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"You'll have a terrible time," one diplomat tells Theroux upon discovering the prolific writer's plans to hitch a ride hundreds of miles along a desolate road to Nairobi instead of taking a plane. "You'll have some great stuff for your book." That seems to be the strategy for Theroux's extended "experience of vanishing" into the African continent, where disparate incidents reveal Theroux as well as the people he meets. At times, he goes out of his way to satisfy some perverse curmudgeonly desire to pick theological disputes with Christian missionaries. But his encounters with the natives, aid workers and occasional tourists make for rollicking entertainment, even as they offer a sobering look at the social and political chaos in which much of Africa finds itself. Theroux occasionally strays into theorizing about the underlying causes for the conditions he finds, but his cogent insights are well integrated. He doesn't shy away from the literary aspects of his tale, either, frequently invoking Conrad and Rimbaud, and dropping in at the homes of Naguib Mahfouz and Nadine Gordimer at the beginning and end of his trip. He also returns to many of the places where he lived and worked as a Peace Corps volunteer and teacher in the 1960s, locations that have cropped up in earlier novels. These visits fuel the book's ongoing obsession with his approaching 60th birthday and his insistence that he isn't old yet. As a travel guide, Theroux can both rankle and beguile, but after reading this marvelous report, readers will probably agree with the priest who observes, "Wonderful people. Terrible government. The African story."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Theroux groans his way through Africa; the first single trip since The Pillars of Hercules.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
DARK STAR SAFARI REVIEW
Paul Theroux, author of “Dark Star Safari,” is many things to many people but, above all, he is prolific, having written over fifty books of both... Read more
Really enjoyed this book . Lots of insight into the African continent.Published 25 days ago by Carole A. MacK
Real Africa through human eyes not through movie picture lenses. Not a travel book, a must for Africa's past, future and present. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ahmet Necdet Uygurer
I am an admitted Paul Theroux fan so therefore am somewhat biased. I have followed his adventures over the globe. This is wonderfully written and very insightful. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Elizabeth E. Dudenhausen
fascinating chronicle of Theroux journey thru Africa - follow this read with his related fiction "The Lower River"Published 2 months ago by Bonnie Isaac
Great, true and wise tales of Africa! Mr Theroux is an excellent writer and his revisiting Africa after 40 years is enlightening! Read morePublished 3 months ago by Michael Garsva
In the last page of the book the author confesses that through out the writing of the book he was reminded of the motion of parasites within him. Read morePublished 3 months ago by KC