Ghost Train to the Eastern Star Summary and Reviews

Ghost Train to the Eastern Star

On the Tracks of the Great Railway Bazaar

by Paul Theroux

Ghost Train to the Eastern Star by Paul Theroux X
Ghost Train to the Eastern Star by Paul Theroux
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2008
    512 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

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 unleashed 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 Paul 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, from the European Union to the Pacific Rim and back, his omnivorous curiosity and unerring eye for detail never fail to inspire, enlighten, inform, and entertain.

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Media Reviews

"Starred Review. No matter where his journey takes him, Theroux always sends back dazzling post cards." - Publishers Weekly.

"These "real" places include everything from porn shops to sex traffickers. In short, this is not light reading." - Library Journal.

"Fans of Theroux will say that he hasn't lost his touch; the more critical will say that he breaks no new ground. Either way, worth looking into." - Kirkus Reviews.

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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 ...

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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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