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The Pillars of Hercules (1995)

af Paul Theroux

Andre forfattere: Se andre forfattere sektionen.

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1,3491614,081 (3.82)24
"DAZZLING." --Time "[THEROUX'S] WORK IS DISTINGUISHED BY A SPLENDID EYE FOR DETAIL AND THE TELLING GESTURE; a storyteller's sense of pacing and gift for granting closure to the most subtle progression of events; and the graceful use of language. . . . We are delighted, along with Theroux, by the politeness of the Turks, amazed by the mountainous highlands in Syria, touched by the gesture of an Albanian waitress who will not let him pay for his modest meal. . . . The Pillars of Hercules [is] engrossing and enlightening from start (a damning account of tourists annoying the apes of Gibraltar) to finish (an utterly captivating visit with Paul Bowles in Tangier, worth the price of the book all by itself)." --Chicago Tribune "ENTERTAINING READING . . . WHEN YOU READ THEROUX, YOU'RE TRULY ON A TRIP." --The Boston Sunday Globe "HIS PICARESQUE NARRATIVE IS STUDDED WITH SCENES THAT STICK IN THE MIND. He looks at strangers with a novelist's eye, and his portraits are pleasantly tinged with malice." --The Washington Post Book World "THEROUX AT HIS BEST . . . An armchair trip with Theroux is sometimes dark, but always a delight." --Playboy "AS SATISFYING AS A GLASS OF COOL WINE ON A DUSTY CALABRIAN AFTERNOON . . . With his effortless writing style, observant eye, and take-no-prisoners approach, Theroux is in top form chronicling this 18-month circuit of the Mediterranean." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)… (mere)
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» Se også 24 omtaler

Engelsk (13)  Hollandsk (2)  Fransk (1)  Alle sprog (16)
Viser 1-5 af 16 (næste | vis alle)
Travel book is one of my favorite genres but as big as his reputation is, Theroux is not one of my favorite travel writers. In fact, I doubt I will read any more by him. I read his book about Patagonia some years ago and was surprised at how arrogant and negative he was. He didn't like any place he went. How did he get to be such a famous and popular travel writer? This book was no better. Oh, he writes well, but I don't enjoy his arrogance, and what is the point of traveling or reading about someone's travels if the traveler doesn't like any of the places he visits? I think what bothered me the most was his repeated statement that he was not a tourist; he was a traveler. Well, a Mediterranean cruise ship does not a traveler make. It makes for a tourist. He rarely stayed in any place for more than a day. That also makes for tourist. He did manage to speak to some interesting people (writers and dignitaries to whom he had some entree) but mostly he talked to taxi drivers. No, I doubt I will be reading any more Theroux. The best parts of the book were the writers and other books he mentioned. I made a note of several of them for future reading. The man may be arrogant and negative, but he is no fool. ( )
  dvoratreis | May 22, 2024 |
De reisverhalen van Theroux zijn altijd leuk om te lezen, omdat hij een heerlijke atypische reiziger is. Als iets populair is, zal hij een andere route kiezen. Als hij zich als een local kan gedragen, doet hij dat. Hij slaapt in slechte hotels, zwerft door lelijke buurten en praat met velen om zodoende te weten wat er speelt in een land, niet wat de reisgidsen zeggen wat hij zou moeten zijn.

In dit boek begint hij in Gibraltar, ziet aan de overkant Marokko liggen en begint aan een reis over land om daar te komen. Kortom, een rondje middellandse zee, met alles wat hij onderweg tegenkomt. En dat beschrijft hij op zijn eigen typerende wijze. In Spanje reist hij weliswaar langs de kust, maar weet de drukte feilloos te mijden. Hij pakt veel boten, omdat hij Mallorca, Corsica, Sardinië en Sicilië meepikt, waardoor hij weer naar havensteden moet, die meestal iets ruiger, iets gevaarlijker zijn dan badplaatsen. En dat past weer prima bij de schrijver die de cultuur rondom de meest toeristische zee ter wereld wil proeven.

Lastig is het wanneer hij door voormalig Joegoslavië verder wil reizen, maar op plekken komt waar zelfs oorlogsjournalisten niet willen bezoeken. En dus moet hij andere oplossingen vinden. Net als in het midden oosten, waar het, ook toen al, erg onrustig was. En zo zien we Theroux ineens vanuit Istanbul op een cruiseschip verder reizen. En op zijn eigen manier is dat ook weer boeiend om te lezen.

Wat we in veel reisboeken niet zien, is dat hij zijn reis onderbreekt en later weer oppakt. Het wordt even tussendoor vermeldt, maar verder genegeerd. Aan de ene kant logisch, het gaat alleen om de reis, we hoeven niet te lezen over zijn thuiskomst, zijn familiebezoeken en wat hij nog meer thuis doet, aan de andere kant vreemd, aangezien het verhaal als een enkele langs trip wordt gebracht, terwijl we weten dat hij tussendoor wat anders heeft gedaan.

Ook in Noord-Afrika lukt het hem niet langs de kust te blijven reizen. En zo is hij maanden later ineens weer terug in Italië om van daaruit via Frankrijk weer naar Marokko te reizen. Omslachtig. Onlogisch. Het doet toch wel een beetje afbreuk aan zijn prachtige voornemen om de paar kilometer die Gibraltar van Marokko scheiden met een mooi kusttrip van duizenden kilometers te overbruggen.

Maar al met al vond ik het toch weer een genot om de avonturen van Theroux te lezen. Zijn observaties, zijn ontmoetingen, zijn analyses, het maakt hem een van mijn favoriete reisschrijvers. En gelukkig heb ik nog een aantal ongelezen titels in de kast staan.

Citaat: “Ik was dolblij dat ik dit vredige plaatsje had ontdekt. Meestal reisde ik door tot ik een plaats vond die me aanstond, en als ik een bepaald gevoel kreeg, dan bleef ik daar. Dat was ook een van de redenen waarom ik alleen reisde, want het kwam zelden voor dat twee mensen dezelfde kwaliteiten zagen in een plaats (‘Waarom wil je hier blijven? Ik dacht dat we verder zouden reizen’). (p.61) ( )
  privaterevolution | Mar 1, 2024 |
The Mediterranean is simultaneously a barrier and a shared resource depending on how it's used and viewed. Does influence span it, or is influence limited by it? The travel limitations faced on Theroux's overland sections are contrasted by the fact that the sea is right there for travel, illustrated by the constant retreat to a ferry, cruise ship, etc. Really enjoyed the contrast of the different cruise experiences. ( )
  sarcher | Dec 22, 2018 |
Certainly the best of Theroux's work - though I have yet to read a book of his that wasn't at least interesting. His grand idea this time is to travel from Gibraltar to Ceuta (Morocco), the two fabled pillars of Hercules, but to do so the long way round. That's the principle, at any rate. What follows is a uniquely bizarre adventure that swings this way and that around the Med; nothing is as simple as it seems. Wonderfully fun. ( )
  soylentgreen23 | Sep 8, 2016 |
I've liked Paul Theroux's travel writing since I was in college, when I read Kingdom by the Sea, his account of traveling around England by foot. I love that he's grumpy, opinionated, straightforward, and difficult. And when he's on, he's really funny. I laughed out loud several times over the course of this book. But damn, it was tough going until he got to the war-torn countries. I'd say the first half of the book, spanning Spain, France, Italy, and the various islands, were some of Theroux's least inspired writing, at least what I've read from him. He seemed dour, the places all began to feel the same, he was forever walking around unremarkable coasts, looking for hotels and dinners. But once he got to Albania, the entire tone shifted, and I began to feel Theroux was in his element. When this book was published, the Bosnian conflict was in full swing, so I feel much of his writing here qualifies as war reportage. From there, the work only got stronger. His blunt assessment of Israel was interesting, as were his journeys through Syria, particularly with the hindsight all of us now have of that troubled country. I also got a kick out of his time in North Africa. I think he did, too. He was most alive when he was in these locales. I also liked the sheer weirdness of how Theroux randomly gets on a luxury cruise--which I think he writes about fantastically. He follows this up with two more cruises, only these are far more modest, even weird. I appreciate the unself-conscious nature of much of Theroux's writing here. I just wish he'd cut out half of the countries he visited. It felt as if he were simply going through the motions in order to maintain the idea of the book--or the gimmick, I guess, which was to travel from one Pillar of Hercules to another. ( )
  bookofmoons | Sep 1, 2016 |
Viser 1-5 af 16 (næste | vis alle)
For along with being an anti-tourist, Mr. Theroux prides himself on being something of the village atheist: religious enthusiasm of any kind fills him with equal-opportunity loathing. And why not? There are enough horrors to be apportioned among the great Mediterranean faiths, and Mr. Theroux, to give him credit, casts a skeptical eye on the murderous accomplishments of the secular powers as well.
 
Theroux bestows perhaps his greatest compliment of all to the journey itself: ``I knew I would go back, the way you went back to a museum, to look . . . and think.'' Never has he said that before. As satisfying as a glass of cool wine on a dusty Calabrian afternoon
tilføjet af John_Vaughan | RedigerKirkus (Jul 21, 1992)
 

» Tilføj andre forfattere (4 mulige)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Paul Therouxprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Davids, TinkeOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Evans, RobertFotografmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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People here in Western civilization say that tourists are no different from apes, but on the Rock of Gibraltar, one of the Pillars of Hercules, I saw both tourists and apes together, and I learned to tell them apart.
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"DAZZLING." --Time "[THEROUX'S] WORK IS DISTINGUISHED BY A SPLENDID EYE FOR DETAIL AND THE TELLING GESTURE; a storyteller's sense of pacing and gift for granting closure to the most subtle progression of events; and the graceful use of language. . . . We are delighted, along with Theroux, by the politeness of the Turks, amazed by the mountainous highlands in Syria, touched by the gesture of an Albanian waitress who will not let him pay for his modest meal. . . . The Pillars of Hercules [is] engrossing and enlightening from start (a damning account of tourists annoying the apes of Gibraltar) to finish (an utterly captivating visit with Paul Bowles in Tangier, worth the price of the book all by itself)." --Chicago Tribune "ENTERTAINING READING . . . WHEN YOU READ THEROUX, YOU'RE TRULY ON A TRIP." --The Boston Sunday Globe "HIS PICARESQUE NARRATIVE IS STUDDED WITH SCENES THAT STICK IN THE MIND. He looks at strangers with a novelist's eye, and his portraits are pleasantly tinged with malice." --The Washington Post Book World "THEROUX AT HIS BEST . . . An armchair trip with Theroux is sometimes dark, but always a delight." --Playboy "AS SATISFYING AS A GLASS OF COOL WINE ON A DUSTY CALABRIAN AFTERNOON . . . With his effortless writing style, observant eye, and take-no-prisoners approach, Theroux is in top form chronicling this 18-month circuit of the Mediterranean." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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