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Kingdom By the Sea Hardcover – October 3, 1983
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Top Customer Reviews
As Theroux makes quite clear in this book, he loves the English seacoast, and he met many warm people along the way. At the same time, he unflinchingly relates every detail of his experience, every rude comment, every unpleasant encounter. As he notes, most travel writing is boring; we went to Egypt, we saw the pyramids, et cetera. What makes for interesting reading is the minutia, the detail that makes my trip different from your trip. My England is nothing like Theroux's, but then, I wasn't there for 17 years, I didn't tour the coast, and I am not Paul Theroux.
I recently re-read "Kingdom", while thinking about a bicycle tracing some of the ground covered by Theroux, and what struck me was how much there was that Theroux truely liked about his trip, the things he saw, and the people he met. The more unpleasant encounters only served to make the pleasant ones more so.
"Kingdom By The Sea" is for me, at least, a thouroughly enjoyable tour, a look into the British and into Theroux, and as always, a terrific piece of writing by one of the modern masters.
Theroux sets the stage for readers by alluding throughout The Kingdom by the Sea, written in 1982, to the current events of the day, just as he does in his other travel memoirs. The Falklands War, the birth of Prince William, railroad strikes, the rise and fall of the Yorkshire killer (a man whom Theroux is humorously mistaken to be on more than one occasion), "the troubles" in Northern Ireland--these and other headlines comprise the colorful backdrop to his narrative, which is usually more about people than places. Fans of Theroux will find other traits characteristic of his writing here, too: The inside joke that strategically perforates the entire book, always appearing at the right time. In The Kingdom by the Sea he introduces the Inside Joke with this line: "It was one of my small talents to be able to tell a person's name by looking at him" (9) and indeed overwhelmingly proves his knack for conjuring up very funny, very British names and pinning them to the right people--"The Touchmores," "Vivian Greenup," "R.L. Justice," "Mrs. Mumby," "Judith Memery," "Roger Cockpole...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Acerbic, persective and witty with a great eye (and ear) for people and landscapesPublished 9 days ago by John Williams
This is a great book. Very interesting to read about England of thirty years ago when they weren't doing all that well. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ann Lewis
I read this book a while back while pining for another trip to the UK. The author is not much of a fan of England and the British people, but his excursions to familiar places... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Mary Jean Mayer
Another fine turn by Paul Theroux. In the early 1980s, he set out to walk around the coast of Britain (with some assistance from the diminishing train service and the buses..... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Ida's Girl
It's interesting, in a sort of perverse way, to read this book so many years after it was written. The prince whose birth is celebrated in the book is now a father himself. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Evelyn Uyemura
Poor man, he never sees anything good, pleasant, cheerful in the whole of his tour of Great Britain. Read morePublished 9 months ago by S. Saunders
Great Book. Great Author. A different perspective on the English. Quite amusing.Published 11 months ago by MM
This book is so overwhelmingly negative that I found I stopped trusting the writer. I could see people and situations and places that were not too likable and understand that, but... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Marsha.L.S