The Old Patagonian Express: By Train Through the Americas

The Old Patagonian Express By Train Through the Americas Award winning travel writer Paul Theroux invites you aboard The Old Patagonian Express by Train through the Americas packed with powerful descriptions and portraits of the many colours of humanity Th

Award winning travel writer Paul Theroux invites you aboard The Old Patagonian Express by Train through the Americas packed with powerful descriptions and portraits of the many colours of humanity, The Old Patagonian Express is an unforgettable read.A witty sharply observed journey down the length of North and South AmericaBeginning his journey in Boston, where he boardedAward winning travel writer Paul Theroux invites you aboard The Old Patagonian Express by Train through the Americas packed with powerful descriptions and portraits of the many colours of humanity, The Old Patagonian Express is an unforgettable read.A witty sharply observed journey down the length of North and South AmericaBeginning his journey in Boston, where he boarded the subway commuter train, and catching trains of all kinds on the way, Paul Theroux tells of his voyage from ice bound Massachusetts and Illinois to the arid plateau of Argentina s most southerly tip Sweating and shivering by turns as the temperature and altitude shoot up and down, thrown in with the appalling Mr Thornberry in Lim n and reading nightly to the blind writer, Borges, in Buenos Aires, Theroux vividly evokes the contrasts of a journey to the end of the line.American travel writer Paul Theroux is known for the rich descriptions of people and places that is often streaked with his distinctive sense of irony his other non fiction titles, Riding the Iron Rooster, The Happy Isles of Oceania, Sunrise with Seamonsters, The Kingdom by the Sea, The Tao of Travel, Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, The Great Railway Bazaar, Dark Star Safari, Fresh air Fiend, Sir Vidia s Shadow, The Pillars of Hercules, and his novels and collections of short stories, including the James Tait Black Memorial Prize winner The Mosquito Coast are available

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The Old Patagonian Express: By Train Through the Americas

  1. Paul Edward Theroux is an American travel writer and novelist, whose best known work is The Great Railway Bazaar 1975 , a travelogue about a trip he made by train from Great Britain through Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, through South Asia, then South East Asia, up through East Asia, as far east as Japan, and then back across Russia to his point of origin Although perhaps best known as a travel writer, Theroux has also published numerous works of fiction, some of which were made into feature films He was awarded the 1981 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel The Mosquito Coast.

722 Reply to “The Old Patagonian Express: By Train Through the Americas”

  1. Apart from the occasional quick dash on the Metro, I haven t had much of a train life, as never really needed them I do however recall the nostalgic memory of my first ever train ride aged about five, sitting on board just prior to departure I was excited and couldn t keep still, waiting for something extraordinary to happen, but the most euphoria I got was when the train shot through a tunnel for all of 30 seconds, other than that I gazed out yonder at the passing English countryside, munching [...]

  2. I suppose Paul Theroux s travel writing isn t for everyone If you don t like his traveling persona you aren t likely to enjoy his books That being said, I like his traveling persona, so every travel book is a pleasure and there are still books to be read But I decided to read The Old Patagonia Express because a friend reminded me that he travels to South America in this book South America is a place that I have had a recent interest in and this summer I made my first visit to the continent when [...]

  3. I am willing to change my mind Someone said that they liked the descriptions of this travel novel but would hate to have to go anywhere with this author I would prefer to hear about these places through the perspective of someone else Theroux is hard to read not due to the complexity of his prose, but because of his voice He is stuck up, self aggrandizing, and misanthropic What distinguishes Theroux from other misanthropes who may be worth reading is that he himself does not offer much to the re [...]

  4. 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 dislik [...]

  5. My third Paul Theroux book Last year I first came across Theroux s non fiction work The Happy Isles of Oceania Paddling the Pacific 1992 which I thoroughly enjoyed Theroux was travelling through almost all of the Pacific nations and went paddling here and there Then I read his fiction work The Mosquito Coast 1981 Theroux s voice sounds radically different in fiction compared to his non fiction, which I think is a good thing Now I ve returned to another of his non fiction work, namely The Old Pat [...]

  6. I hate not finishing books, but this might be one of those I cannot finish Or perhaps I ll finish it just to cement my bad opinion of it.I first read Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux and must add that this was several years ago I absolutely adored it at the time I thought I would like this one just as much, and have been dying to buy it for a long time now The author walks you through every place he travels, leaving you with a good sense of orientation and geography of the place he s travelled, [...]

  7. There are parts in this book which I find brilliant, funny, entertaining, and even deep A description of reading Lovecraft on a train full of people that probably thought the name referred to something naughty is quite good for example It s just a little too much of this book I think I might have liked it in shorter form because in the end it was starting to feel like challenge to finish Maybe it was just too long a trip for the book Or maybe I didn t feel like going all this way with Theroux H [...]

  8. This is probably my second re read of Paul Theroux s travel classic of a railroad journey from Boston to as far south as he could go in the Americas By now, many of the trains he describes no longer exist so he has produced, at the very least, a valuable historical document The Old Patagonian Express By Train Through the Americas is an unusually snarky look at Latin America and its people, but then his views are typical of the period in which the book was written some forty years ago.Still, it i [...]

  9. why anybody would want to waste their time reading this judgmental, curmudgeon of a book by a guy who doesn t even want to visit anything, yet is so cocky in calling himself a traveler and not a tourist, is beyond me reminds me way too much of an old professor i once dated and, no, i did not continue wasting my time on this book after 100 pages or so don t bother

  10. I had arrived in Patagonia, and i laughed when I remembered I had come here from Boston, on a subway train that people take to work Call me a fanatic of Theroux s work, but travel writing isn t always about Sugar coating your experiences with Wows and Awes Paul is undoubtedly the Best in his class and he is never afraid of calling a place what it actually is.In The Old Patagonian Express, Theroux takes us on a Journey and literally a journey with the starting point and destination just posing as [...]

  11. I m a big Paul Theroux fan, and this book delivered A number of reviewers describe his foibles occasional self absorption and cruel caricaturing of people he finds obnoxious but some of the other criticisms are bizarre to me He was hardly an overgrown version of the itinerant youth backpacker he wrote travel books for a living and this was how he made money He talks about his inner thoughts and emotions on the train a lot, but isn t that a big part of why we read travel books Travel writing that [...]

  12. Stary ekspres patago ski to ksi ka kupiona przeze mnie z dw ch powod w Po pierwsze zach cona zosta am do autora, a wybra am akurat ten tytu , bo wietnie pasowa do wyzwania po udniowoameryka skiego Niestety moja przyja z Theroux na tej ksi ce raczej si sko czy.Lata siedemdziesi te XX wieku, Theroux postanawia przemierzy oba kontynenty ameryka skie poci giem Wyrusza wi c na po udnie, zasiada przy oknie, zaczyna czyta i w a ciwie alienuje si od wsp pasa er w Zza grzbietu ksi ki spogl da oczywi cie, [...]

  13. i love travel narrative and trains so i thought i d love this but i gave it one star because the author is such a condescending prat to the people he meets He manages to make sure his ideas stay intact and wipe away their whole philosophies with a puff of pipe smoke I had to quit reading it I ll go back to it and update my review when my prat o meter gets set back to zero might take a while.

  14. I ve been finished with this book for over a month now and have been slowly very slowly writing down my thoughts on it If you re a bottom line man, and I know at heart, you are , Paul Theroux s The Old Patagonian Express is a good read For what makes it worth a look, read on I started to read Paul Theroux s The Old Patagonian Express By Train Through the Americas Mariner 1979 because I immediately liked his voice as a writer Once into the book, I was charmed by Theroux s descriptions, by his occ [...]

  15. From my old blog It s a very old book again, first published around 1979, the journey itself undertaken by Theroux in his late thirties he sounds much older though The idea behind the journey trace a route by train from Boston to the end of where he could go down South.Next, the journey itself, with an obscure beginning boarding the subway commuter train from Boston, the author s superstition making him not reveal his destination, Patagonia There is something fascinating than fiction in this ve [...]

  16. Since my retirement I have been blessed to be able to read a considerable number of books and am currently at a pace to read several hundred a year My favorite authors that I presently focus on include David McCollough, Cormac McCarthy, Larry McMurtry, John Sandford and the author of this bookPaul Theroux I have read many of his non fiction travel adventures and some of his fiction including The Mosquito Coast and found them all exceptional This book, however, was as good as any It has been rare [...]

  17. Really enjoyed this travelogue Theroux takes a train trip from Boston to Patagonia in Argentina, and tells us all about the trip getting there Meeting many different types of characters, Theroux s interactions with them range from slight bemusement to indifference He is not, however, as a few reviewers have tried to point out, a misanthrope He does not suffer fools, but Theroux shows great humanity when describing the poverty and the hopelessness that he sees throughout his travels Most touching [...]

  18. I first read Paul Theroux s travel books as a socially awkward middle schooler who dreamed of voyages to Borneo and Namibia And than a decade later, I m still a fan While he s caustic and unforgiving,he s fair While bitter, his humanism still shines through.And The Old Patagonian Express is Theroux at his finest He takes his scalpel to social dysfunction in El Salvador, boorish Yanks in Costa Rica, and the Duck Soup level absurdity of the Canal Zone And it concludes with Theroux strolling aroun [...]

  19. Only read 2 3rds of it Had to put it down as I wasn t enjoying it I would have persisted with it with if I thought I was learning anything about the lands the distinguished writer travels through, but all I got were endless judgements and rather dry prose I had been warned earlier about Theroux, but as a reader you can t make the mistake Theroux himself makes with some people and places he encounters dismissing them entirely I had to give him a chance I did, and am now done with him I will not p [...]

  20. Lots of beautiful observations, and a great story, but Theroux is bit of a condescending dick, isn t he I almost gave up at the beginning when he started mocking Wendy the raw food eater Uttering rosy generalities in her sweetly tremulous voice she was an example of total self absorption and desperate self advertisement Well if that ain t the pot calling the kettle black.

  21. Felt like a really long book I enjoyed it from El Salvador onwards, although I personally find his writing style is, I don t know, maybe too detailed to keep my full attention.

  22. I d always heard that Theroux is cynical and negative and grumpy, so I was prepared to dislike him and his style, and for the first few chapters of this book I felt that But as his journey continued those feelings dissolved completely and now that I m finished with the book I m sad it s over and I want to read as much of his work as I can get my hands on I m not denying that there is a New England snobbery about him, but I find it endearing rather than offensive The best travel books are those t [...]

  23. Though it was published getting to 40 years ago in 1979, The Old Patagonian Express follows a journey that could just as well have happened today Recently having boarded his first of many trains from Boston to Patagonia the bottom of South America , he runs into a young girl who is on a my memory is hazy vegan, raw food diet Later, as he descends into South America, he runs into extreme poverty, religious hypocrisy, political instability, etc pretty much the same qualities that permeate the cont [...]

  24. This might very well be my favourite book by Paul Theroux, for many reasons Theroux writes about this journey from Chicago to Patagonia by train I almost said describes his journey , but that is never true with Theroux Patagonia, is of course, one reason why I loved this book so much Ever since I first read Chatwin when I was 13, Patagonia has held something magical for me.The second reason is, if I m honest with myself, the time I read it Maybe I needed to read some of his books before to truly [...]

  25. BLUUURRRRGGH is the one word I would choose to describe this book I might have somewhat enjoyed it were it not for the narrator, who is the most obnoxious and pretentious person on the planet He makes many references throughout the book to trimming his pencil moustache, which he is growing specifically for his trip, and to packing the bowl of his pipe He is snide and condescending to nearly everyone he meets, he refers to comics as good only for children and illiterates, and uses really flimsy c [...]

  26. The Old Patagonian Express by Paul Theroux is in some ways the negation of most travel narratives While most delve deeply in thick, often exotic description of the writer s destination, Theroux decides to make the journey the narrative, writing a book concerned with the going and the getting there, the poetry of departures A classic of travel literature, The Old Patagonian Express is a deeply engaging book from a keen, talented author and traveler The idea behind the book is simple Theroux decid [...]

  27. I ve read and greatly enjoyed Theroux s travel books in the past The great railway bazaar and follow up ghost train to eastern star, dark star safari, pillars of Hercules They are full of bravery, acerbic wit, honesty, acerbity and insightful assessments of places, people and cultures without coming across as ignorant or judgmental However, I couldn t help feel disappointed by this travelogue following the great success of Bazarre Not a lot happens for a start In fact there are large sections o [...]

  28. This book was misnamed A better title would have been An East Coast Uppity Goes Into Culture Shock It was really far from being a travel book It had very little to do with trains in the sense that being a railfan has It was an excuse to take pokes at the U.S capitalism, religion, and of all things, the CIA Most everything in the book was blamed on those things, from the poverty stricken to the wealthy to everything in between.Theroux had an annoying habit of reciting poetry when you least expec [...]

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