James's Reviews > The Lower River

The Lower River by Paul Theroux
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Jun 02, 12

Read from May 30 to June 02, 2012

This was my first foray into Paul Theroux's fiction, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I think that I like his travel books better, but this still has everything that I love about his writing. This is a quick read but it deals with a lot of weighty themes. If you've read Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Capetown, you'll notice a number of parallels between Theroux's own experiences in that book and this fictional one. (I understand that this is common in Theroux's fiction writing.) In fact, several set pieces here are direct analogues to events that happened in that book, as is the overall plot. Theroux himself was a Peace Corps teacher in a small village in Malawi when he was young, and one of the most memorable accounts in Dark Star Safari was his return to that same village some forty years later, where he discovered (like the main character in this book) that the school that he had worked in was a ruin.

All in all, a very enjoyable read.
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