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The Collected Stories

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  190 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
"A devastating fine collection of Theroux's short fiction that should establish him among the contemporary masters of the form". -- New York NewsdayWritten over a period of twenty-five years, the more than sixty stories in this volume are funny and sardonic, sensuous and evocative, streaked with terror and cruelty. Richly varied in tone and subject -- ghost story, murder m ...more
Paperback, 660 pages
Published July 1st 1998 by Penguin (first published July 1st 1997)
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Apr 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review
For a while now, I've been stuck inside my cocoon of Indian writing and travelogues, except for occasional forays. My biggest peeve was that I couldn't identify with international fiction. And Paul Theroux, with this book, just laughed. :)
The book has 5 parts, the last 2 with an obvious connection, but the remaining stories spans geographies, contexts and webs that humans create with their emotions and relationships. The first three have troubled marriages, stagnant relationships, death, decepti
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
There's a lot here!

The last 2/3 is basically a novel of the diplomatic service in episode form. Involving characters, a firm sense of "not around here." I'd like to have a friend that did the same thing look at it.
Apr 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I haven't really read this whole book. I have been picking it up lately. I love it, but it's really varied and also long. Sometimes there is a dull part about being a diplomat, but more often there is a very interesting part that may or may not be about being a diplomat. Mostly it's excellent to read and delves deeply into several genres. The regular short story style short stories in the beginning are my favorites-- "Algebra" makes me do The Running Man and The Cabbage Patch at the same time. I ...more
May 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Strange if interesting book. The first half of the book contains poignant stories of relationships (usually sundered) and relationships that are near cloying but not enough to make one sick. And then there are stories that end abruptly without point - like they are a Sinfeldian account of what happened in someone's life on a given day - any day.

The second half of the book is quite funny in that it is set in two diplomatic outposts where the main character is stationed (Malaysia and London). The
Aug 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a mixed bag,some are a little out there,most of them are enjoyable.The one that is still in my head is about the african moth which lays eggs into fabric.When the fabric is worn by humans, body heat will hatch the eggs and the larvae will live under the skin until they are ready to come out.Apparently the pain to the host is pretty bad to put it mildly.
Aug 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
There are some pretty ugly characterizations, though - the author, like many of his generation, is skilled at molding his own prejudice into a character. Particularly the self-loathing East Indian. Still, I enjoyed this collection as markers of a particular time. They are beautifully written, and of course not everything has changed since.
Jul 31, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: unfinished, fiksi
waktu itu lagi pengen nulis buku ttg buildings and places, and my sister recommended that I read Paul Theroux's books. Berhubung bukunya tebel-tebel, jadi aku pinjem yang collected stories. Sempet baca beberapa cerita pertama. Kind of liked it. Tapi ga habis...
Oct 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
"Life was so simple, and marriage only a complication. Marriage also implied a place: You were married and lived in a particular house; unmarried, yhou lived in the world, and there were no answers required of you.

Ah, Paul. You speak so well.
Frederick Bingham
A collection of short stories. I listened to about half of them on cassette. I lost interest thereafter.
Kat O
Feb 21, 2008 rated it liked it
Only got through the first 1/4 of the book, but I loved it! Will pick it back up some time soon. Pending library fees :)
Laura Hamilton
Oct 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Mostly good. Some quite gripping, with surprise endings. Some utterly boring. I enjoyed the Consul's Files series of stories the most out of all of them.
Patricia Murphy
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: stories
What a romp.
Eleanor Schmidt
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do not always like short stories but these were wonderful
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May 29, 2008
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Anne Goldsmith
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Mark Scott
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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