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Publisher's Summary

In Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, Paul Theroux retraces the steps he took thirty years ago in his classic The Great Railway Bazaar. From the Eurostar in London, he once again sets out on a journey to the East, travelling overland through Eastern Europe, India and Asia. Infused with the changes that have shaped the exterior landscape and enriched with developments to his own perceptions and psychology, Ghost Train to the Eastern Star is an absorbing and beautifully written follow-up to The Great Railway Bazaar.
©2008 Paul Theroux; (P)2009 WF Howes Ltd
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Customer Reviews

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By Roger on 07-22-09

ghost train to the eastern star

I've always considered Paul Theroux my travel mentor since I hitch hiked half the world at 18. For anyone who has dreamed of revisiting the world they visited more then thirty years ago Ghost Train is a delight. I've read all of Theroux's fiction and non-fiction and this is one of his best non-fiction books. I think Theroux has mellowed a bit. He is not the curmudgeon of Dark Star Safari or other recent non-fiction. I love his observations of people he meets, especially his train companions. The portrait of his Burmese guide and his generosity towards him will always be indelibly etched in my mind. I fantasize that in some far away place I might meet him on a train.(although one should be wary of what he might say about the encounter later in a book) I also appreciated the sense that as one gets older travel is more challenging, but with life's experiences we view the world's people with more compassion and the governments more cynically.

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23 of 24 people found this review helpful


By Lisa on 02-07-11

Engrossing but kind of depressing

Good value in the vast distance and many cultures and nations covered, and the many hours of densely packed details he puts in, so if you want to be taken on a very long and detailed journey from Europe to Japan, it's the book to get. By the end though, the overall feeling was a bit depressive and jaded and the impression of nearly all the societies he visited was on the negative side - most of the population he encountered seemed to be either poor, desperate, drunk, grubby, corrupt or willing to do anything for a buck, which of course may well be true but was a fairly humourless theme. And his focus on talking to and about prostitutes wherever he went was starting to tip the balance from general interest to slightly uncomfortable obsession towards the end. Overall, quite engrossing and informative but not very optimistic about that part of the world - which is a pretty big chunk of the world - and I'd have to say ultimately no "feel good" in fact a bit of a "feel bad" experience.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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By Carolyn on 05-26-09

Transports one to the East magnificently

Brilliant, vivid, nostalgic, alarming - Paul Theroux's re-run of the journey he took 30 years before from London to the East is simply magnificent. He recounts his impressions and adventures with honesty and humour.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful


By Dr John on 05-16-09

Ghost Train to the Eastern Star

A wonderful travelog, especially to a train lover. Who needs pictures when words are used so comprehensively. Only the smell is missing.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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By David on 10-23-17

great afterward to Railway Bazaar! <br />

much more detailed account of travels interwoven with obscure but always fascinating history. preferred the Railway Bazaar narrator for his range of accents...but this listening was equally enjoyable

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By John on 10-07-16

Honest, articulate, insightful, and instructive

Easy to read in a conversational and observant manner with honest reflection on the state of play.

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