On the Plain of Snakes: Book summary and reviews of On the Plain of Snakes by Paul Theroux

On the Plain of Snakes

A Mexican Journey

by Paul Theroux

On the Plain of Snakes by Paul Theroux X
On the Plain of Snakes by Paul Theroux
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Book Summary

Legendary travel writer Paul Theroux drives the entire length of the US–Mexico border, then goes deep into the hinterland, on the back roads of Chiapas and Oaxaca, to uncover the rich, layered world behind today's brutal headlines.

Paul Theroux has spent his life crisscrossing the globe in search of the histories and peoples that give life to the places they call home. Now, as immigration debates boil around the world, Theroux has set out to explore a country key to understanding our current discourse: Mexico. Just south of the Arizona border, in the desert region of Sonora, he finds a place brimming with vitality, yet visibly marked by both the US Border Patrol looming to the north and mounting discord from within. With the same humanizing sensibility he employed in Deep South, Theroux stops to talk with residents, visits Zapotec mill workers in the highlands, and attends a Zapatista party meeting, communing with people of all stripes who remain south of the border even as their families brave the journey north.

From the writer praised for his "curiosity and affection for humanity in all its forms" (New York Times Book Review), On the Plain of Snakes is an exploration of a region in conflict.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Illuminating, literate, and timely—a must-read for those interested in what's going on inside Mexico." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"A textured portrait…Theroux does not hesitate to articulate his point of view on a number of topics as he unapologetically takes into consideration context, anecdotal evidence, and his on-the-road experiences to arrive at his prescription for improving the Mexican situation." - Booklist (starred review)

"[A] dark-edged but ultimately hopeful travelogue...Theroux's usual excellent mix of vivid reportage and empathetic rumination is energized by a new spark of political commitment. Armchair travelers will find an astute, familiar guide in Theroux." - Publishers Weekly

"Tourists headed to Mexico and those interested in the current migrant situation will learn a great deal." - Library Journal

"Paul Theroux is an undisputed master of travel literature. He has traversed Mexico with such dedication that he knows its roads as he knows the lines on the palm of his hand. His curiosity does not recognize borders. Nor is he a stranger among us: he is Don Pablo, a wise man who never stops learning." - Juan Villoro, journalist, playwright, and author of Herralde Prize-winner The Witness

This information about On the Plain of Snakes was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Paul Theroux Author Biography

Photo: Greg Martin

Paul Theroux ('The world's most perceptive travel writer'--Daily Mail) is the author of many highly acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction, including The Great Railway Bazaar (1975), The Mosquito Coast (1981) Riding the Iron Rooster (1983), and Mr. Bones: Twenty Stories (2014). In 2015, Paul Theroux was awarded a Royal Medal from the Royal Geographical Society for "the encouragement of geographical discovery through travel writing." This award, approved by the Queen, is the highest award attainable for a traveler, and Theroux joins the ranks of recipients including Sir Edmund Hillary, Admiral Richard Byrd and Dr. Thor Heyerdahl. His other awards include the American Academy and Institute of Arts & Letters Award for literature; the Whitbread Prize for his novel, Picture Palace; and the ...

... Full Biography
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Name Pronunciation
Paul Theroux: Thor-ew (which, incidentally, is different to Henry Thoreau which is pronounced like 'thorough')

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