Ghost Train to the Eastern Star

Ghost Train to the Eastern Star

On the Tracks of the Great Railway Bazaar

Paperback - 2009
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Paul Theroux returns to the transcontinental expedition that made Great Railway Bazaar a classic of travel literature and realizes--in rich, anecdotal detail--how much the world has changed.

Half a lifetime ago, Paul Theroux virtually invented the modern travel narrative by recounting his grand tour by train through Asia. In the three decades since, the world he recorded in that book has undergone phenomenal change. The Soviet Union has collapsed and China has risen; India booms while Burma smothers under dictatorship; Vietnam flourishes in the aftermath of the havoc America was unleashing on it the last time he passed through. In Ghost Train to the Eastern Star , Theroux re-creates that earlier journey. His odyssey takes him from eastern Europe, still hung-over from communism, through tense but thriving Turkey into the Caucasus, where Georgia limps back toward feudalism while its neighbor Azerbaijan revels in oil-fueled capitalism. Theroux is firsthand witness to it all, encountering adventures only he could have: from the literary (sparring with the incisive Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk) to the dissolute (surviving a week-long bender on the Trans-Siberian Railroad). Wherever he goes, his omnivorous curiosity and unerring eye for detail never fail to inspire, enlighten, inform, and entertain.

Publisher: Mariner Books 2009.
ISBN: 9780547237930
0547237936
Characteristics: 496 p. ; 20 cm.
Additional Contributors: Theroux, Paul

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A nice follow up to Great Railway Bazaar, 33 years later. Having been to many of these places, and being one who loves train travel, the wonderfully descriptive travel writing of Theroux never disappoints me. It was quite interesting to note the changes, or lack thereof, to some of those destinations since he first traveled the route in the 70's.

ChristchurchLib Aug 09, 2016

In the 1970s, author Paul Theroux took a railroad trip through Eastern Europe, Asia, India, China, Japan, and Siberia, and wrote about his adventures in The Great Railway Bazaar, a book that became a modern travel classic. More than 30 years later, he revisited the past and recreated his journey, which revealed the dramatic changes that had occurred since the writing of his original travelogue. Publishers Weekly says, "no matter where his journey takes him, Theroux always sends back dazzling postcards." Ghost Train to the Eastern Star is a must-read for fans of Theroux, travel, and trains.

d2013 May 03, 2014

It's like traveling free and without the jet lag. Very interesting read!

d
dmason12
Apr 25, 2011

Fantastic account of Theroux's trip throughout eastern europe, central asia, south asia, SE asia, Japan, Russia....

A detailed, honest, and ruminative journey, filled with observations only an experienced and passionate traveller like Theroux could express in words. Very enlightening for those areas not yet visisted - truly a learning experience for off-the-beaten track places such as Georgia and Turkmenistan. I highly recommend, especially for armchair travellers such as myself.

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