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eBook The Old Patagonian Express: By Train Through the Americas download

by Paul Theroux

eBook The Old Patagonian Express: By Train Through the Americas download ISBN: 039552105X
Author: Paul Theroux
Publisher: Mariner Books; Reissue edition (November 7, 1989)
Language: English
Pages: 404
ePub: 1104 kb
Fb2: 1648 kb
Rating: 4.5
Other formats: mbr lrf txt mobi
Category: Reference
Subcategory: Writing Research and Publishing Guides

The Old Patagonian Express book.

The Old Patagonian Express book. He travelled almost exclusively by train – many different trains – and took it him about two months to reach his final destination, at Esquel. From the snow of North America, through the heat of Central and South America and finally the barren desert of Patagonia I found myself held spellbound throughout.

One of us on that sliding subway train was clearly not heading for work

One of us on that sliding subway train was clearly not heading for work. But why be coy? I had woken in my old bedroom, in the house where I had spent the best part of my life. The snow lay deep around the house, and there were frozen footprints across the yard to the garbage can. A blizzard had just visited, another was expected to blow in soon.

PAUL THEROUX is the author of many highly acclaimed books. The book reads like a diary of his travel from Boston to Tierra del Fuego, most of the time by train. His novels include The Lower River and The Mosquito Coast, and his renowned travel books include Ghost Train to the Eastern Star and Dark Star Safari. At the beginning of his train trip he meets a self-centered young woman who gives him a rundown of her dietary needs and "sensitivities.

The Old Patagonian Express tells of Paul Theroux’s train journey down the length of North and South America

The Old Patagonian Express tells of Paul Theroux’s train journey down the length of North and South America. Beginning on Boston’s subway, he depicts a voyage from ice-bound Massachusetts to the arid plateau of Argentina’s most southerly tip, via pretty Central American towns and the ancient Incan city of Macchu Pichu. Shivering and sweating by turns as the temperature and altitude rise and plummet, he describes the people he encountered – thrown in with the tedious, and unavoidable, Mr Thornberry in Limón and reading to the legendary blind writer, Jorge Luis Borges, in Buenos Aires.

The Old Patagonian Express. By Train through the Americas. Paul Theroux was born and educated in the United States

The Old Patagonian Express. Paul Theroux was born and educated in the United States. After graduating from university in 1963, he travelled to Italy and then Africa, where he worked as a teacher in Malawi and as a lecturer at Makerere University in Uganda. In 1968 he joined the University of Singapore and taught in the Department of English for three years.

By Train Through The Americas. That train was the one piece of life in all the deadly land; it was the one actor, the one spectacle fit to be observed in this paralysis of man and nature. And when I think how the railroad has been pushed through this unwatered wilderness and haunt of savage tribes. how at each stage of the construction, roaring, impromptu cities, full of gold and lust and death, sprang up and then died away again, and are now but wayside stations in the desert; how in these uncouth places pig-tailed Chinese pirates worked side.

Starting out from his home town in Massachusetts, via Boston and Chicago, Theroux travels by train across the North American plains to Laredo, Texas.

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Each time Paul Theroux takes a trip - "The Great Railway Bazaar, Riding . And he has never been sharper than in "The Old Patagonian Express.

Each time Paul Theroux takes a trip - "The Great Railway Bazaar, Riding the Iron Rooster" - the result is unmistakably Paul Theroux. His renowned travel books include Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, Dark Star Safari, Riding the Iron Rooster, The Great Railway Bazaar, The Old Patagonian Express, and The Happy Isles of Oceania. He lives in Hawaii and on Cape Cod. Библиографические данные. The Old Patagonian Express: By Train Through the Americas.

Starting with a rush-hour subway ride to South Station in Boston to catch the Lake Shore Limited to Chicago, Theroux winds up on the poky, wandering Old Patagonian Express steam engine, which comes to a halt in a desolate land of cracked hills and thorn bushes. But with Theroux the view along the way is what matters: the monologuing Mr. Thornberry in Costa Rica, the bogus priest of Cali, and the blind Jorge Luis Borges, who delights in having Theroux read Robert Louis Stevenson to him.
Comments: (7)
Nuadador
The cranky Paul Theroux may be an acquired taste, but my mom and I both shared a love of travel and the writings of Theroux. I am not sure if this is my favorite of his travel journals, but I think it may be a top contender. Theroux, who lives on Cape Cod, decided he could take a train out of Boston and end up in Patagonia--the utter end of the earth, the tip of South America where Chile and Argentina meet at the point of the continent.

Part of the charm of the book are the quick, sharp sketches of people Theroux meets on the way (not usually favorable) and the musings on the essence of the land he is traversing--its geography, its mood as well as the general condition of the local economy. Central America is phenomenally empoverished, down to the Stone Age level of heaps of huts and a few stray animals. His unvarnished view of the pitiable condition of these lands and their people gives you a better feeling for what life is like outside a developed nation, even Mexico, whose slums are posh compared to Nicaragua or Guatemala.

South America is not well known by Americans--did you know there is a Welsh settlement in Patagonia? It's amazing to take this train trip even with such a grouchy companion as Theroux. He's a marvelous writer and like all good journal writers, doesn't spare anything, even if it makes himself look less noble.

I read this before I ever traveled to Chile and then after and it really adds a lot of insight.
Tenius
The book is very entertaining. But Theroux's attitude towards the people he meets along the way gradually becomes irritating. He pours scorn on the typical time-constrained tourists, for their seeming disregard for the locals and for their exclusive focus on the famous hotspots (these bring his assumptions). On the other hand, the long term travelers of the backpacking sort invite his contempt in other ways; he ridicules their seeming obsession with frugality and -again - the disinterest in interacting with the locals. All in all, it seems that of all the myriad travelers in South America, he alone has noble motives and the correct way to travel. Contrary to other commenters here, I didn't sense any humility. There is some self-criticism here and there, but I get the feeling that they are mostly for effect and to charm the reader.
Coiriel
Yes, he is a curmudgeon - but I still love his books.

This one in particular fed into my wish to " someday" travel. I was a poor student who thought travel was only for the rich. I didn't realize you could do it cheaply - if you don't mind a few discomforts. It gave the information I needed to take journeys that expanded my world view.

The book reads like a diary of his travel from Boston to Tierra del Fuego, most of the time by train. Along the way he meets both ordinary & famous people - most of whom he dislikes. At the beginning of his train trip he meets a self-centered young woman who gives him a rundown of her dietary needs and "sensitivities." She is a the first of many people who will annoy and confound him. He also manages to meet luminaries like Jorge Luis Borges. Even Borges doesn't distract him from train" schedules", breakdowns, people, and misunderstanding that - he thinks - exist only to thwart his enjoyment. He hates everyone and everything but manages to describe it all in hilarious prose.

I know many people dislike his grouchy persona - they wonder why he even travels. Give him a break - he is like one of those old - fashioned uncles (at least in literature) who fill your head with wonderful images of far away places while complaining about the most trivial problems. You know he's finicky, so all you take in is the wonder of discovering new places.

I will always love this book and Mr. Theroux for leading me out of small, Midwestern-town-USA. How else would I have found myself hitching a ride to Otoval market (ECUADOR) on top of a precarious truck carrying vegetables & chickens? Two Japanese sisters made the trip even more fun as we screamed & laughed all the way. A trip of a lifetime on a shoe string budget. Luckily I was young enough to ignore discomfort so that I could enjoy new vistas and people.

I will always keep my worn copy of this book. I give it 5 stars for inspiration, hilarity, and practical advice.
Ceroelyu
Paul Theroux has a bitter impatience with the poverty and hardships he sees imposed (by dictators and ignorance) on people whose lives he travels through. He has a witty impatience with loud tourist louts. But he has a generous heart that he tries to keep under wraps, like the night he ran across 3 homeless boys in an alley and talked to them to hear their stories and gave them money to eat and told us, the readers, he knew they wouldnt survive. A true trip, glad to tag along in complacent safety while he faces our reality.
Mr.Savik
It's not his best work by my tastes but it is Paul Theroux's only account of traveling through North and South America. It has all the challenges of a travelogue written in the late 70s such as disparaging remarks about people of colour, endless commentary on the dilapidation of non western cities and towns but the character studies are there of the people he meets on trains and the delight is his description of time spent with Borges. It's a worthwhile read for armchair travellers eager to experience the Americas.
Washington
This is an excellent read. Theroux engages everything and everyone with a sort of biting-embrace. He doesn't mince words. He tells the story of the Americas as he experiences it. It's not necessarily pretty and it isn't always complimentary.Theroux's mixes observation with historical background and literary references that add to the text. Theroux's power of description can be breathtaking. "Flocks of white herons blew across the grass tips like flecks of paper in a breeze" It is this type of prose juxtaposed the poor living conditions of the people that adds allure to the story. I think Theroux's writing rests on the edge of what people find comfortable, but the reality is traveling to a third world country is not COMFORTABLE. One must fine riches and beauty amongst the squalor.