The Pillars of Hercules: A Grand Tour of the Mediterranean

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G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1995 - Travel - 509 pages
19 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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Review: The Pillars of Hercules

User Review  - Michael Bond - Goodreads

This is the first travel book I have read, and I was basically pleased. It is far from being a description from a travel guide, but provides one person's accounting of what people are doing and ... Read full review

Review: The Pillars of Hercules

User Review  - Jeroen Vogel - Goodreads

Traveling the entire coastline of the Mediterranean Sea off the beaten path is only possible outside the tourist season, when towns normally full of foreign visitors are empty and returned to their ... Read full review

Contents

The Mare Nostrum Express to Alicante
24
The M V Punta Europa to Mallorca
48
The Virgen de Guadalupe Express to Barcelona and Beyond
63
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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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