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Half Moon Street

3.36  ·  Rating Details ·  264 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
In Half Moon Street, Paul Theroux brings us two brilliant short novels on the theme of a double life. Although they are worlds apart in scene and character, both are full of a kind of eerie menace that lies just beneath the outward events.

Lauren Slaughter’s life began to change beyond recognition one evening at a dinner party where she met the quite strange Mr. Van Arkady.
Hardcover, 219 pages
Published January 1st 1984 by Houghton Mifflin
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(showing 1-30)
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Feb 06, 2013 Clifford rated it really liked it
How very odd. The book is two novellas, "Dr. Slaughter" and "Dr. DeMarr," one set in London and the other on Cape Cod and Boston. I preferred "Dr. Slaughter" but that might have been a function of the narration (I listed to them in the car). Both worth the time, though. I'm not a big fan of the author's non-fiction travel narratives, which strike me as terribly arrogant, but I've always liked his fiction.
Anne Sanow
May 31, 2008 Anne Sanow rated it really liked it
The second story's a bust, but "Dr. Slaughter" is twisted in all the right ways. You'll want to take a shower after reading it. Made into a strangely inert movie version starring Sigourney Weaver.
Matthew Metzdorf
Mar 10, 2014 Matthew Metzdorf rated it it was amazing
Although known for his travel writing, Paul Theroux showcases his talent in these two short works. Both are great, but the second, Doctor De Marr is a real demonstration of a great short fiction. It is detailed, compact, holds the reader's attention through its complexity and intrigue, and has a strong, well-worked ending that ties the story up with a clever, satisfying final punch.
Feb 20, 2012 Janet rated it it was amazing
Read this long ago, but it has stayed with me like a really good meal eaten outdoors in a foreign city, by water, lanterns swaying, and flirting with a near stranger. Sexy, exotic, intriguing. Greenian, but lacks the bottom note of Greene. Oh well. A great read.
Lisbeth Solberg
Two novellas with unusual and mostly unsympathetic protagonists who may or may not have learned big lessons. This book has been in my stacks forever.
May 23, 2009 Graham rated it it was ok
I had fun taking this used hardcover down to Barton Springs Pool, allowing the woolen studiousness of Theroux's face to stare out from the back of the jacket at passers by. It almost seems like he read the vegan treatise "Skinny Bitch" before conceiving Dr. Lauren, but this is impossible as that book came out 20 years later. Slaughter, an unscrupulous but thoughtful vegetarian hottie who is seemingly free of illusions. The strength of the book is more in the dialog, the exposition. The plot just ...more
Irene McHugh
Mar 28, 2011 Irene McHugh rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
After seeing the movie Half Moon Street with Sigourney Weaver, I really wanted to read the novella. This book actually contains two stories with similar themes about the consequences of living a double life. I read both years ago, so the plot details escape me. What I do remember is that they were both engaging dark stories. Part of the appeal of this set was that I could read them quickly at a time when my life had little free time for reading. When I was in high school with a required reading ...more
Христо Блажев
Улица “Полумесец”:

Две повести са събрани в книгата, и двете изследват въпроса за самоличността и идентичността, но тематиката е добре разтворена в криминално-трилърни сюжети. В първата, на която е именувана и книгата, млада, образована и интегентна красавица решава да приключи с мизерния и неудовлетворяващ живот и да стане скъпоплатена компаньонка. Качествата й бързо я издигат в новото поприще, но човек не може да си играе вечно с огъня, без да се опари.

Moira Harrington
Mar 31, 2011 Moira Harrington rated it liked it
First fictional work by him that I've read. I was intrigued and pleased enough by his writing to try some other novels. These were tightly drawn thriller-type work, which I generally don't appreciate so the fact that I liked them -- the Dr. Slaughter story better and the Dr. Demere one -- is a plus.
Feb 27, 2013 Ariadna73 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
No sé bien por qué no permitían sacar este libro de la biblioteca; y por eso tuve que leerlo allí "in situ", como dicen, pero valió la pena, porque la historia te atrapa desde la primera página y no te suelta hasta algunas páginas antes del final (un poco forzado, pero bien) cuando lees las pocas páginas que quedan como un agradecimiento a este autor por sus esfuerzos en entretenerte.
Apr 03, 2016 Jacob rated it it was ok
A very well done, but not particularly memorable pair of stories. Dr. Slaughter illuminates the dark underbelly of humanity and certainly is as 1980's as it can get. I found the shorter Dr. DeMarr a short story of the ilk I've read many times, but Theroux paces the story nearly perfectly - making it a very good example of what can be done with a short story.
Mike Harper
Dec 06, 2014 Mike Harper rated it liked it
The first story is rather sordid, but it kept me interested . It was just OK. The second story is eerily good: the protagonist - whoever he may be! - puts a new spin on the life of an identical twin. I could have stretched and given this a fourth star.
Jul 25, 2011 Lindsay rated it liked it
Paul Theroux is one of my favorite authors, but this book was confusing. I hadn't realized it was two short stories and when it crossed over in the middle I couldn't figure out what was going on or what happened to the heroine.
Mar 06, 2010 Mary-Ellen rated it it was ok
Read this book to try and figure out why Sigorney Weaver would want to play the role of the main character. The novella was better than the play, but I still do not understand why Weaver took the part.
Ruta Sevo
Sep 17, 2012 Ruta Sevo rated it it was amazing
Fun reading, fascinating worldly characters, very colorful and you get a good sense of secret lives in London and other places abroad. These are two shorter pieces published together.
Sep 04, 2011 Aaron rated it liked it
Good, fast-moving
Aug 18, 2010 Ainsley rated it really liked it
Good Paul Theroux. I like the combination of two stories about double lives
Madhu R
Jan 13, 2014 Madhu R rated it it was amazing
Half Moon Street was very good, but the second short novella, Doctor De Mar was amazing. Exciting, funny, mysterious, and deep.
Leonard Pierce
May 11, 2008 Leonard Pierce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I bought this because of the movie where Sigourney Weaver played a crazy hooker. Probably not the best introduction to Theroux.
Aug 26, 2013 Anna rated it liked it
Feb 07, 2016 Fishface rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Two utterly different novellas on the theme of living a double life, or seen another way, living a secret life. Worth seeking out.
Nov 20, 2013 Anandraj rated it liked it
Was ok. Easy english. Not too thrilling though.
Oct 30, 2009 Gerald rated it it was amazing
Two novellas, one set in London, the other in Boston. Teasing mind games for short-attention-span reads.

Boychik Lit
Henry Sturcke
Jul 12, 2014 Henry Sturcke rated it liked it
Skilful writing, but I'm at a loss to think of another writer who shows greater antipathy toward his protagonists.
Chris rated it liked it
Apr 15, 2014
Karen LeBoeuf
Karen LeBoeuf rated it liked it
Feb 03, 2014
Julie Mazur
Julie Mazur rated it it was ok
Jan 29, 2016
Joann Garrido
Joann Garrido rated it really liked it
Aug 07, 2012
Joe rated it liked it
Dec 05, 2009
Bongo rated it liked it
Sep 01, 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
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