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The Mosquito Coast Reprint Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 143 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0618658961
ISBN-10: 0618658963
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

PAUL THEROUX is the author of many highly acclaimed books. His novels include The Lower River and The Mosquito Coast, and his renowned travel books include Ghost Train to the Eastern Star and Dark Star Safari. He lives in Hawaii and Cape Cod.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Reprint edition (June 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618658963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618658961
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Doug Vaughn HALL OF FAME on December 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
Paul Theroux never repeats himself and what he chooses to present in each book is quaranteed to surprise anyone who has read any of his other books. In this novel, part travelogue/adventure and part American social critique, the chief character is one of the most fascinating and least likeable figures I have encountered in recent fiction. An American genius with no patience for the opinions of anyone else and a hatred for most of modern life, determines to take his family into the jungles of South America, where he sees himself becoming something of a saviour to the natives - bringing them a few simple forms of technology that will uplift and transform their lives. Instead, he plunges himself and his family into a hell of conflicts that he doesn't even try to understand.
The story, told from the point of view of his initially adoring (and fearful) son, follows the decline in the family's fortunes until it is clear that it is the father himself who is their real enemy. A tragic and deeply moving tale, this book stays in the mind - not always pleasantly - long after it has been read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I won't comment on the book itself for many have done that already but I want to give feedback to those Kindle users who may consider buying the e-book.

Obviously like so many, the book was scanned to obtain its digital format. Ostensibly there was no proofreading done after that which considering the many "typos" and transposed characters in words is inexcusable. EX: The capital letter I is often the number 1, The ship's name alternates between Unicorn and Unicom, the list goes on. Now this wouldn't be as big a deal if the writer hadn't written the dialect of some of the characters. EX: experiment=spearmint so as you read along you are baffled by a sentence sometimes which stops you in your tracks while you try to figure out what the author really meant and sometimes you wonder of the dialect is a typo etc. All and all a good book but just wanted to warn those Kindle users who might become a bit irritated by it and would prefer to buy the hard print.
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Format: Paperback
Paul Theroux's novels generally feature carefully etched characters, but he surpasses himself with Allie Fox, the protagonist of the Mosquito Coast. Allie is a husband and father of four, but he seems to care far more about his "inventions" and radical social ideas than he does about their welfare. To act out his ideals, he moves his family to Central America to start a utopian society, unencumbered by traditional materialism. Some of his contraptions work and the community begins to flourish, until his plans become grandiose. Although the reader can see the tragedy that is to come, Theroux constructs an intriguing plot that keeps the reader drawn into the novel.
Some readers may be greatly off-put by Allie and his behavior; however, he is undeniably a magnetic and fascinating force. Fortunately, the book is narrated from the point-of-view of the teenaged son, Charlie, which allows the reader some distance from the sometimes repugnant Allie. Other readers may be disappointed by Allie's wife. She plays a relatively small role in the proceedings, and she seems to blindly go along with Allie, even when she suspects detrimental effects on her family. However, a man like Allie probably would be married to such a woman, as he likes to be in charge and assert himself on others strongly.
Overall, the Mosquito Coast is a one-of-a-kind literary experience, with a fantastic main character embedded in a rollicking-good story. Most highly recommended.
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By A Customer on May 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a novel with unique characters and an unpredictable plot. This story is told from the point of view of Charlie Fox, son of Allie Fox. Allie is a selfish man who is fed up with American society. He improves upon the "imperfections" of the world with his ingenious inventions. He moves his family to the South American jungle to escape the defective society and create a suitable town of his own. Charlie relates his father's actions through admiring eyes at first, but he soon sees the flaws in his father's civilization. The family suffers many losses and eventually realizes that Allie is not saving them from a faulty society, but he is squelching them from thriving. This is a very well written, detailed novel that has a great deal of suspense. While the story is unique, all can relate to the feelings and thoughts of the characters in this exciting, thought-provoking novel.
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By A Customer on January 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
I found Allie Fox to be magnetic. There is no doubt he is somewhat mad, but in his madness lies a fair amount of truth. In some ways I find myself wondering if perhaps Allie was right. He sees the modern world as ugly, dependent on manufacturing and pollution and religion, lost in it's own technololgy. He is trying to rescue his family from a desctruction that he believes is inevitable.
Contrary to other reviews I have read I have no feelings that Mother is weak or unable to stand up on her own. She believes in this remarkable man and his ability to make something out of nothing. Her reluctance to go against him comes from her true love for his strength of character and her desire to provide for her children. We are the ones who are stuck thinking survival means money and material goods. They were happiest with their simplicity, their basic needs and their faith in their father.
This story is tragic and beautiful, it is thought provoking and full of life. In the end, I am not so sure who the real savages are.
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