Ghost Train to the Eastern Star
In Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, Theroux recreates an epic journey he took thirty years ago, a giant loop by train (mostly) through Eastern Europe, Turkey, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, China, Japan, and Siberia. In short, he traverses all of Asia top to bottom, and end to end. In the three decades since he first travelled this...more
Travelling mostly by train from London through Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Japan and Russia, the Asia he sees on his second trip is a globalised one in which mo...more
and if it hadn't been overdue at the library, I would transcribe it here.
Endurance itself is one of the innumerable topics Theroux goes on about for months and miles through evocative and lively descriptions of the peo...more
brought by the business outsourced customer service. There is more than this, accounts of travel through haunted Cambodia, and a short structured visit to Singapore. Fuel for Mr. Theroux.
Paul Theroux has polarized critics with his latest travelogue. His sense of adventure, candid descriptions, and evocative prose notwithstanding, some critics took issue with the unbridled narcissism suffusing the narrative. Others lavished praise on the best-selling author, and the Los Angeles Times, summarizing the two sides neatly, called Theroux "a compelling writer who is essentially unlikable." Despite this opinion and complaints of unimaginative generalizations and a tendency towards repet...more
What a gifted writer with fantastic imagery and an amazing vocabulary. 33 years before writing this book (written around 2007-2008)he decided to go away from his first wife and their two young children to follow this quest without an itinerary, in a cell-phoneless age, to penetrate through Eastern Europe, the Middle East,...more
While I think he sometimes seems to generalize about societies based on less-than-solid evidence, he is like a thoughtful, well-traveled, and well-connected friend: I don't take everything he says as definitive, but I'm alwa...more
People seem to either love or hate him. Based on my two choices, I'm a fan.
The book contains both reflections on the nature of the experience of the Western travellor to foreign lands; practical "tips" on traveling; interesting and appealing,...more
Not many authors could hold o...more
Theroux travels alone, he considers himself to be a ghost. Like ghosts he is revisiting his past life and also like ghosts he is not noticed. He says,
"Travel can induce such a distinct and nameless feeling of s...more
Already an established novelist, Theroux injected new life into the travel genre in 1975 when he published The Great Railway Bazaar. The story of his mammoth train journey from Britain through Europe to India and Sri Lanka, across Southeast Asia, up Japan, and full circle back to England on the Tran...more
Apparently he did the same trip in the 70s but decided to go back as a much older man and in different life circumstances to see how his perspectives had changed as well as how these developing countries had...well..developed! His conclusion? Not a lot had changed except his...more
ever seen him. He's older and soberer now, and has a warmth and a
fondness in his heart for Turkey, Georgia, India, Burma, Thailand,
Vietnam, Cambodia, Azerbaijan... this isn't the same Theroux who gaped
in horror in the Great Railway Bazaar or Riding the Iron Rooster.
Part of the reason I read travel writing (and I suspect a whole lot of
others do too) is so that my heart will warm at a passage of a place I
know. Theroux in Bangkok, i...more
While a second version of a popular travel book sometimes shows a lack of ideas, this one is an exception to the rule. Theroux's vivid and detailed writing style adds depth to the things he sees, and with the benefit of hindsight you get a good look at how rapidly developing countries such as India h...more
I really enjoyed going on this journey with Paul Theroux. His scathing edge has mellowed from earlier books. The critics were divided with many opining that it's far too long and rambling. However, I enjoyed the diversions, meetings with other authors and his philosophiziing comm...more