Fresh Air Fiend: Travel Writings

by Paul Theroux

Hardcover, 2000

Call number




Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2000), 448 pages


TRAVEL WRITING. Whether visiting the King of the Lozis at a bend in the Zambezi river or crossing the United States in a railway car of unsurpassable luxury, relating his experiments with biblical dieting, or detailing the illneses and diseases suffered in half a lifetime of travel, Paul Theroux, the fresh-air fiend himself, is always an entertaining and honest guide. Full of startling encounters and memorable scenes, fascinating and sometimes bizarre locations, and enlightening musings on themes as various as sexual attraction and the point of travel writing itself, this extensive collection of his shorter pieces is a rich and remarkable book from a superb writer.

Media reviews

He can be scathingly funny on his Peace Corps experiences, discerning on the rigors of polar exploration, clinical on illnesses he’s contracted on five different continents, and lyrical on exotic lands threatened by commercialization. A feast for both Theroux aficionados and those lucky enough to experience his distinctive world-view and evocative prose for the first time.

User reviews

LibraryThing member co_coyote
This is a collection of the best of Paul Theroux's travel writings, taking you to five continents and to all manner of interesting experiences. A wonderful book to have with you if you are traveling yourself. Theroux knows how to search out the out-of-way, interesting places.
LibraryThing member clothingoptional
Read it on an airplane and get double miles.
LibraryThing member LindaBallou
Paul Theroux says normal people don’t become writers. It is just not healthy to sit in a room for hours staring intently into your own mind. He counter-balances this basically inward condition by paddling thousand of miles in a kayak. In Fresh Air Fiend he explains why and how this type of therapy has become an intrinsic part of his life. This pot- pourri of his experiences and reflections, is more about Paul the human being rather than Paul the observer, than any his other books. He explains why he wrote the books he has, and why he took the trips that inspired them. He never intended to be a travel writer. Like Mark Twain, another great travel writer who needed to make a living as a writer, he did it out of necessity. The fact that he has always been an outsider—just the unhealthy prospective you need to succeed in his line of work—helped him become one of our best contemporary commentators.

Linda Ballou-adventure travel writer and author of
Wai-nani, High Chiefess of Hawai’i-Her Epic Journey
Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler's Tales
… (more)




0618034064 / 9780618034062


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