BOSTON -- The Lower River (on sale May 22), the latest work from prolific travel writer and novelist Paul Theroux, is electrifying early critics. Booklist, Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly gave the novel starred reviews, reserved for a small percentage of books.
Booklist compared Theroux to noted novelists Graham Greene and Joseph Conrad: “[Theroux] wrestles with questions of good intentions and harsh reality,” the reviewer wrote. “A gripping and vital novel that reads like Conrad or Greene.”
Kirkus said “Theroux has recaptured the sweep and density of his 1981 masterpiece The Mosquito Coast. That’s some achievement."
The Lower River follows Ellis Hock as he flees his marriage for Malawi, the small African country where he once worked as a young teacher in a village. Hock has high hopes for the village, but instead finds its inhabitants ravaged by poverty and full of deception. Their lies soon ensnare him.
Malawi has long attracted Theroux who moved there in 1963 as a member of the Peace Corps. He faced some controversy there though, as he was eventually thrown out of the country for helping a political opponent of Malawi’s prime minister. “The Lower River is the result of a great deal of travel, of thought, of experience of Africa,” Theroux said.
Paul Theroux has published 32 novels and 16 works of nonfiction, including Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, Dark Star Safari, and The Great Railway Bazaar.
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