To the Ends of the Earth
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To the Ends of the Earth

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  305 ratings  ·  26 reviews
"Travel writing at its best."
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...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published April 27th 2011 by Ivy Books (first published 1980)
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I had experienced Theroux the novelist, but I figured it's about time I stopped resisting Theroux the travel writer. This book contains large sections of 6 books of railway journeys around the globe. I concentrated on the parts from "The Great Railway Bazaar", "The Old Patagonian Express", and "Riding the Iron Rooster".

He doesn't spend any time oohing and ahing over artistic or geographical splendors or waste much effort on wonderful food and architecture. Nor does he really try to capture a co...more
I read this book several years ago, but remembered the essence of Theroux's thirst and delight with travel. It is a compilation of selections from other books covering a broad area of the world. As always, Theroux's books are not the usual travelogues, but combine history, humor and wonderful anecdotes.
Dan Tasse
This book (some short stories from his other books) covers some India, some Latin America, some UK/Ireland, some China/Tibet, and bits and pieces of other places. I think he travels in pretty much the way I'd want to. Maybe he goes to a few extremes. But I quite liked his perspective: not much worrying about "am I a good traveler or just a tourist?", more just great stories. And not-so-great stories too, and seeing the interesting bits even in an odd English B&B or a terrible Tibetan trip.
"I did not realize when I wrote my first [travel book] that every trip is unique. my travel book is about my trip, not yours or anyone else's. Even if someone had come with me and written a book, about the trip, it would have been a different book. This is true of life in general." "Another thing I did not know was that every trip has a historical dimension. Not long after I traveled through those countries there were political changes. (It seems to happen every time.)"

Theroux travels are inter...more
Carol Wakefield
If you are a fan of travel writings and use libraries, you are stuck with Theroux. I have read the books, mostly years ago, from which these exerts are taken, found them cheerless then and cheerless now. He presents interesting information about places he travels but never gives much indication of enjoying those travels. I always feel dissatisfied after reading his books-- was it really all that bad? Still I seem to be running out of possibilities on the 800 and900 shelves of my local library. S...more
Writing is largely uninspired. I don't think Theroux has any real gift with words. I mean, this book is a collection of selected "best" chapters from his bestsellers and they fail to impress.

Theroux is nevertheless a prolific traveler with an astounding breadth of travel experience. The details he shares with his readers are handy (I plan to do some of the routes he has, thus his works were recommended to me by a much older traveler friend). For that I give Theroux three stars.
This is a book I have had for several years and started a couple times but this time I plowed through it and reading 90% of it, some parts I missed. The chapters in this book are taken out of other travel books by Theroux. Many of the travels are on trains in various parts of the world. The one thing I do like about his writings is the emphasis he puts on the characters he meets in his travels rather than the places in and of themselves. He traveled to places I wouldn’t have had a desire to see,...more
This collection of short stories is supposed to be tied together by a diversity of places, but it's more the inherent sadness of the characters that is the thread that carries through. Each, of course, sad in their own way; some aren't sad in the truly unhappy sense but in the "reader looking at their life" sense.

As an introduction to Theroux this might discourage readers, but each story, on its own, is so well crafted (except perhaps "The Greenest Isle") that if readers take their time - perhap...more
Sonia Almeida
I believe the main problem with this book, for me of course, is that it is made of parts of previous books from the author. So it really has no continuity line, apart from being made from train travels. I am also not a big fan of train travelling, just for the sake of it. So for me overall the book was not very apealing.
Also, at some points I would profoundly disagree with the author's views. That is not always bad, but it was at a structural level. :)
So... not my cup of tea.
The big effect of this book is to make me want to go out and buy the full versions of all of the books that are featured here. Mr. Theroux is my kind of travel writer- he focuses on the journey, the people that he meets along the way and the way different places make him feel at different times of his life. The second big effect of this book is to make me want even more to get on with my own great journey . . .
Lynn Pribus
Picked this up from my gym's swap table as a tattered paperback when packing for vacation. Perfect to read on a plane, thought I.

Indeed it was. It's a compilation of excerpts from a half dozen of his previous books and some commentary now seems very date. For example, he didn't tweet or txt anyone. He was just on his own. By himself. Connecting with locals.

Always a reliably enjoyable read.
Carol Bartold
In these mostly very short essays, Theroux travels within his native New England, to almost the tip of Patagonia, on the Orient Express, through frozen Tibet on a harrowing car trip, on a walk in Wales, and beyond. Even in these compact pieces, it's clear that Theroux does more than place through a place or over terrain. He lets each difficult place and its people absorb him.
I think Paul Theroux would be fun to travel with - he likes meeting people, exploring, traveling on a shoestring. You definitely get a sense of time and place in this book. It's obvious he has a great sense of humor. I just think that a lot of it was lost in turning his writing (take my opinion with a grain of salt as I haven't read his other books) into a set of vignettes.
Theroux is the genius author of The Mosquito Coast which was made into a movie directed by Peter Wier and starring Harrison Ford at his acting pinancle. The movie bombed at the box office but was loved by the critics.
Worls End is a collection of short stories which are eclectic to say the least. A strange unusual read. Not his best.
Marcelo Ottoni
O livro é uma seleção de trechos de outros seis livros de viagens do autor. Muitos desses ainda não têm edição em português. O apanhado acaba cobrindo relatos de boa parte do mundo. O mais interessante de ler Paul Theroux é que ele não se restringe ao que viu nas viagens que fez, mas ao que viveu.
I read this long ago, but remember being disappointed. I was introduced to Theroux through his travel writing and really liked his novel “The Mosquito Coast”-- I know I have it stored away in a box somewhere??
Perfer the whole travel book to this collection of snippets. No continuity and the sories lose something in translation. but I do love this author.
Zoe Jussel
When I think train of a train journey, I think Theroux. He writes in such a way that you defintely feel you are along for the ride.
This is the same text as Theroux's "Travelling the world," just without the pictures (which don't add anything in my opinion).
I haven't read anything by him before ~ he's known as a travel writer, so I'm hoping for some interesting tales...
Easily the best travel writer, for the introspective, quiet thinking type journey.
Dave Donahoe
read for the first time during my semester abroad at Cambridge University, England
just a taste of his wit and skill in travel writing.
Katherine Jensen
Jan 24, 2014 Katherine Jensen marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 93
1/1/93. Library.
Jul 12, 2013 Velvetink marked it as to-read
tuebl epub
Connie marked it as to-read
Jul 08, 2014
Martin Böhler
Martin Böhler is currently reading it
Jul 07, 2014
Moniquew marked it as to-read
Jul 06, 2014
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Paul Edward Theroux is an American travel writer and novelist, whose best known work is The Great Railway Bazaar (1975), a travelogue about a trip he made by train from Great Britain through Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, through South Asia, then South-East Asia, up through East Asia, as far east as Japan, and then back across Russia to his point of origin. Although perhaps best know...more
More about Paul Theroux...
The Great Railway Bazaar Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town The Mosquito Coast Riding the Iron Rooster The Old Patagonian Express: By Train Through the Americas

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