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THE A5 BOOK REVIEW
If the history of travel writing could be encapsulated into one book, it might be Paul Theroux’s The Tao of Travel, a philosophical tribute to the writers and work that influenced and inspired him. This isn’t a selection of his own work but instead a curated collection of short passages in travel literature grouped by categories like walking, traveling alone, the pleasure of railways (one of Theroux’s most popular themes), fear and neuroses, and the importance of travel as an ordeal. Selected writers include Bruce Chatwin, Pico Iyer, Freya Stark, Henry David Thoreau, Robert Louis Stevenson, J.R.R Tolkien, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway. Some of the best of Theroux’s own work is also included. In his introduction, “The Importance of Elsewhere”, Theroux highlights the importance of escape to find a new self, first for him with books and then when he was old enough, through travel. Accordingly, he explains that he saw the most passionate of travelers were also passionate about books. Here at A5 Travel Books, we wholeheartedly agree.
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A FEW OTHER A5 RECOMMENDED TRAVEL BOOKS FROM PAUL THEROUX (click here for more)
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PREFACE TO THE TAO OF TRAVEL
"The wish to travel seems to me characteristically human; the desire to move, to satisfy your curiosity or ease your fears, to change the circumstances of your life, to be a stranger, to make a friend, to experience an exotic landscape, to risk the unknown, to bear witness to the consequences, tragic or comic, of people possessed by the narcissism of minor differences. Chekhov said "If you're afraid of loneliness, don't marry." I would say, if you're afraid of loneliness, don't travel. The literature of travel shows the effects of solitude, sometimes mournful, more often enriching, now and then unexpectedly spiritual."
- Paul Theroux, The Tao of Travel: Enlightenment from Lives on the Road