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The Last Train to Zona Verde Paperback – Illustrated, May 13, 2014

4.2 out of 5 stars 666 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Thoroughly engrossing—from Cape Town to Namibia to the Okavango Delta, Theroux is his inimitable, delightfully grouchy and incisive self…At times tragic, often comical and always gorgeously written, this is a paean to a continent, by a writer unafraid to give it some tough love." —Washington Post "He has no illusions about the fact that he is just a passing visitor (a privileged one at that), but that doesn't make his observations, or exquisite writing, any less engaging." —Entertainment Weekly (Best Book of the Year) "Theroux is at his best when he tells their stories, happy and sad...Theroux’s great mission had always been to transport us beyond that reading chair, to challenge himself—and thus, to challenge us." —Boston Globe "If this book is proof, age has not slowed Theroux or encouraged him to rest on his achievements…Gutsy, alert to Africa's struggles, its injustices and history." —San Francisco Chronicle "Everything is under scrutiny in Paul Theroux’s latest travel book—not just the people, landscapes and sociopolitical realities of the countries he visits, but his own motivations for going where he goes…His readers can only be grateful." —Seattle Times "A rich story often laced with irony, the work of a keen observer, full of colorful encounters…Ever the astute questioner, ever the curious reporter, ever a forthright witness to history and the dilemma of the oppressed, alert to political thuggery, he chronicles the crises facing the sub-Sahara." —New York Journal of Books "Theroux takes you on a rocky safari across infringed wilds, disenfranchised poverty and coven luxury. He introduces you to a boil of angry indigenous peoples and unsettled migrants you won’t meet on an itinerary tour....Go on, turn the first few pages. Then I dare you to put it down." —Charleston Post-Courier "As in the best of his many books, Theroux convincingly takes you along for every manic bus ride. His wonderment is yours, whether he’s contemplating eating a flyblown leg of chicken, dealing with a ferocious Angolan border guard, or deciding that this time, he’s had quite enough. It’s a remarkable, teeth-gritting tale" —Everett Potter "His ability to map new terrain, both interior and exterior, and to report from places that seldom make the news, remains undiminished." —Booklist ( starred review) "Theroux’s prose is as vividly descriptive and atmospheric as ever and, though a bit curmudgeonly, he’s still wide open to raw, painful interactions between his psyche and his surroundings." —Publishers Weekly (starred review) "In this intensely personal book, Theroux honestly confronts racism, stigma, privilege and expectations...Reading this enlightening book won’t only open a window into Theroux’s mind, it will also impart a deeper understanding of Africa and travel in general." —Kirkus  (starred review) —

From the Back Cover

"Theroux is at his best when he tells [people’s] stories, happy and sad . . . Theroux’s great mission had always been to transport us beyond that reading chair, to challenge himself—and thus, to challenge us." — Boston Globe

A decade ago, Paul Theroux’s best-selling
Dark Star Safari chronicled his epic overland voyage from Cairo to Cape Town, providing an insider’s look at modern Africa. Now, with The Last Train to Zona Verde, he returns to discover how both he and Africa have changed in the ensuing years.

Traveling alone, Theroux sets out from Cape Town, going north through South Africa, Namibia, then into Angola, encountering a world increasingly removed from tourists’ itineraries and the hopes of postcolonial independence movements. After covering nearly 2,500 arduous miles, he cuts short his journey, a decision he chronicles with unsparing honesty in a chapter titled “What Am I Doing Here?” Vivid, witty, and beautifully evocative,
The Last Train to Zona Verde is a fitting final African adventure from the writer whose gimlet eye and effortless prose have brought the world to generations of readers.

"Everything is under scrutiny in Paul Theroux’s latest travel book—not just the people, landscapes and sociopolitical realities of the countries he visits, but his own motivations for going where he goes . . . His readers can only be grateful." —
Seattle Times

“If this book is proof, age has not slowed Theroux or encouraged him to rest on his achievements . . . Gutsy, alert to Africa's struggles, its injustices and history.” —
San Francisco Chronicle

[AU PHOTO] PAUL THEROUX’s renowned travel books include Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, Dark Star Safari, and The Great Railway Bazaar. His acclaimed novels include The Mosquito Coast, Hotel Honolulu, and The Lower River.


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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Mariner Books; Reprint edition (May 13, 2014)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 054422793X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0544227934
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 10.4 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.31 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 666 ratings

About the author

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Paul Theroux was born and educated in the United States. After graduating from university in 1963, he travelled first to Italy and then to Africa, where he worked as a Peace Corps teacher at a bush school in Malawi, and as a lecturer at Makerere University in Uganda. In 1968 he joined the University of Singapore and taught in the Department of English for three years. Throughout this time he was publishing short stories and journalism, and wrote a number of novels. Among these were Fong and the Indians, Girls at Play and Jungle Lovers, all of which appear in one volume, On the Edge of the Great Rift (Penguin, 1996).

In the early 1970s Paul Theroux moved with his wife and two children to Dorset, where he wrote Saint Jack, and then on to London. He was a resident in Britain for a total of seventeen years. In this time he wrote a dozen volumes of highly praised fiction and a number of successful travel books, from which a selection of writings were taken to compile his book Travelling the World (Penguin, 1992). Paul Theroux has now returned to the United States, but he continues to travel widely.

Paul Theroux's many books include Picture Palace, which won the 1978 Whitbread Literary Award; The Mosquito Coast, which was the 1981 Yorkshire Post Novel of the Year and joint winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and was also made into a feature film; Riding the Iron Rooster, which won the 1988 Thomas Cook Travel Book Award; The Pillars of Hercules, shortlisted for the 1996 Thomas Cook Travel Book Award; My Other Life: A Novel, Kowloon Tong, Sir Vidia's Shadow, Fresh-air Fiend and Hotel Honolulu. Blindness is his latest novel. Most of his books are published by Penguin.

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
666 global ratings

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5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure of dust and gems
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markr
5.0 out of 5 stars very readable travel writing
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