"Theroux’s practiced hand in the matter of dialogue and scene-making is strongly in evidence....It’s a particular kind of frightening fun to watch evil flexing and spreading its leathery wings, and really feel it. The Lower River gives the reader just that." -- The New York Review of Books "The Lower River is riveting in its storytelling and provocative in its depiction of this African backwater, infusing both with undertones of slavery and cannibalism, savagery and disease. Theroux exposes paternalism in Hock’s Peace Corps nostalgia, his ‘sense of responsibility, almost a conceit of ownership.’ That sense of responsibility, and Hock’s modest contribution to the welfare of a people he was once genuinely fond of, has been replaced by a harsher mode of operation, run by coldhearted contractors living apart in impregnable compounds. ‘I have to leave,’ Hock pleads. ‘I’m going home.’ To which the village headman replies, with chilling menace, ‘This is your home, father.’ " -- New York Times Book Review
The African characters are not fully developed and remain two dimensional.
We all see the commercials and say we want to help and imagine what it would be like however this book shows that dream in a different light.
Paul Theroux is an excellent writer, and this book is super-realistic, like most of his work.
terribly disappointing. his other books have had meaning and were very interesting. I felt he rambled and rambled and then left without making any point. Read morePublished 9 days ago by maryzeus
This is a depressing story. It goes on and on and you hope for rescue but there is none, only more heat and more frustration. A beautifully and fluently described hell. masterful. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Anne M Chappel
Three stars was all I could give The Lower River. Some parts I really enjoyed, others not so much. I thought the storyline was much to predictable at times. Read morePublished 2 months ago by David L. Russell
The book did not at all describe the beautiful, welcoming people I encountered during the two years I was in Malawi. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Edwina M. Lynch
I thoroughly enjoyed The Lower River. I am a Theroux fan and wasn't disappointed. I've lived in Africa (Somalia, Tunisia, etc.) for years and the story brought many memories. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Robert Sands
This novel had begun as something so ordinary, then evolved into a quite extraordinary tale.
I loved the journey, including all the foreboding and tension associated with... Read more
Not as good as the Mosquito Coast. Interesting in itself but the storyline was a bit disturbing in regards to the main character's relationship with the 15 year old girl. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Tamsyn Hinksman