Figures in a Landscape by Paul Theroux
People and Places

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There are several highly entertaining essays here, and some quotably arresting lines, but the voice is elusive, unfixed and dissonant – an echo of the divisions within.
-Guardian

Synopsis

A delectable collection of Theroux’s recent writing on great places, people, and prose

In the spirit of his much-loved Sunrise with Seamonsters and Fresh Air Fiend, Paul Theroux’s latest collection of essays leads the reader through a dazzling array of sights, characters, and experiences, as Theroux applies his signature searching curiosity to a life lived as much in reading as on the road. This writerly tour-de-force features a satisfyingly varied selection of topics that showcase Theroux’s sheer versatility as a writer. Travel essays take us to Ecuador, Zimbabwe, and Hawaii, to name a few. Gems of literary criticism reveal fascinating depth in the work of Henry David Thoreau, Graham Greene, Joseph Conrad, and Hunter Thompson. And in a series of breathtakingly personal profiles, we take a helicopter ride with Elizabeth Taylor, go surfing with Oliver Sacks, eavesdrop on the day-to-day life of a Manhattan dominatrix, and explore New York with Robin Williams.

An extended mediation on the craft of writing binds together this wide-ranging collection, along with Theroux’s constant quest for the authentic in a person or in a place.
 

About Paul Theroux

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PAUL THEROUX is the author of many highly acclaimed books. 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. He lives in Hawaii and on Cape Cod.
 
Published May 8, 2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 416 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Robert McCrum on Jun 24 2018

There are several highly entertaining essays here, and some quotably arresting lines, but the voice is elusive, unfixed and dissonant – an echo of the divisions within.

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