Loraine's Reviews > The Mosquito Coast

The Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Feb 01, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: suspense

Very interesting story. I saw the movie with Harrison Ford, years ago, and I liked it, but I remember it was kinda weird. After reading "The Poisonwood Bible," one of the reviewers referred to "The Mosquito Coast," as a comparable story, so I decided to read it. I liked the main character's basic ideas when he wanted to leave America, to make a simpler life for him and his family. And to leave the commercialism and the "made anywhere except the USA" products. I actually would leave for the same reasons he did, but I don't think there's anywhere else that would be any better. The first settlement he created actually sounded like a great place to live. (Though I personally would like a shopping center a little closer.)

As the story progressed, he obviously became mad and got completely out of control, putting his family's lives at risk. For a while, I wondered why on earth his wife continued to put up with him, until the author articulated her emotional dependence on him and that is a pretty strong emotion to fight against.

Anyway, it was very interesting to learn how they survived in the wilderness, and to watch him get crazier as time went on. But I still wonder, how did they survive? They seemed to have nothing, yet they didn't starve. It wasn't clear all the time what they were able to eat and why they were never worried about disease, particularly malaria. Maybe malaria doesn't exist in Honduras. I don't know.

The one thing that I would have liked to know is, Where did he and his wife get THEIR educations? He spurned public education, but he was very smart. He seemed to know a lot about a large variety of subjects. His wife taught their children (home school), so it seems hypocritical of him to be so strongly against public education for his children. The author never does indicate where he and his wife got their knowledge, however, so we never get to know.

Overall, it was a good read. I would like a little more adventure in my life sometimes, but not so much that I would pack up the way they did and leave everything behind, going into the unknown so completely. But it sure makes for an interesting and entertaining story.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Mosquito Coast.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

February 1, 2012 – Shelved
February 10, 2012 – Started Reading
February 12, 2012 –
page 69
17.97% "I decided to read this after reading "The Poisonwood Bible" because someone compared the two. I saw the movie many years ago, and was intrigued . . ."
February 14, 2012 – Finished Reading
January 15, 2016 – Shelved as: suspense

No comments have been added yet.