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Fresh Air Fiend - Travel Writings 1985-2000 - SIGNED COPY

Theroux, Paul

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ISBN 10: 0618034064 / ISBN 13: 9780618034062
Published by Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 2000
Condition: NEAR FINE Hardcover
From Monroe Bridge Books, SNEAB Member (Shelburne Falls, MA, U.S.A.)

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IN NEAR FINE CONDITION, with a Dust Jacket in Near Fine Condition (price clipped), protected in a mylar cover. Size: 8vo - over 7" - 9" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 004362

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Fresh Air Fiend - Travel Writings 1985-2000 ...

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: NEAR FINE


Edition: First American Edition / First Printing.

About this title


The great travel writer shares his essays on a host of his favorite destinations, including Hong King, Maine, Africa, and the Pacific islands. 25,000 first printing.


Paul Theroux may be pompous, self-important, cynical, and grumpy. He may even be, as accused by a heckler in Australia, &quot;a wanker.&quot; So what? The man is prolific--having penned 36 books--and when he's inspired, his insights and sparkling writing are so startling that it's easy to forgive him for his occasional crankiness. Besides, as he reminds readers frequently, he is a man who takes pen to paper for a living; as the title essay points out: &quot;Normal, happy, well-balanced individuals seldom become imaginative writers....&quot;<p> In <i>Fresh Air Fiend</i>, Theroux's pen serves him well with astute, lively pieces that stray far beyond simple &quot;travel essays&quot; and reveal his self-inflicted lifestyle of compulsive travel, writing, and alienation. In this collection--containing mostly previously published magazine pieces written over the past 15 years--there's a strong autobiographical streak, as well as historical perspectives and a sardonic view on aging. &quot;One of the more bewildering aspects of growing older,&quot; he writes in &quot;'Memory and Creation,'&quot; &quot;is that people constantly remind you of things that never happened.&quot; </p><p> Now nearly 60, Theroux has lived a rich, varied life: the book jumps from post-Mao China and years spent as an Africa-based Peace Corps volunteer in the '60s to turtle watching in Hawaii and kayaking on Cape Cod; the jumbled collection even includes pieces on other travel writers (Bruce Chatwin, Graham Greene, and William Least Heat-Moon) and the film adaptation of his novel <i>The Mosquito Coast</i>. A chronic sense of aloneness permeates all these pieces--be it the lost traveler paddling through fog, the lone writer living without a phone, or the hermetic trekker who can't speak the native language. Most touching: a short sketch of a road trip when he's lost, his wife is anxious, and the children are fighting; Theroux doesn't want the moment to end and soon enough he returns to his self-imposed alienation. It's that perpetual sense of loneliness and not fitting in that seems to motivate Theroux in many of these essays. Theroux may be getting older, even nostalgic, but as these vibrant essays show, he sure isn't getting stale. <i>--Melissa Rossi</i></p>

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