Monday, September 01, 2008

Ghost Train to the Eastern Star

Just finished reading Paul Theroux's latest book Ghost Train to the Eastern Star. I've read all of Theroux's travel books at least once and I enjoy them immensely. Not only do we experience exotic places as if we were there, but we also get spot on observations about travel and travelers, a review of the works of other writer's who experienced those same places, and often a bit of literary criticism or history of the English novel.

In the past 15 years, I've traveled to some of the places I read about in Theroux's books - India, Istanbul, Morocco, China - and others are on my list. However, with Ghost Train, I found myself in the new and interesting position of having already been to some of the places that he visits for the first time like Jodpur, Angkor Wat, Phnom Penh, and Hanoi.

I could ramble on about this book and Theroux but I'll instead leave you with the first two sentences of Ghost Train. Enjoy.

You think of travelers as bold, but our guilty secret is that travel is one of the laziest ways on earth of passing the time. Travel is not merely the business of being bone-idle, but also and elaborate bumming evasion, allowing you to call attention to ourselves with our conspicuous absence while we intrude upon other people's privacy - being actively offensive as fugitive freeloaders.

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