Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2004 - Travel - 485 pages
In Dark Star Safari the wittily observant and endearingly irascible Paul Theroux takes readers the length of Africa by rattletrap bus, dugout canoe, cattle truck, armed convoy, ferry, and train. In the course of his epic and enlightening journey, he endures danger, delay, and dismaying circumstances.
Gauging the state of affairs, he talks to Africans, aid workers, missionaries, and tourists. What results is an insightful meditation on the history, politics, and beauty of Africa and its people, and "a vivid portrayal of the secret sweetness, the hidden vitality, and the long-patient hope that lies just beneath the surface" (Rocky Mountain News). In a new postscript, Theroux recounts the dramatic events of a return to Africa to visit Zimbabwe.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - breic - LibraryThing

I've never read Theroux before, because I don't really identify with his cynical worldview. Or perhaps, I just get enough of that already. He is very critical of others, and not in an insightful way ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - sarcher - LibraryThing

I went into this book thinking it would be another "western man goes to Africa" tale told with Paul Theroux's signature style. Yes, that's what it was - but the layering of his experiences in the ... Read full review

Selected pages


Lighting Out
Up and Down the Nile
The Dervishes of Omdurman
The Osama Road to Nubia
The Djibouti Line to Harar
The Longest Road in Africa
Figawi Safari on the Bandit Road
Rift Valley Days
I4 Through the Outposts of the Plateau
I5 The Back Road to Soche Hill School
I6 River Safari to the Coast
I7 Invading Drummonds Farm
I8 The Bush Border Bus to South Africa
I9 The Hominids of Johannesburg
The Wild Things at Mala Mala
2I Faith Hope and Charity on the Limpopo Line

I0 Old Friends in Bat Valley
The MV Umoja Across Lake Victoria
I2 The Bush Train to Dar es Salaam
I3 The Kilimanjaro Express to Mbeya
The TransKaroo Express to Cape Town
Blue Train Blues

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About the author (2004)

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. Currently his 2015 book, Deep South , is a bestseller.

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