THE A5 BOOK REVIEW
Fresh Air Fiend is Paul Theroux's collection of travel essays and articles written between 1985 and 2000, considered a companion volume to Sunrise with Seamonsters. This book is a good starting point for those just being introduced to the acclaimed travel writer, although our recommendation is to read The Great Railway Bazaar in full. One important theme is the connection between the traveling life and the perspective to become a stranger to discover self; he describes his experience as a solitary traveler as that which helped Theroux discover who he was and what he stood for. His journeys span five continents, with stories from his time in the Peace Corps in Malawi, a visit to Hong Kong on the eve of the Hand-over, a cruise with rich tourists down the Yangtze, life in the non-touristy side of Hawaii, a week spent alone in the Maine Woods, to a trip down the Zambezi River in Zambia. Fresh Air Fiend is a truly good read, or a good gift, for those fascinated by the wider world of travel.
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A FEW OTHER A5 RECOMMENDED TRAVEL BOOKS FROM PAUL THEROUX (click here for more)
Paul Theroux is certainly one of the world's prominent travel writers. See more from Paul Theroux here.
INTRODUCTION: BEING A STRANGER
"For long periods of my life, living in places where I did not belong, I have been a perfect stranger. I asked myself whether my sense of self was the human condition. It certainly was my condition. As with most people, my outer life did not in the least resemble any inner life, but exotic places and circumstances intensified this difference. Sometimes being a stranger was like the evocation of a dream state, at other times like a form of madness, and now and then it was just inconvenient. I might have gone home, except that a return would have made me feel like a failure. I was not only far away, I was also out of touch. It sounds as tough I am describing a metaphysical problem to which there was no solution - but no, all of this was a form of salvation."
- Paul Theroux, Fresh Air Fiend