Blinding Light by Paul Theroux
A Novel

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Slade Steadman's lone opus, published twenty years ago, was Trespassing, a cult classic about his travels through dozens of countries without benefit of passport. With his soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend Ava in tow, Steadman sets out for Ecuador’s jungle in search of a rare hallucinogenic drug and the cure for his writer’s block. Amid a gang of thrill-seeking tourists, he finds his drug and his inspiration but is beset with an unnerving side effect—periodic blindness. His world is altered profoundly: Ava stays by his side, he writes an erotic, autobiographical novel with the drug serving as muse, and he returns to stardom.
Steadman becomes addicted to the drug and the insights it provides, only to have them desert him, along with his sight. Will he regain his vision? His visions? Or will he forgo the world of his imagining and his ambition?
As Theroux leads us toward the answers, he makes fresh magic out of the venerable intertwined themes of sight and insight. He also offers incisive, sometimes hilarious takes on the manifold ironies of travel, of trespass and trangession, and of the trappings of the writer’s life—from the fear of the blank page to the unexpected challenges of the book tour.

About Paul Theroux

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Paul Edward Theroux was born on April 10, 1941 in Medford, Massachusetts and is an acclaimed travel writer. After attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst he joined the Peace Corps and taught in Malawi from 1963 to 1965. He also taught in Uganda at Makerere University and in Singapore at the University of Singapore. Although Theroux has also written travel books in general and about various modes of transport, his name is synonymous with the literature of train travel. Theroux's 1975 best-seller, The Great Railway Bazaar, takes the reader through Asia, while his second book about train travel, The Old Patagonian Express (1979), describes his trip from Boston to the tip of South America. His third contribution to the railway travel genre, Riding the Iron Rooster: By Train Through China, won the Thomas Cook Prize for best literary travel book in 1989. His literary output also includes novels, books for children, short stories, articles, and poetry. His novels include Picture Palace (1978), which won the Whitbread Award and The Mosquito Coast (1981), which won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Theroux is a fellow of both the British Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Geographic Society. His title Lower River made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2012.
Published June 12, 2012 by Mariner Books. 438 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Despite Ava’s warnings that his fabricated disability may backfire, Slade persists with his revelatory hallucinations, dividing his energies among Ava’s ministrations, the completion of “a sexual history in the form of a novel” (The Book of Revelation) and lubricious memoirs of his early sexual e...

Mar 01 2005 | Read Full Review of Blinding Light: A Novel

The Guardian

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Blinding Light by Paul Theroux 438pp, Hamish Hamilton, £17.99 Slade Steadman, the chief character of Paul Theroux's 26th novel, is a middle-aged American writer who can no longer write.

Aug 13 2005 | Read Full Review of Blinding Light: A Novel

The Guardian

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Blinding Light Paul Theroux Hamish Hamilton £17.99 pp438 Paul Theroux's new novel starts with an exotic journey (to a remote village in Ecuador), as might be expected from someone who won his first reputation as a travel writer.

Jul 10 2005 | Read Full Review of Blinding Light: A Novel

Book Reporter

Slade Steadman is a One Book Wonder who has been resting on his laurels since his bestselling travel book, TRESPASSING, made him a millionaire 20 years ago.

Dec 22 2010 | Read Full Review of Blinding Light: A Novel

AV Club

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Much of the second act consists of Slade and Ava's kinky erotic couplings, which are removed from pornography only in Theroux's embarrassingly florid prose, and certainly not in fantasy scenarios where Ava counts herself among the 6 percent of women who derive pleasure from giving blow-jobs.

Jul 19 2005 | Read Full Review of Blinding Light: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

Slade Steadman has been living on the financial fumes of one great book for over 20 years.

Jan 03 2008 | Read Full Review of Blinding Light: A Novel

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