Format:
Book
Author:
Title:
Publisher, Date:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
Description:
353 pages : llustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Summary:
The world's most acclaimed travel writer journeys through western Africa from Cape Town to the Congo.
Subjects:
LCCN:
2013000388
ISBN:
9780618839339
061883933X
Other Number:
829714284
System Availability:
8
Current Holds:
0
# Local items:
8
Control Number:
996148
Call Number:
916.88104331
Course Reserves:
0
# Local items in:
8
# System items in:
8
Find It
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Genre
NonFiction
Adventure
Sociological
Topics
Africa
Adventurers
Journeys
African culture
Indigenous peoples
Cross-country travel
Self-discovery
Setting
- Africa
Time Period
-- 20th-21st century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

The dean of travel writers recoils from southern Africa's heart of darkness in this disillusioned, heartsick travelogue. Theroux (The Great Railway Bazaar; etc.) recounts his back-roads trip from Cape Town to Angola, a valedictory for happier African sojourns. There are fascinating vignettes of a fallen Eden: hunter-gatherer folkways of San Bushmen enchant him with their primeval authenticity-until he realizes they are just pantomimes for tourists; at a luxury safari camp an elephant takes its revenge for exploitation. But the main action is Theroux's gradual descent into the urban inferno. By bus and crowded cab he gravitates from the relative cleanliness and order of Namibia into Angola, a hell-hole devoid of wildlife, littered with burnt-out tanks, where sleek kleptocrats lord the oil wealth over desperate, grasping beggars. The lowest circle of the "unfixable blight" of African cities is Luanda, "joyless...hot and chaotic, inhospitable and expensive, grotesque and poor," a "vibration of doomsday" where children's laughter sounds "insane and chattering and agonic. an amplified death rattle." Theroux's prose is as vividly descriptive and atmospheric as ever and, though a bit curmudgeonly, he's still wide open to raw, painful interactions between his psyche and his surroundings. (May 7) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
"Theroux is at his best when he tells [people's] stories, happy and sad . . . Theroux's great mission had always been to transport us beyond that reading chair, to challenge himself--and thus, to challenge us." -- Boston Globe A decade ago, Paul Theroux's best-selling Dark Star Safari chronicled his epic overland voyage from Cairo to Cape Town, providing an insider's look at modern Africa. Now, with The Last Train to Zona Verde , he returns to discover how both he and Africa have changed in the ensuing years. Traveling alone, Theroux sets out from Cape Town, going north through South Africa, Namibia, then into Angola, encountering a world increasingly removed from tourists' itineraries and the hopes of postcolonial independence movements. After covering nearly 2,500 arduous miles, he cuts short his journey, a decision he chronicles with unsparing honesty in a chapter titled "What Am I Doing Here?" Vivid, witty, and beautifully evocative, The Last Train to Zona Verde is a fitting final African adventure from the writer whose gimlet eye and effortless prose have brought the world to generations of readers. "Everything is under scrutiny in Paul Theroux's latest travel book--not just the people, landscapes and sociopolitical realities of the countries he visits, but his own motivations for going where he goes . . . His readers can only be grateful." -- Seattle Times "If this book is proof, age has not slowed Theroux or encouraged him to rest on his achievements . . . Gutsy, alert to Africa's struggles, its injustices and history." -- San Francisco Chronicle
Table of Contents
1Among the Unreal Peoplep. 1
2The Train from Khayelitshap. 14
3Cape Town: The Spirit of the Capep. 40
4The Night Bus to Windhoekp. 59
5Night Train from Swakopmundp. 79
6The Bush Track to Tsumkwep. 102
7Ceremony at the Crossroadsp. 118
8Among the Real Peoplep. 134
9Riding an Elephant: The Ultimate Safarip. 160
10The Hungry Herds at Etoshap. 180
11The Frontier of Bad Karmap. 200
12Three Pieces of Chickenp. 222
13Volunteering in Lubangop. 242
14The Slave Yards of Benguelap. 268
15Luanda: The Improvised Cityp. 297
16"This is What the World Will Look Like When it Ends"p. 320
17What Am I Doing Here?p. 333
Librarian's View
Book
2013

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