The Mosquito Coast, Paperback
4.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


"The Mosquito Coast" - winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize - is a breathtaking novel about fanaticism and a futile search for utopia from bestseller Paul Theroux.

Allie Fox is going to re-create the world. Abominating the cops, crooks, junkies and scavengers of modern America, he abandons civilisation and takes the family to live in the Honduran jungle.

There his tortured, messianic genius keeps them alive, his hoarse tirades harrying them through a diseased and dirty Eden towards unimaginable darkness. "Stunning...exciting, intelligent, meticulously realised, artful". (Victoria Glendinning, "Sunday Times"). "An epic of paranoid obsession that swirls the reader headlong to deposit him on a black mudbank of horror". (Christopher Wordsworth, "Guardian"). "Magnificently stimulating and exciting". (Anthony Burgess). American travel writer Paul Theroux is known for the rich descriptions of people and places that is often streaked with his distinctive sense of irony; his novels and collected short stories, "My Other Life", "The Collected Stories", "My Secret History", "The Lower River", "The Stranger at the Palazzo d'Oro", "A Dead Hand", "Millroy the Magician", "The Elephanta Suite", "Saint Jack", "The Consul's File", "The Family Arsenal", and his works of non-fiction, including the iconic "The Great Railway Bazaar" are available from Penguin.




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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

Theroux's best novel. How well does the American Dream travel? Especially when you plunk it down in the middle of the new world jungle?

Review by

Allie Fox uproots himself and his family from life in Massachusetts and relocates to a small village in Honduras. He is disgusted with the mass production and consumption of junk and is convinced America is on the verge of a disastrous decline. Once settled on the Mosquito Coast he attempts to reform and educate the locals and build a new community based on his belief in the work ethic. His initial successes soon dissipate as his mania increasingly takes hold and his lack of local knowledge lead to more and more poor decision making with increasingly disastrous results. You just know it's all going to end very badly indeed. One for those who prefer thinkers to doers and for those who believe in the power and necessity of compassion, a trait totally lacking in this novel's anti-hero. A much preferable work to Barbara Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible where an American family relocates to the Congo.

Review by

A genius and bipolar father takes his family to go live in one of the most godforsaken and inhospitable places imaginable (Honduras). Surprisingly successful at establishing themselves, the family seems to be doing pretty well until fate steps in to send the plot into the nether regions of hell.

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