The Pillars of Hercules: A Grand Tour of the Mediterranean

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G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1995 - Travel - 509 pages
18 Reviews
"In this modern version of the Grand Tour, Theroux sets off from Gibraltar, one of the fabled Pillars of Hercules, on a glorious journey around the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. It is a long, lively, occasionally dangerous, and endlessly fascinating trip, up the coast of Spain, along the Riviera, by ferry to the islands of Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, and beyond - way beyond." "By foot, train, bus, and cruise ship, Theroux travels around Italy and the Greek islands, to Albania in a state of near anarchy and to war-torn Croatia. He sails across an old sea of myths into Istanbul, its minarets, mosque domes, and obelisks beckoning him to the Levant. After hearing of Theroux's onward itinerary, a Turkish shipmate murmurs, "Gechmis olsen!" - May it be behind you! Ahead are Damascus and the remote villages of Syria, shrouded in the cult of Assad and his martyred son; Israel, besieged by suicide bombers; Egypt, where Theroux visits with Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz, recovering from an assassination attempt. And past the hill that marks the southern Pillar of Hercules lie Morocco and Paul Bowles' Tangier." "Exploring coastlines as wild as anything he encountered in China or Peru, probing through layers of tradition and culture, ancient and modern, tawdry and splendid, Theroux recalls the words of his predecessors - Homer, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, Evelyn Waugh, Carlo Levi, Lawrence Durrell - and weaves the legends and siren calls of civilizations as old as time into a tantalizing story about life on the Mediterranean today."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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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
A moving account from the master of travel writing. - Goodreads
No one does travel writing quite like Paul Theroux. - Goodreads
... the writing itself. - Goodreads

Review: The Pillars of Hercules

User Review  - Nandasiri Wanninayaka - Goodreads

I just finished reading The Pillars of Hercules by Paul Theroux. Honestly, I started reading the book for the simple reason that I had nothing else to read. But after the first few pages, I was glued ... Read full review

Review: The Pillars of Hercules

User Review  - Adam Ghory - Goodreads

Four and a half stars. Mr. Theroux always uncovers a wealth of insights while traveling, and it's fun to trollop around with him. Here's a nice sentence: There was undoubtedly a more hallucinogenic ... Read full review


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About the author (1995)

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.

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