THE A5 BOOK REVIEW
Paul Theroux’s latest travelogue takes him to Mexico, a country known here in the United States primarily for beach resorts, an Americanized version of the country’s cuisine, and unfortunately more recently for contentious, disturbing and polarizing immigration headlines. Theroux's natural curiosity leads him to set out on a trip to see for himself what is really happening. He starts by driving the entire length of the border and talking to people on both sides. He unsurprisingly discovers a truly dangerous and unstable environment, with drug and human traffickers exploiting the desperate situation of migrants from all over the world trying to cross over to the United States and unsympathetic US Border Patrol officials waiting on the other side.. Although many refugees are fleeing dangerous situations, their stories are diverse and human. Theroux's journey then continues deeper into Mexico, with visits to Mexico City, the expat community of San Miguel de Allende, and to the back roads of the southern states of Chiapas and Oaxaca. As always, Theroux’s focus is on the locals, listening to the stories of everyday people. His in-person experience exposes a rich and proud culture, obviously troubled by poverty and a lack of opportunity but one intent on maintaining their tradition and dignity.
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A FEW OTHER A5 RECOMMENDED TRAVEL BOOKS FROM PAUL THEROUX (click here for more)
Paul Theroux is one of our all-time favorite travel writers. See more from Paul Theroux here.
GREAT QUOTES FROM ON THE PLAIN OF SNAKES
“Knowing the risks that migrants took emboldened me, and hearing nothing but ignorant opinion about Mexicans, from the highest office in America to the common ruck of barflies and xenophobes (maybe disinhibited by their bigoted leader), I decided to take a trip to Mexico. I studied the map. I had no status except my age, but in a country where the old are respected, that was enough - more than enough."