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The Great Railway Bazaar

The Great Railway Bazaar
Title: The Great Railway Bazaar
Author:
Оценка: 4.0 of 5, readers votes - 1
Annotation:Paul Theroux is a vocal proponent of rail travel over air travel, which he likens to traveling by submarine for all that goes unseen and not experienced by its adherents. The Great Railway Bazaar, his 1975 account of a four month railroad journey through Europe and Asia begins, 'I sought trains, I found passengers.' It is certainly the individuals that Theroux meets along the way, rather than the cities, buildings, or sites of touristic import, to which he devotes his most generous descriptions.

Beginning in Victoria Station with Duffill, an older man with a tweed cap, ill-fitting clothes, and mysterious business in Istanbul (Duffill's name later becomes synonymous with being left behind at a railway station), Theroux's journeys brim with a huge cast of colorful characters. From ashram-bound hippies to devout Kali-worshiping Tamils to Vassily Prokofyevich, the drunken Russian dining car manager on the Trans-Siberian Express, Theroux richly details his varied encounters, paying particular attention to the bizarre along the bazaar.

In Calcutta, 'a city of mutilated people (where) only the truly monstrous looked odd,' the author encounters 'the hopping man,' who with only one muscular leg, hops himself through the urban detritus; on the Saigon to Bien Hoa train, a Vietnamese woman thrusts an American baby upon him, expecting Theroux to keep and raise the child; and in Japan, where the cleanliness, efficiency, and quiet of the passenger trains provide striking contrast to what the author had up until that point become accustomed to, he finds the cultural undercurrent of sadistic pornography disturbingly unquestioned.

Paul Theroux had already established himself as a novelist at the time of his four month journey; The Great Railway Bazaar, today a travel writing classic, was preceded by ten books, six of which were novels. In fact, his four month long excursion seems to have been funded or at least justified, by the lecture engagements the author had arranged all along his route.

The first of many in this genre from Theroux, including Dark Star Safari (2002) and Ghost Train to the Eastern Star (2008), The Great Railway Bazaar is at once a timeless narrative of humans and travel and a distinctly historical slice of global affairs as viewed by one decidedly motion-bound writer.

The journey however is a long one and while masterfully wrought, it is often the incidental passage of time in a railway compartment that is thus rendered, and by the end of it even Theroux has tired of his travels. Snippets of brilliance exist throughout, but they are intermittent as you might expect, as when viewed from a passing train.
Table of Contents:

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  1. Paul Theroux The Great Railway Bazaar
  2. BY TRAIN THROUGH ASIA
  3. Chapter One
  4. THE 15.30 – LONDON TO PARIS
  5. Chapter Two
  6. THE DIRECT-ORIENT EXPRESS
  7. Chapter Three
  8. THE VAN GOLU (TAKE VAN) EXPRESS
  9. Chapter Four
  10. THE TEHERAN EXPRESS
  11. Chapter Five
  12. THE NIGHT MAIL TO MESHED
  13. Chapter Six
  14. THE KHYBER PASS LOCAL
  15. Chapter Seven
  16. THE KHYBER MAIL TO LAHORE JUNCTION
  17. Chapter Eight
  18. THE FRONTIER MAIL
  19. Chapter Nine
  20. THE KALKA MAIL FOR SIMLA
  21. Chapter Ten
  22. Chapter Eleven
  23. THE DELHI MAIL FROM JAIPUR
  24. Chapter Twelve
  25. THE GRAND TRUNK EXPRESS
  26. Chapter Thirteen
  27. THE LOCAL TO RAMESWARAM
  28. 11.00
  29. 11.11
  30. 11.33
  31. 11.41
  32. 11.47
  33. 11.57
  34. 12.06
  35. 12.15
  36. Chingleput
  37. 12.35
  38. Chapter Fourteen
  39. THE TALAIMANNAR MAIL
  40. Chapter Fifteen
  41. THE 16.25 FROM GALLE
  42. Chapter Sixteen
  43. THE HOWRAH MAIL
  44. Chapter Seventeen
  45. THE MANDALAY EXPRESS
  46. Chapter Eighteen
  47. THE LOCAL TO MAYMYO
  48. Chapter Nineteen
  49. THE LASHIO MAIL
  50. Chapter Twenty
  51. THE NIGHT EXPRESS FROM NONG KHAI
  52. Chapter Twenty-One
  53. THE INTERNATIONAL EXPRESS TO BUTTERWORTH
  54. Chapter Twenty-Two
  55. THE GOLDEN ARROW TO KUALA LUMPUR
  56. Chapter Twenty-Three
  57. Chapter Twenty-Four
  58. THE SAIGON-BIEN HOA PASSENGER TRAIN
  59. Chapter Twenty-Five
  60. THE HUE-DANANG PASSENGER TRAIN
  61. Chapter Twenty-Six
  62. Chapter Twenty-Seven
  63. Chapter Twenty-Eight
  64. Chapter Twenty-Nine
  65. THE KODAMA (ECHO) TO OSAKA
  66. Chapter Thirty
  67. THE TRANS-SIBERIAN EXPRESS
  68. I. THE MV KHABAROVSK
  69. 2. THE VOSTOK
  70. 3. THE ROSSIYA


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