Friday, July 9, 2010
Ghost Train to the Eastern Star
I just finished listening to Paul Theroux's latest travel book, Ghost Train to the Eastern Star (2008), and I liked it a lot. His first travel book was The Great Railway Bazaar (1975), the narrative of his train trip across Asia. He wrote the book when he was 33, and 33 years later he tried to retrace his steps. I like the new book better than the first one. Back then Theroux was a flamboyant jerk who owed a lot of his popularity to his sarcasm, but at 66 he is more thoughtful. In the new book he is more positive about many things and much less narcissistic, much kinder to the people he meets, but on the other hand he has a deep gloominess about the future of our increasingly crowded planet.