The Pillars of Hercules: A Grand Tour of the Mediterranean

Front Cover
Fawcett Columbine, 1996 - Travel - 509 pages
23 Reviews
"DAZZLING." --Time "[THEROUX'S] WORK IS DISTINGUISHED BY A SPLENDID EYE FOR DETAIL AND THE TELLING GESTURE; a storyteller's sense of pacing and gift for granting closure to the most subtle progression of events; and the graceful use of language. . . . We are delighted, along with Theroux, by the politeness of the Turks, amazed by the mountainous highlands in Syria, touched by the gesture of an Albanian waitress who will not let him pay for his modest meal. . . . The Pillars of Hercules [is] engrossing and enlightening from start (a damning account of tourists annoying the apes of Gibraltar) to finish (an utterly captivating visit with Paul Bowles in Tangier, worth the price of the book all by itself)." --Chicago Tribune "ENTERTAINING READING . . . WHEN YOU READ THEROUX, YOU'RE TRULY ON A TRIP." --The Boston Sunday Globe "HIS PICARESQUE NARRATIVE IS STUDDED WITH SCENES THAT STICK IN THE MIND. He looks at strangers with a novelist's eye, and his portraits are pleasantly tinged with malice." --The Washington Post Book World "THEROUX AT HIS BEST . . . An armchair trip with Theroux is sometimes dark, but always a delight." --Playboy "AS SATISFYING AS A GLASS OF COOL WINE ON A DUSTY CALABRIAN AFTERNOON . . . With his effortless writing style, observant eye, and take-no-prisoners approach, Theroux is in top form chronicling this 18-month circuit of the Mediterranean." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) From the Trade Paperback edition.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
3
4 stars
11
3 stars
5
2 stars
2
1 star
2

This was a refreshing insight to me. - Goodreads
It's a wonderful read with interesting insights. - Goodreads
Great insights from this trip as well. - Goodreads
I am looking for insights into the culture. - Goodreads
A moving account from the master of travel writing. - Goodreads
The writing alone is enough reason. - Goodreads

Review: The Pillars of Hercules

User Review  - Raghu - Goodreads

Reading this travelogue almost twenty years after it was written in 1995, I still found it not only very enjoyable but also quite educational. On the one hand, I could see how things have changed so ... Read full review

Review: The Pillars of Hercules

User Review  - Ally Parsons - Goodreads

Had to read this for my nonfiction class, and I enjoyed it until I didn't. He is informative about the areas he goes to, and his voice is magnificent. However, to me he often comes off as a know-it ... Read full review

About the author (1996)

Paul Edward Theroux was born on April 10, 1941 in Medford, Massachusetts and is an acclaimed travel writer. After attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst he joined the Peace Corps and taught in Malawi from 1963 to 1965. He also taught in Uganda at Makerere University and in Singapore at the University of Singapore. Although Theroux has also written travel books in general and about various modes of transport, his name is synonymous with the literature of train travel. Theroux's 1975 best-seller, The Great Railway Bazaar, takes the reader through Asia, while his second book about train travel, The Old Patagonian Express (1979), describes his trip from Boston to the tip of South America. His third contribution to the railway travel genre, Riding the Iron Rooster: By Train Through China, won the Thomas Cook Prize for best literary travel book in 1989. His literary output also includes novels, books for children, short stories, articles, and poetry. His novels include Picture Palace (1978), which won the Whitbread Award and The Mosquito Coast (1981), which won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Theroux is a fellow of both the British Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Geographic Society. His title Lower River made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2012.

Bibliographic information