Allie Fox is going to re-create the world. Abominating the cops, crooks, junkies and scavengers of modern America, he abandons civilization 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.
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Dreadful in every sense of the word.
Unlikely. This book is a painful look into family dynamics that would break most of us.
For anyone who has personally experienced verbal battery, this book will be instantly recognizable. My continuing thought was "Mom, how can you stay allow this to continue?" Which, of course, is always the question.
I rate this book as 5 only because of its power - not because it is "good". It is very like being in a continuous train wreck, bruised and bloody.. Or like having a 707 go down in your neighborhood in a ball of fire, and being unable to do anything but watch in horror..
Gripping story and travelogue
I didn't think I could stand Allie for the length of the book; his character's brillance didn't make up for his insuffrable nature. Theroux, telling the book from the POV of Charley, made me sympathetic. The insight into a man teetering on the edge of obession and madness was intriguing and perspicacious; describing "Fatboy" as a reflection of Allie's mind was a great metaphor. You can understand how a man, held in check by our society, goes off into the wild and follows his instincts to the inevitable consequences. It was also a gripping story that raised valid issues about America and our values. And a great travel story as well - well researched and I could feel the country. It played into my fantasies of "what would I do if stranded on a desert island."