THE A5 BOOK REVIEW
“Africa had changed, and, ten years on, so had I,” writes Paul Theroux as he embarks on another journey through Africa, the continent that helped shape his affection for travel and that perhaps captures his imagination like no other. Theroux is in his seventies at this point, and the trip is therefore also a bit of a farewell voyage. In The Last Train to Zona Verde, his thirst for adventure has not diminished at all however; 2,500 miles of arduous exploration, often to places rarely seen by Western travelers, experiencing heat, seeing slums and extreme poverty, and dealing with roadblocks and chaos. This time he travels north, starting from Cape Town through South Africa, and through the Namibia bush, and then on into Angola. And of course, the writing is sharp, sometimes biting, and always evocative. The last chapter called “What Am I Doing Here?” provides a very honest look into the great writer himself.
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Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town (2004)
Paul Theroux’s original travelogue on Africa is called Dark Star Safari, and in our opinion one of Theroux’s best books. His writing here is particularly enlightening and entertaining, helping make Theroux’s reputation as one of the world’s best travel writers. Our recommendation is to read Dark Star Safari first before reading The Last Train to Zona Verde, but it honestly doesn’t matter that much. Click here for our review on Dark Star Safari.
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.
“Reading about a far-off place can be a satisfaction in itself, and you might be thankful you’re reading about the bad trip without the dust in your nose and the sun burning your head, not having to endure the unrewarding nuisance and delay of the road. But reading can also be a powerful stimulus to travel. That was the case for me from the beginning. Reading and restlessness-dissatisfaction at home, a sourness of being indoors, and a notion that the real world was elsewhere- made me a traveller. If the internet were everything it is cracked up to be, we would all stay at home and be brilliantly witty and insightful. Yet with so much contradictory information available, there is more reason to travel than ever before: to look closer, to dig deeper, to sort the authentic from the fake; to verify, to smell, to touch, to hear, and sometimes – importantly – to suffer the effects of this curiosity.”
Paul Theroux, The Last Train to Zona Verde