I'll admit that when I first started on this travel writing reading jag, I didn't know if it had legs. Translation: I doubted it could capture my interest beyond the first book or two. Add in the bevy
dearth of very excellent new fiction that is coming out over the next few months, and I seriously wondered how long I'd manage to be intrigued by this genre of writing and this ever-seeking out of new place/old place understanding and adventure.
So I'm entirely surprised to find that not only has Theroux completely enchanted me with his very specific point of view in Dark Star Safari, but I'm becoming ever more interested in devouring all sorts of travel literature as the days pass. That's the good news.
The less good news is that I'm now at a decisive moment. I could give myself entirely over to Theroux and read all of his big travel books in one go (there is something about his writing that carries me along and piques my interest whether I agree with him entirely or no and I can see that this might be an excellent time to become a Theroux non-fiction completist) or I can hop skip jump around to all the other journey lit that I've been obsessively identifying, collecting and placing in library queues.
So - I could go Theroux:
- Pillars of Hercules
- The Old Patagonian Express: By Train Through the Americas
- Riding the Iron Rooster: By Train Through China
- The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific
- The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asia (which must obviously be read before...)
- ...Ghost Train to the Eastern Star: On the Tracks of the Great Railway Bazaar (published last fall)
Or I could go all over:
- A Journey to the End of the Russian Empire by Anton Chekhov
- The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey by Salman Rushdie
- Flaubert in Egypt by Gustave Flaubert
- And Let the Earth Tremble at Its Centers by Gonzalo Celorio
- A Trance After Breakfast by Alan Cheuse
- Hitching Rides with Buddha by Will Ferguson
Where would you go next?