the tragedies of a salesman to nowhere.Theroux spends an inordinate amount of time and space complaining about his lodgings and the food (which given the national penchant of not-complaining can be awful indeed). Instead of enjoying the sights, going to theaters, museums and exhibitions, Theroux chats with the staff and owners of the miserable establishments as well as the elderly, the unemployed and the unemployable he happens to meet while life passes him by. It feels a bit like the movie Sideways without stopping by the wineries. The strange portioning of the chapters reflects some of Theroux' frustration: Ten chapters from London to Brighton, three for Wales, three for Northern Ireland, four for Scotland (where he nearly meets the Queen), four for Northern England and only two for the West coast. At the end, he just wants to return home, which is not only an English but a universal feeling. I hope he is less grumpy in his travel across China.
Whereas I loved "Riding the Iron Rooster," in this book I only heard Theroux going around the British coast, whingeing about this and that.