Ghost Train to the Eastern Star

Ghost Train to the Eastern Star Review

National Bestseller

In Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, Theroux recreates an epic journey he took thirty years ago, a giant loop by train (mostly) through Eastern Europe, Turkey, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, China, Japan, and Siberia. In short, he traverses all of Asia top to bottom, and end to end. In the three decades since he first travelled this route, Asia has undergone phenomenal change. The Soviet Union has collapsed, China has risen, India booms, Burma slowly smothers, and Vietnam prospers despite the havoc unleashed upon it the last time Theroux passed through. He witnesses all this and more in a 25,000 mile journey, travelling as the locals do, by train, car, bus, and foot.

His odyssey takes him from Eastern Europe, still hungover from Communism, through tense but thriving Turkey, into the Caucasus, where Georgia limps back toward feudalism while its neighbour Azerbaijan revels in oil-driven capitalism. As he penetrates deeper into Asia’s heart, his encounters take on an otherworldly cast. The two chapters that follow show us Turkmenistan, a profoundly isolated society at the mercy of an almost comically egotistical dictator, and Uzbekistan, a ruthless authoritarian state. From there, he retraces his steps through India, Mayanmar, China, and Japan, providing his penetrating observations on the changes these countries have undergone.

Brilliant, caustic, and totally addictive, Ghost Train to the Eastern Star is Theroux at his very best.

Title:Ghost Train to the Eastern Star
Edition Language:English

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Chrissie

    Travels from England to France to Germany to Austria to Hungary to Romania to Bulgaria to Turkey to Georgia to Turkmenistan to India to Sri Lanka to Burma to Thailand and China and Laos and Malaysia a...

  • Shovelmonkey1

    Travel is forced upon some and for others it is a decadent pursuit (see recent Grazia article regarding Princess Beatrice, Kate Moss, Simon Cowell et al toasting themselves like smug pink seals on the...

  • Bob

    Dang, there was an awesome quote toward the end of this massive travelogue, where the author addresses the reader directly, congratulating him or her on reading long past the point of comfort and comm...

  • Gerald Sinstadt

    The reader who opens the first page of a travel book is about to embark upon a journey with the author; it helps if they are compatible people. Having travelled profitably with Theroux previously, I f...

  • Bucket

    I spent a wonderful week following Theroux along on his journey, repeatedly tracing my finger along the route on the map in the front of his book. I found the first 1/2 of the book to be the most fasc...

  • Kiwiflora

    Twenty five years ago while living in a Pacific tropical paradise, I would visit the two very small English language book/stationery shops at least weekly to feed my reading appetite. Being very small...

  • Grady McCallie

    I checked out this audiobook version of Ghost Train to the Eastern Star from my local library to keep me company on a couple of long drives. Having made it just to Istanbul, I won't be finishing.I app...

  • Joo Roque

    A literatura de viagens fascina-me e lamentavelmente tenho lido poucos livros deste género."Comboio-Fantasma para o Oriente" é o primeiro livro que leio de Paul Theroux, mas obrigatoriamente terei q...

  • Michael

    Paul Theroux gives a book talk at National Book Fair.One thing I learned from this was that I have been mispronouncing his name - the second syllable rhymes with "blue" not "blow."I am about 200 pages...

  • Chuck

    This is an excellent book, which I read on the recommendation of my daughter. Back in the early seventies Paul Theroux documented his trip by rail from London to Paris, Istanbul, much of the middle ea...