The Lower River by Paul Theroux

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Theroux is one of the best novelists now writing about Africa. The Lower River is elegantly written, captures authentic African speech and is filled with vivid details.
-Globe and Mail

Synopsis

“[Hock] knows he is ensorcelled by exoticism, but he can’t help himself. And, as things go from bad to worse and the pages start to turn faster, neither can we. A.”—Entertainment Weekly


When he was a young man, Ellis Hock spent four of the best years of his life with the Peace Corps in Malawi. So when his wife of forty-two years leaves him, he decides to return to the village where he was stationed in search of the happiness he’d been missing since he left. But what he finds is not what he expected. The school he built is a ruin, the church and clinic are gone, and poverty and apathy have set in among the people.

They remember Ellis and welcome him with open arms. Soon, however, their overtures turn menacing; they demand money and refuse to let him leave the village. Is his new life an escape or a trap?


“Theroux’s bravely unsentimental novel about a region where he began his own grand career should become part of anybody’s education in the continent.”—Washington Post

The Lower River is riveting in its storytelling and provocative in its depiction of this African backwater, infusing both with undertones of slavery and cannibalism, savagery and disease.”—New York Times Book Review
 

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 22, 2012 by Mariner Books. 340 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Lower River
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Patrick Mcgrath on May 18 2012

“The Lower River” is riveting in its storytelling and provocative in its depiction of this African backwater, infusing both with undertones of slavery and cannibalism, savagery and disease.

Read Full Review of The Lower River | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Christopher Hope on May 31 2012

The Lower River is a savage, sometimes shocking story of love lost and won. It is also likely to cause some consternation – and so much the better if it does.

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Globe and Mail

Excellent
Reviewed by Jeffrey Meyers on Aug 24 2012

Theroux is one of the best novelists now writing about Africa. The Lower River is elegantly written, captures authentic African speech and is filled with vivid details.

Read Full Review of The Lower River | See more reviews from Globe and Mail

National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Philip Marchand on Aug 17 2012

Perhaps no moral is necessary, except the reminder that rich or poor, primitive or sophisticated, our fragile selves are continually propped up by the things we possess and the creature comforts we enjoy.

Read Full Review of The Lower River | See more reviews from National Post arts

Reader Rating for The Lower River
75%

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