7.3.14 Thursday Tale-Tellers Tattle – Paul Theroux

Like my musical tastes, my reading tastes are eclectic as well.  My baby brother often shares writers of interest with me, and he introduced me to Theroux several years ago.  Certain writers incite a desire in me to travel, something I’ve had little opportunity to do.  I appreciate their depictions of places most likely I’ll never see – Dan Brown does that always in his writings!  I longed for Venice and Italy after devouring his most recent offering, “Inferno”.  

My favorite quote of Theroux’s that underlies my own philosophy on life:

I cannot make my days longer so I strive to make them better.

But Theroux offers up philosophy and great human interest bits in his writings, and shares my love of the outdoors. His most well-known written work , I think is “The Great Railway Bazaar,”  although many of you may know him from his movie work, particularly “The Mosquito Coast”, one of my all-time favorite movies.  He provides evocative descriptions of people, places and things that makes one want to get underneath just what one sees initially, at least for me.  He is a thinking doer, which is a great combination for a writer. Whether he is writing great experiences in travel in other countries, or writing on his solo kayaking trips in and around the States, there is a very strong voice there that resonates deeply.   Other favorites of his are “Fresh Air Fiend” and “Sunrise with Seamonsters.”   He writes regularly for magazines as well, and his entire book listing can be found at his site: http://www.paultheroux.com/

He doesn’t care much for blogging, so I doubt he’ll be here giving me a ‘thanks’ for writing about him 🙂  But he does understand the writing life, and speaks as one who knows both the pleasure and the pain of it.

Theroux quotes on writing:

To me, writing is a considered act. It’s something which is a great labor of thought and consideration.

Writing is pretty crummy on the nerves.

The more you write, the more you’re capable of writing.

The impulse to write comes, I think, from a desire – perhaps a need – to give imaginative life to experience, to share it with the reader, not to cover up the truth but to deliver it obliquely.

Let me know if you’ve read him, or if this introduces a new writer to you.  If you have read him, what are your favorites in his works?  What speaks to you, irritates you, or endears you to him as an author?  My connections with his writing arise in his ability to share his emotions and enliven people, places in our imaginations.

If he’s a new author to you, and you read him, please come back and share your thoughts.

And that is my tale-teller tattle  today (alliteration for free!)  Check back in tomorrow to see if any hilarity ensued, for Friday Frivolous Foolishness, and this weekend for some more on sustainable living dreams, fantasy tiny homes and as always, my navel-gazing 🙂



  5 comments for “7.3.14 Thursday Tale-Tellers Tattle – Paul Theroux

  1. alfredsalmanac
    July 3, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    I have heard the name, but have never read his work. Sounds very interesting. I will read one of his books. Which one do you recommend to start with? Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 3, 2014 at 2:40 PM

      Hm, tough call.

      For travel by train in the U.S., “The Old Patagonian Express” is good.

      “Sunrise” is essays on all sorts of things, like a well-rounded introduction to the man, but some find it slow in comparison with his travel books.

      “Ghost Train to the Eastern Star” is very, very good (train travel through Asia pre-fall of communism), and of course “The Great Railway Bazaar”.

      So depending on what fires your imagination, and how you like to approach a new writer, that’s a good pile to pick from 🙂


      • alfredsalmanac
        July 3, 2014 at 2:45 PM

        “Ghost Train to the Eastern Star”, seems to be a good place to start. Thanks. Will let you know what I think.

        Liked by 1 person

        • July 3, 2014 at 2:55 PM

          As long as you’re honest 😉


          • alfredsalmanac
            July 3, 2014 at 2:57 PM

            Always am 🙂


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