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Chicago Loop

2.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  329 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
"Riveting...CHICAGO LOOP is an icy tale brilliantly imagined."
He knifes silently through the shadows of the steamy Chicago summer night, prowling for lonely souls who need his help. The desperate come to him, answering his ads with promises of romantic evenings and possibly a future, never suspecting that they are the prey, chosen to statiate a twisted sexu
Paperback, 150 pages
Published January 28th 2002 by Tusquets (first published 1990)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 510)
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Apr 21, 2012 Melissa rated it did not like it
Recommended to Melissa by: Roger Ebert
American Psycho lite! Parker is a family man who nevertheless puts personal ads in the paper and murders the women who answer them. This had a pretty distasteful "the-ho-deserves-it" vibe at the very beginning, as Parker tells two women a story of a frat boy rapist that he used to know as a kind of test; the woman who finds this story distasteful gets to live another day, while the one who finds it exciting gets her face chewed off. That doesn't really come up again & Parker conveniently for ...more
Jun 03, 2009 Steve rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Picked it up based on "Chicago" in the title. Horrible piece of 1990's men's lit. Not far off from Looking for Mr Goodbar. Based in Chicago, and names some places, but no sense of the place whatsoever. And no, single, white 20's women did not live on S Cottage Grove in the '90's - especially one originally from Skokie. Thanks God it is a short novel - I did not waste too much of my time on reading this.
Sep 18, 2011 Oceana2602 rated it did not like it
Shelves: german, male-writers, 2011
Paul and me are having trouble again.

It happens.

You can be in the most amazing relationship, and you'll still have problems from time to time.

Like, that time when we talked about O-Zone, which I, while not disliking it, wasn't too thrilled about. But that was okay, we talked about it, it was in the past (1986! as if anyone can actually be held accountable for what they did in 1986!), and besides, I have some dark secrets in my past as well (certainly darker than O-Zone, especially the ones
Jul 06, 2012 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Another Theroux novel that thrilled me up front and felt a little slack at the end, though the thrills here lasted way longer than those in The Mosquito Coast. This book was great from page one. Dark, sexy, violent, mysterious/intriguing. I guess the lazy comparison would be to American Psycho, in that it concerns a rich/successful white dude with a secret penchant for violence. That's about where it ends, though. The problem with Chicago Loop is that after the protagonist, Parker, commits his s ...more
Apr 21, 2016 Ilya rated it it was ok
A 37-year-old real estate developer from Chicago has it all: money, a house, a BMW, a fashion model for a wife, a 6-month-old son. Yet this is not enough for him, so he places a personal ad in a paper, lying that he is single, goes on a date, and in a kinky sexual act gone wrong murders his date. It all goes downhill from there; although the police do not get on the man's tracks, the guilt over the murder demolishes his life, and neither his wife nor his mistress (yes, despite the murder he main ...more
Aug 17, 2014 Kenneth rated it liked it
I liked Chicago Loop. As usual with Paul Theroux, lots of character and place descriptions. Very strange story. I liked all the allusions to life in the 80's and early 90's. One of these books that is hard to put down, yet hard to continue due to its intensity and strangeness. Not one of my favorites by this author, but not bad either. It's a dark, grim, and gritty read. Another one of Theroux's male oriented fiction pieces.
Aug 30, 2015 Organicearthful rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A scary retelling of Crime and Punishment given a Therouxian twist. I almost had to quit when I realised what Parker was capable of, but his transformation was so obscenely voyeuristic I had to finish. Left reeling and sombre. A great achievement impelled by the authors gift with prose, in such a short book. Steel yourself for the ride on Chicago Loop.
Kirsten Tautfest
Aug 07, 2015 Kirsten Tautfest rated it liked it
I started this last year as a poolside read and didn't pick it up again until this summer. I wish I had restarted it because I forgot key plot points. It's a long character sketch, most stream of consciousness through the eyes of the main character in first person. Not recommended if you have issues with the sexual underground.
Initially attracted by its Chicago setting, I really harbored no expectations for this novel. I had heard of the author, but this was my first introduction to his work. Ultimately, I found this to be a completely strange and fascinating book. It was a fast read, and a somewhat enjoyable dark character study. I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Its plot certainly did not follow trite paths, and I particularly appreciated how Theroux brought a sort of late eighties gritty Chicago to ...more
Maurits Vlugt
Feb 09, 2015 Maurits Vlugt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Bryce Ian
Mar 22, 2016 Bryce Ian rated it liked it
Very much feels like a precursor to stories such as "American Psycho". Urban madness overflows into the protagonist's everyday life.
Apr 17, 2016 Julia rated it liked it
I like to read Paul Theroux 's novels that are based in particular geographical locales and I was excited to read the one based in my own fair city. But unlike any of the others I've read, the location was only incidental to the story in a minor way and not a central part of it. This story could have taken place anywhere, it just so happened to have Chicago street names, suburbs and landmarks in it.

The story itself was so-so. Like I said during my reading, Patrick Bateman but living in Chicago
Jan 19, 2014 Dion rated it did not like it
Although it has lots of great Chicago detail, the story is a bit thin. Written from the protagonist's point of view, an individual who is difficult to empathize with, it pulls you through the tumult of this person's life, but I never understood him.
Julian Lorr
Feb 17, 2013 Julian Lorr rated it liked it
I am not sure whether this is a genius literary treatise on the mental breakdown of an undiagnosed psychopath (bought on by the slow realisation of his own wretchedness), or simply the first-draft of a standard date-rape-killer novel that somehow slipped through the editorial re-draft net and ended up published in its never-revisited raw form. I have promised myself, one day, a re-read to decide for sure, but until then it remains an unresolved 3-star.
Dec 15, 2009 Marc rated it it was ok
Yet again, needed to trade in the last terrible book while traveling in hostels. This time, I was excited because I love Theroux's travel books. This one was really bizzare and worries me about the author. But it has some redeeming value, just is very twisted and really not that entertaining, but makes you feel sort of icky which is the point of getting into the deranged mind of the main character.
Anna Engel
Jul 28, 2011 Anna Engel rated it did not like it
I think that I no longer like Theroux. In his travel books, he's depressed, narcissistic, cruel, and manipulative. The main character of Chicago Loop has the same qualities (personality defects?), as well as selective amnesia and the ability to murder in cold blood. I intensely dislike him. There are few books that have ever made me angry; this was one of them.
Sep 02, 2011 Dreepa rated it liked it
I have read most of Paul Theroux's non fiction and a bit of his fiction.
This was a tiny thin book I picked up at the library book sale.
It was a quick read. It started off fast and took a different turn that I was expecting. It contains Theroux's typical sarcastic slant that I like. I didn't much like the characters though and didn't like the ending.
Mar 21, 2011 Carmen rated it liked it
Shelves: popular-fiction
Disturbing. Hard to put down. This book grabs you and sucks you in. The protagonist is a man with many different sexual fantasies. One leads him to do something that haunts him. Because of this, he changes dramatically. And where it leads him is hard to fathom. A bit like Crime and Punishment but gets to the point faster with modern details.
Jan 22, 2009 Brian rated it liked it
One heck of a strange book, about a mentally deranged killer that meets women via newspaper personals

The book is oddly written in that it feels like you’re actually inside the man’s head as opposed to the author writing about the man. Not sure I could recommend this but definitely not a boring or clichéd book
May 19, 2008 Rae rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I have read several nonfiction books by this author that I have liked, but I really disliked this novel. It was just too weird...and then it ends. It is depressing. Full of sexual obsessions and murder and a suicidal ending. It is not uplifting at all.
Apr 06, 2013 Adam rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1970-present, prose
I don't really know anything about Paul Theroux except that he fathered Louis Theroux. And, I guess, that this book was really terrible.
Jun 03, 2013 Arvind rated it really liked it
Oh the loop. And another work of non-travel, fiction by Theroux, also captures the spirit of the people and the windy city.
Mar 06, 2009 Jackmccullough rated it really liked it
One night while I was reading this I woke up shaking. It's pretty intense, and not for everybody, but good.
Chris-james Melchizedek
Alright. Kind of morbid, kind of predictable. Nice clear writing style
Sep 07, 2011 Whimsical rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
A very good psychological thriller!!
Beth Shields-Szostak
Jun 22, 2010 Beth Shields-Szostak rated it liked it
Shelves: signed
1st American edition, signed by author
May 25, 2014 NIÑO added it
Tom rated it liked it
Jul 23, 2016
Jeff marked it as to-read
Jul 18, 2016
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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
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