The Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013 - Travel - 353 pages
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Following the success of the acclaimed Ghost Train to the Eastern Star and The Great Railway Bazaar, The Last Train to Zona Verde is an ode to the last African journey of the world's most celebrated travel writer.

“Happy again, back in the kingdom of light,” writes Paul Theroux as he sets out on a new journey through the continent he knows and loves best. Theroux first came to Africa as a twenty-two-year-old Peace Corps volunteer, and the pull of the vast land never left him. Now he returns, after fifty years on the road, to explore the little-traveled territory of western Africa and to take stock both of the place and of himself.

His odyssey takes him northward from Cape Town, through South Africa and Namibia, then on into Angola, wishing to head farther still until he reaches the end of the line. Journeying alone through the greenest continent, Theroux encounters a world increasingly removed from both the itineraries of tourists and the hopes of postcolonial independence movements. Leaving the Cape Town townships, traversing the Namibian bush, passing the browsing cattle of the great sunbaked heartland of the savanna, Theroux crosses “the Red Line” into a different Africa: “the improvised, slapped-together Africa of tumbled fences and cooking fires, of mud and thatch,” of heat and poverty, and of roadblocks, mobs, and anarchy. After 2,500 arduous miles, he comes to the end of his journey in more ways than one, a decision he chronicles with typically unsparing honesty in a chapter called “What Am I Doing Here?”

Vivid, witty, and beautifully evocative, The Last Train to Zona Verde is a fitting final African adventure from the writer whose gimlet eye and effortless prose have brought the world to generations of readers.

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THE LAST TRAIN TO ZONA VERDE: My Ultimate African Safari

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

The acclaimed travel writer and novelist chronicles his journey through Africa as tourist, adventure-seeker, thinker and hopeful critic.Theroux (The Lower River, 2012, etc.) is the purest kind of ... Read full review


1 Among the Unreal People
2 The Train from Khayelitsha
The Spirit of the Cape
4 The Night Bus to Windhoek
5 Night Train from Swakopmund
6 The Bush Track to Tsumkwe
7 Ceremony at the Crossroads
8 Among the Real People
12 Three Pieces of Chicken
13 Volunteering in Lubango
14 The Slave Yards of Benguela
The Improvised City
16 This Is What the World Will Look Like When It Ends
17 What Am I Doing Here?
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The Ultimate Safari
10 The Hungry Herds at Etosha
11 The Frontier of Bad Karma

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About the author (2013)

PAUL THEROUX is the author of many highly acclaimed books. His novels include The Lower River and The Mosquito Coast, and his renowned travel books include Ghost Train to the Eastern Star and Dark Star Safari . He lives in Hawaii and Cape Cod.

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