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Deep South - Paul Theroux

 
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Dock
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:28 pm    Post subject: Deep South - Paul Theroux  Reply with quote

Of all the places PT has written about, in the introduction he explains his realisation that he doesn't really know anything about some of the area's and people in his home country. And so we begin......

The book is split into the seasons of the year, and in each season he sets off from his home in the North to drive South for a few months at a time. He encounters many different people from different backgrounds in places ranging from churches to gun shows and tries to further his understanding of what it is to be Southern. Tackling race (pages devoted to the huge elephant in the room concerning the use of the 'N' word), poverty, religion, gun control, art, politics, sport, and the overwhelming and inarguable theme of the fact that many American citizens have been left high, dry, and completely fucked by their government and big business.

He doesn't just talk about ghost towns, there are now 'ghost highways'. Communities who have fallen victim to the Wall Mart opens - local businesses are undercut - businesses close- people move away because of lack of work because businesses close - Wall Mart closes due to no customers - death of town sick cycle that a lot of Americans have witnessed.

A good and interesting read and a damning indictment of a country that is currently very much at odds with itself and and the values it purports to hold true. I love America and Americans and it's clear that PT does too but he does give the reader a small but shocking window into the contradictions of the U.S.A.

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Plastic Man
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr Theroux's laconic style has a clever knack of wheedling much greater depths of information out of people than they would ever normally divulge, giving a much greater insight into the subject matter.

The subject of this book sounds a little familiar - has it already been made into TV series, or is it currently only available in print?

I'm very fond of portraits of life in the USA, such as those by Bill Bryson and Rich Hall (not forgetting Alistair Cooke's Letter from America), so may be getting things confused.
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fartcatcher
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've read a couple of his books - Saint Jack and Kowloon Tong. He's very good at painting a picture of a fading empire. A bit like a yank Graham Greene.

Louis' dad I assume.
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Dock
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plastic Man wrote:
Mr Theroux's laconic style has a clever knack of wheedling much greater depths of information out of people than they would ever normally divulge, giving a much greater insight into the subject matter.

The subject of this book sounds a little familiar - has it already been made into TV series, or is it currently only available in print?

I'm very fond of portraits of life in the USA, such as those by Bill Bryson and Rich Hall (not forgetting Alistair Cooke's Letter from America), so may be getting things confused.


Don't know if there is a tv series as well. Maybe.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fartcatcher wrote:
I've read a couple of his books - Saint Jack and Kowloon Tong. He's very good at painting a picture of a fading empire. A bit like a yank Graham Greene.

Louis' dad I assume.


Yes. Louie's Dad.


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