15 January 2010

Ghost Train to the Eastern Star by Paul Theroux

Ghost Train to the Eastern Star is a pilgrimmage of farewell. Paul Theroux is following himself thirty years ago. He calls himself a ghost, but his readers are even more ghostly, distanced by his distance. I like travel books which share the writer's experience of people and places in a direct style. In Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, Theroux shares his musings on his experiences. As a reader I felt that as I craned forward to see what he saw, he stepped sideways and I bumped my nose on his back.

The journey is sharply observed, well fleshed out with research, but it has an air of studied renunciation. Theroux will not travel with us into the future. He will wear his trousers rolled.

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