Decades ago Massachusetts salesman Ellis Hock spent four years in Africa - and the continent has never left him. So when his wife walks out and his business goes belly up, Ellis turns back to the one place in which he briefly found happiness.
Yet returning to the village of Malabo shocks him. The school he built is a ruin. The people he remembers are poor, apathetic, hostile. The country labours as if under a great, invisible burden. However, Ellis is determined. This is his escape, a paradise regained.
But escape can be a snare, a trap for the unwary . . .
The Lower River is a hypnotic, compelling and brilliant return to a terrain no one has ever written better about than Paul Theroux: the tragic stage of modern Africa, AIDS-ravaged and despairing in the face of creeping consumerism, greed and dependence.
'Remarkable, admirable, riveting, heartbreaking. A masterly, moving portrait of how Africa ensnares and enchants' Guardian
'Terrific writing. Theroux's senses are always on full alert' Evening Standard
'Powerful, vivid, shocking' The Times
'Theroux invests this very 21st-century journey into the heart of ennui with a caustic bite, like the snakes that pop up throughout' Metro
'The sense of menace is masterful. Theroux has never written a better novel' Sunday Telegraph
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paul Theroux was born in Medford, Massachusetts, in 1941, and published his first novel, Waldo, in 1967. He wrote his next three novels, Fong and the Indians, Girls at Play and Jungle Lovers, after a five-year stay in Africa. He subsequently taught at the University of Singapore, and during his three years there produced a collection of short stories, Sinning with Annie, and highly praised novel Saint Jack. His other publications include The Black House (1974), a novel; The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asia (1975), an account of his journey by train from London to Tokyo and back; The Family Arsenal (1976); The Consul's File (1977); Picture Palace (1978; winnner of the Whitread Literary Award); A Christmans Card (1978; The Old Patagonian Express (1979); World's End and Other Stories (1980); London Snow (1980); The Mosquito Coats, which was the Yorkshire Post Novel of the Year for 1981 and the joint winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize; The London Embassy (1982); The Kingdom by the Sea (1983); Doctor Slaughter (1985); Sunrise with Seamonsters (1985); The Imperial Way (1985); O-Zone (1986); Riding the Iron Rooster (1988); My Secret History (1989) and Chicago Loop (1990).
Paul Theroux is married with two children and divides his time between London and Cape Cod.