Fresh Air Fiend: Travel Writings

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Hastings Banda, a nemesis of Theroux's.

It is exciting to go vicariously with him to the woods of Maine in wintertime and to the endless summerlands of Maui and Molokai and other islands of the South Pacific; to be his invisible partner paddling solo from Falmouth to Nantucket, crossing fierce currents and over hidden shoals that did in great whaling vessels in the old days and the QE2 more recently; to read again about his perceptions of China, warts and all. Some of the most interesting sections in the book are Theroux's all too brief but intriguing takes on such writers as Daniel Defoe, Henry David Thoreau, Joseph Conrad, V.

Prichett, William Simpson, and Bruce Chatwin, all of whom shared his fascination with other peoples and other places. For those who like to read books, even anthologies, from cover to cover instead of sampling, "Fresh Air Fiend" has a somewhat unsettling staccato quality as the author abruptly moves from place to place, from topic to topic and, more annoyingly, eschews any chronological order. But for those who like to pick and choose, this book will only whet the appetite for another lengthy adventure with one of America's most engaging travel writers.

Rose teaches sociology at Smith College. The Swallow Press will soon publish 'Without Reservations,' a book of his travel essays.

Fresh-air Fiend: Travel Writings , Book by Paul Theroux (Paperback) |

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Fresh-air Fiend : Travel Writings, 1985-2000

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Fresh Air Fiend is a companion volume to Theroux's earlier, much beloved Sunrise with Seamonsters, but this is his first collection devoted completely to travel writing, for which the author of such classics as The Great Railway Bazaar and Riding the Iron Rooster is justly famous. Traveling with Theroux is a literary adventure of the first order, never a languid luxury cruise, always an insightful journey to the heart and soul of a place and its people.

Fresh-Air Fiend : Travel Writings, 1985-2000

Fresh Air Fiend is the ultimate good read for anyone fascinated by travel in the wider world or curious about the life of one of our most passionate travelers. People who land on islands and don't swim or boat don't appreciate islands. The Phoenicians thought that every day spent on water was a day not subtracted from the end of your life.