I can pick it up, read a leg of his journey and put it down again feeling like I've been away on vacation. All Rights Reserved. The Happy Isles of Oceania is a travel book written by writer Paul Theroux and published in 1992. I read The Happy Isles of Oceania after digesting an excoriating review, and caving in to curiosity. This shopping feature will continue to load items when the Enter key is pressed. Books are dangerous. Find all the books, read about the author, and more. To see what your friends thought of this book. 'active' : ''"> Travel writing isn't easy. Yes, I absolutely love it. Suits my wanderlust, all his books are worth a read. He hates the travel writers who stay in 4-star hotels and write about fine dining experiences and don't see the actual people and places, and we agree on that point. Start by marking “The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific” as Want to Read: Error rating book. Huh. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. . No one in the book could be described as being 'Happy'. I appreciate that he doesn't hide this, and shares his experiences warts and all. RELEASE DATE: Aug. 22, 1983. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 July 2012. the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. Someone told me there are great whites there though. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Throughout the book he proudly displays his sardonic attitude, throwing around disgustingly subjective comments about the locals that are genuinely hard to read at times. I somehow made my way through 175 pages of this book before I decided that I didn't need to finish it. Wonderful story. His renowned travel books include Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, Dark Star Safari, Riding the Iron Rooster, The Great Railway Bazaar, The Old Patagonian Express, and The Happy Isles of Oceania. "Perceptive, terribly readable, and wickedly funny...[An] exhilarating book." ( Log Out /  His cabin is invaded by a rag-tag gang of Marquesans, variously dressed, one 'in a handkerchief, imperfectly adjusted'. There were other issues as well such as trash littered beaches and coves full of styrofoam containers and bottles. It cannot be denied that Paul Theroux possesses the literary genius. I've read books that start off as engaging, but quickly lose the reader with dense facts, boring subtleties and the rigors of a timeline based storytelling ("this happened, and then this happened, and then this happened."). I'm reading it again right now, for the twenty-somethingth time. . As it is quite rude to commence with the downsides, let’s start with the positives, shall we? Suits my wanderlust, all his books are worth a read. Additionally, he is never afraid to ask the uncomfortable question, which makes him interchangeably admirab. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. Was the title supposed to be ironic? The author doesn’t bother readers with detailed and vivid descriptions of the places he travels to. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 1 December 2018. Additionally, you may learn that the people of Tanna were (I consciously retain the past form; after all, we don’t know if this viewpoint still holds true for Mr Theroux today) ‘small, scowling knob-headed blacks with short legs and big dusty feet’. He is a sharp observer, even if I don't agree with all his thoughts. I said, Exactly, and told her why.”, “Even in Africa, I had never seen such a profusion of stars as I saw on these clear nights on Pacific isles - not only big beaming planets and small single pinpricks... but also glittering clouds of them - the whole dome of the sky crowded with thick shapes formed from stars, overlaid with more shapes, a brilliant density, like a storm of light over a black depthless sea, made brighter still by twisting auroras composed of tiny star grains - points of light so fine and numerous they seemed like luminous vapor, the entire sky hung with veils of light like dazzling smoke... they made night in Oceania as vast and dramatic as day.”. Ted Rand. He writes, for example, that the prettiest women he saw in the Pacific were in Tonga; only to add in the very same sentence that they were also ‘the ugliest, hairy things with bad skin’. In Theroux’s eyes they weren’t ‘greedy or lazy’; actually, they were ‘hospitable, generous, and friendly’. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. He starts his fight. Disabling it will result in some disabled or missing features. Because the islands clearly cheer him up. 4.0 out of 5 stars An engrossing travelogue of Happy Isles by a decidedly less happy traveler. I said, Yes, I did. In the travel genre, I’ve read his The Great Railway Bazaar, The Kingdom by the Sea, The Pillars of Hercules, Dark Star Safari, Riding the Iron Rooster, and Ghost Train to the Eastern Star. I think what distinguishes this from the previous Theroux I read, "Dark Star Safari," is that Theroux overall very much enjoys his travels through the Pacific, and. But i couldn't. Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile, There are no comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, There are no Independent Premium comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, BOOK REVIEW / Into paradise with a curled lip: The Happy Isles of Oceania - Paul Theroux: Hamish Hamilton, pounds 16.99, Email already exists. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He writhes under the gaze of silent and 'embarrassing eyes. ( Log Out /  What is he looking for, in this tough moment in his life? I probably got it almost twenty years ago, and have read and read and read it. I think it made him more in tune with his fellow man, looking outward at them from his inner place of sad solitude. It was such a relief to realize that I don't need to spend more than 500 pages with this miserable man. It’s funny, engaging, and it shows rather than tells. This page works best with JavaScript. Paul Edward Theroux is an American travel writer and novelist, whose best known work is, “You travel all over," the woman said. Trouble signing in? But it also annoys me beyond words. He absorbs everything that surrounds him – from the atmosphere of the so-called paradise to the idiosyncrasies of the cultures he encounters. In Australia a fat man bowls up to him at a literary function, calling him a 'fucking wanker'. It lets you discover that one may be a terrific writer, but a not so terrific person. Theroux muses about other writers - Melville, Robert Louis Stevenson, Pierre Loti - who have gone to the Pacific and bestowed on some place a 'power of bewitchment that it never really loses'. continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. Written back in 1992, it is an account of a trip taken through the Pacific Islands shortly after the breakup of his first marriage. Versandt und verkauft von Amazon. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 March 2014. This book was my first Paul Theroux. "Do you write about your travels?" You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition. Additionally, he is never afraid to ask the uncomfortable question, which makes him interchangeably admirable and offensive depending on the situation. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations, Select the department you want to search in. He has several essential travel volumes to choose from and hereby I officially promise to report on The Great Railway Bazaar and The Old Patagonian Express A.S.A.P.. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 September 2013, Read this book many years ago. We’re glad you found a book that interests you. So, he was downhearted, and at loose ends emotionally. Guidelines. Paul Theroux’s The Happy Isles of Oceania I’m a big fan of Paul Theroux, at least his travel literature (the only novel of his I’ve read is Waldo, his debut, which, despite moments of hilarity, doesn’t quite come off). I have. He slept on the beach, stayed in a few cheap hotels, and … Are you sure you want to delete this comment? It also analyses reviews to verify trustworthiness. Damnit Paul Theroux, once again you made this book work by the skin of your teeth. Mr. Theroux took a year to kayak around many Pacific islands in a collapsible travel kayak. Magazine Subscribers (How to Find Your Reader Number). Beginning in Australia and New Zealand, he gets his first taste of Oceania. And so on. I think it's Theroux. The happy isles of Oceania paddling the Pacific by Paul Theroux 0 Ratings 3 Want to read 0 Currently reading 1 Have read This edition published in 1992 by Penguin in London. Independent Premium. Theroux travelled in the usual way; but in and around the 52 islands he visited, he negotiated reefs, beaches, rocks and lagoons by collapsible kayak. No customer signatures are required at the time of delivery. I can understand having your own opinions. I felt it was a journey that was close to his heart, in many ways, and somehow he translated that deepness to the writte. This is what travel writing should be - personal, expressionist and at times painfully true. ), Categories: Stevenson's Samoa, Gauguin's Tahiti, Melville's "Typee," Michener's "Tales of the South Pacific" (with music by Rodgers and Hammerstein), Heyerdahl's "Kon Tiki." From New Zealand's rain forests, to crocodile-infested New Guinea, over isolated atolls, through dirty harbors, daring weather and coastlines, he travels by Kayak wherev. I find it confusing how other comments here complain that this book is too much 'about the author' - surely thats the whole point, otherwise go and buy a Lonely Planet guide - Theroux is a writer and this is literature and in my opinion the most honest and heartfelt of all his travel books - no its not the story of those islands - its the story of a man trying to find hope there as his marriage collapses and in that way far more compelling and meaningful.

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