[PDF / Epub] ☄ The Great Railway Bazaar By Paul Theroux – Loufanet.info

The Great Railway Bazaar First Published In , Paul Theroux S Strange, Unique, And Hugely Entertaining Railway Odyssey Has Become A Modern Classic Of Travel Literature Here Theroux Recounts His Early Adventures On An Unusual Grand Continental Tour Asia S Fabled Trains The Orient Express, The Khyber Pass Local, The Frontier Mail, The Golden Arrow To Kuala Lumpur, The Mandalay Express, The Trans Siberian Express Are The Stars Of A Journey That Takes Him On A Loop Eastbound From London S Victoria Station To Tokyo Central, Then Back From Japan On The Trans Siberian Brimming With Theroux S Signature Humor And Wry Keen Observations, This Engrossing Chronicle Is Essential Reading For Both The Ardent Adventurer And The Armchair Traveler In theory nothing isromantic than a long voyage aboard a train In reality you tend to get yourself into strange situations, meet questionable characters, occasionally starve, and be left to your own devices and demons for days at a time, while you bob gently in solitude along the endless tracks This is a travelogue of just such a voyage The biggest complaint from others I noticed with this book is apparent negativity and rudeness displayed by the author as he traverses through Central a In theory nothing isromantic than a long voyage aboard a train In reality you tend to get yourself into strange situations, meet questionable characters, occasionally starve, and be left to your own devices and demons for days at a time, while you bob gently in solitude along the endless tracks This is a travelogue of just such a voyage The biggest complaint from others I noticed with this book is apparent negativity and rudeness displayed by the author as he traverses through Central and East Asia to Japan, and making a return trip through Russia I really didn t find his manner off putting, but rather realistic He doesn t subscribe to the romance of train travel though confesses his unbound love for it in the very beginning , but rather looks at the world through a clear lens While witnessing poverty and anti sanitary conditions in India he describes them just so While seeing a beautiful landscape in Vietnam, he makes sure to give it its due His conversations with fellow passengers might sound snooty sometimes, but I didn t think them offensive There was no particular distinction between his treatment of locals and his fellow countrymen I find it curious that during his journey he got to explore sexuality in the culture of various countries from shady pimps of India to ladyboys of Thailand, and pornographic scrolls of Japan to repressed sexual tension of Islam Some of his stories are comical like his endeavors to ditch a strange train companion in Russia , and some are tragic the vignettes of futile attempts by Vietnamese government to attract tourism at the end of the war I find Theroux a little cynical, yet sensitive to his surroundings, andat ease with solitude than his fellow man Great book Paul Therouxyou are a miserable bastard On every excruciating page of this around Europe and Asia whine fest, I wanted to shake your self righteous little New England prick shoulders and beat some enjoyment into your crabby bastardness.The trains are late or crowded or smelly waaaaah The food is crappy or elsewhere or non existent waaaaah waaaaah The service is poor or sarcastic or requiring bribes sorry baksheesh Boy are you ever cool and in the know waaaaah waaaaah fucki Paul Therouxyou are a miserable bastard On every excruciating page of this around Europe and Asia whine fest, I wanted to shake your self righteous little New England prick shoulders and beat some enjoyment into your crabby bastardness.The trains are late or crowded or smelly waaaaah The food is crappy or elsewhere or non existent waaaaah waaaaah The service is poor or sarcastic or requiring bribes sorry baksheesh Boy are you ever cool and in the know waaaaah waaaaah fucking waaaaah Get over it, Paul You left your family for a four month excursion on the railways of the world, a trip I would die to experience, and you re busy pissing and moaning about having to experience the very thing you were on the tracks to experience life Where is your joy Where is your excitement at hanging out with literary cats that are fartalented than you Where s your sense of adventure Wrapped up in the fucking books you were reading, that s where How could you sit through Afghanistan and Russia and everywhere else with your nose in Dickens, shunning all but the most obnoxious Anglo Saxon company How the answer probably has something to do with the fact that you re a Dickens fan, actually, but I digress.I can t believe that The Great Railway Bazaar this piece of excruciating chauvinistic, Cold War, holier than thou trash is one of the essential works of travel literature But it is And I suppose that s why you re Paul Theroux, and I m not Silly me for thinking that travel literature was supposed to be about the the joy of flirting with something beyond my experience, enjoying other people enjoying life, but what do I know I haven t traveled on the rails of the world like you have Maybe the whole world does suck, just as you say, and the only good travel literature is that which is misanthropic.If that s the case, Mr TherouxYOU are the master I ve been hearing about Theroux for years and yet had never read one of books The idea of reading about a man journeying alone was something I couldn t quite settle to Would it be tedious and repetitious Perhaps it d be like delving into one of those dry guidebooks we ve all taken with us to a foreign city lots of information but very little pleasure In the end curiosity got the better of me and I grabbed an audio copy of perhaps his best known book.Set in 1973 but released in 1975 it te I ve been hearing about Theroux for years and yet had never read one of books The idea of reading about a man journeying alone was something I couldn t quite settle to Would it be tedious and repetitious Perhaps it d be like delving into one of those dry guidebooks we ve all taken with us to a foreign city lots of information but very little pleasure In the end curiosity got the better of me and I grabbed an audio copy of perhaps his best known book.Set in 1973 but released in 1975 it tells the story of his travels to and across Asia It s really a collection of episodes, the focus of which is on the trains, the passengers many of whom he engages in discourse and the railway stations We actually learn precious little of the cities he visitsIt had been my intention to stay on the train, without bothering about arriving anywhere sightseeing There is a secondary purpose to the travel as he eludes to a number of lectures he delivers in various cities along the way, though no background to or coverage of these events is included.The train journeys are mostly long affairs and he has booked sleeping cars which he s usually required to share with a mixed bag of companions The accounts of these encounters and those with others he meets along the way are often hilarious, with Theroux recounting whole conversations though I wonder how accurately with a dry humour that had me laughing out loud He paints vivid pictures of some memorable characters he met along the way.We follow his journey from London and across Europe and then through much of Asia The section of the journey I enjoyed most was his travel through India, which takes up the central part of the book The whole thing takes on a slight Wicker s World feel as each place seems wilder and each character wackier than the last There s a bit of historical information thrown in but it s really about the conversations he has and of him recording his instant impression of the places he visits Of the northern city of Simla he reflectsIt is the Empire with a dark complexion Somehow Theroux manages to make each stage of the journey feel fresh and different, despite the obvious self limitations He writes with erudition and humour and I can t help thinking he d be a great guy to share a meal and a few drinks with I ll certainly be back to sampleof his work.A quick note on the audio version I listened to Frank Muller is superb as narrator of this book, with his pacing and phrasing seeming to draw the best out of Theroux s words My only niggle is the very strange Indian accent he deployed though, in truth, it didn t impinge on my enjoyment.Finally, I owe thanks to Elyse for helping me to identify that this was a book I should read or, in fact, listen to oh dear, yes, he s observant and turns a pretty phrase on every page, makes you laugh, etc but he s so contemptuous of everyone he comes across i lost interest skipped all the trains between india and the soviet union he really loses it at the end and addresses all the russians he meets on the trans siberian railway as monkeys granted, i have now been in a similar situation, far from home in bleak surroundings at christmastime, like theroux on the trans siberian, homesick and irritated by ev oh dear, yes, he s observant and turns a pretty phrase on every page, makes you laugh, etc but he s so contemptuous of everyone he comes across i lost interest skipped all the trains between india and the soviet union he really loses it at the end and addresses all the russians he meets on the trans siberian railway as monkeys granted, i have now been in a similar situation, far from home in bleak surroundings at christmastime, like theroux on the trans siberian, homesick and irritated by everything and everyone, even contemptuous, but i can t imagine writing as theroux does, with no apology or introspection the book seems a historical record of the traveling american s gaze of superiority

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