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Mosquito Coast [Paperback]

Paul Theroux
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 23 2000
"The Mosquito Coast" - winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize - is a breathtaking novel about fanaticism and a futile search for utopia from bestseller Paul Theroux. Allie Fox is going to re-create the world. Abominating the cops, crooks, junkies and scavengers of modern America, he abandons civilisation 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. "Stunning...exciting, intelligent, meticulously realised, artful". (Victoria Glendinning, "Sunday Times"). "An epic of paranoid obsession that swirls the reader headlong to deposit him on a black mudbank of horror". (Christopher Wordsworth, "Guardian"). "Magnificently stimulating and exciting". (Anthony Burgess). American travel writer Paul Theroux is known for the rich descriptions of people and places that is often streaked with his distinctive sense of irony; his novels and collected short stories, "My Other Life", "The Collected Stories", "My Secret History", "The Lower River", "The Stranger at the Palazzo d'Oro", "A Dead Hand", "Millroy the Magician", "The Elephanta Suite", "Saint Jack", "The Consul's File", "The Family Arsenal", and his works of non-fiction, including the iconic "The Great Railway Bazaar" are available from Penguin.

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Product Description

Review

"Bar-el adds plenty of shtick to his retelling of ... 'Three Perfect Peaches'.... A very funny rendition." Kirkus Reviews

A fun purchase for libraries in which funny fairy tales are popular.
School Library Journal

A harebrained joke but a good one.
Publishers Weekly
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Paul Theroux was born in Medford, Massachusetts, in 1941, and published his first novel, Waldo, in 1967. His subsequent novels include Picture Palace, winner of the Whitbread Prize for Fiction, The Mosquito Coast, and the hugely acclaimed, Kowloon Tong. His travel books include The Great Railway Bazaar and The Pillars of Hercules.

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First Sentence
We drove past Tiny Polski's mansion house to the main road, and then the five miles into Northampton, Father talking the whole way about savages and the awfulness of America - how it got turned into a dope-taking, door-locking, ulcerated danger-zone of rabid scavengers and criminal millionaires and moral sneaks. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply amazing June 12 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I don't mean to offend previous reviewers, but calling Allie Fox "magnetic" doesn't even begin to scratch the surface. He is, simply put, the most fascinating character I have ever encountered in fiction. He leaps off the page. This book is outstanding!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Story of Courage Jan. 15 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I found Allie Fox to be magnetic. There is no doubt he is somewhat mad, but in his madness lies a fair amount of truth. In some ways I find myself wondering if perhaps Allie was right. He sees the modern world as ugly, dependent on manufacturing and pollution and religion, lost in it's own technololgy. He is trying to rescue his family from a desctruction that he believes is inevitable.
Contrary to other reviews I have read I have no feelings that Mother is weak or unable to stand up on her own. She believes in this remarkable man and his ability to make something out of nothing. Her reluctance to go against him comes from her true love for his strength of character and her desire to provide for her children. We are the ones who are stuck thinking survival means money and material goods. They were happiest with their simplicity, their basic needs and their faith in their father.
This story is tragic and beautiful, it is thought provoking and full of life. In the end, I am not so sure who the real savages are.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary Character Study Dec 14 2003
By Westley
Format:Paperback
Paul Theroux's novels generally feature carefully etched characters, but he surpasses himself with Allie Fox, the protagonist of the Mosquito Coast. Allie is a husband and father of four, but he seems to care far more about his "inventions" and radical social ideas than he does about their welfare. To act out his ideals, he moves his family to Central America to start a utopian society, unencumbered by traditional materialism. Some of his contraptions work and the community begins to flourish, until his plans become grandiose. Although the reader can see the tragedy that is to come, Theroux constructs an intriguing plot that keeps the reader drawn into the novel.
Some readers may be greatly off-put by Allie and his behavior; however, he is undeniably a magnetic and fascinating force. Fortunately, the book is narrated from the point-of-view of the teenaged son, Charlie, which allows the reader some distance from the sometimes repugnant Allie. Other readers may be disappointed by Allie's wife. She plays a relatively small role in the proceedings, and she seems to blindly go along with Allie, even when she suspects detrimental effects on her family. However, a man like Allie probably would be married to such a woman, as he likes to be in charge and assert himself on others strongly.
Overall, the Mosquito Coast is a one-of-a-kind literary experience, with a fantastic main character embedded in a rollicking-good story. Most highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Mosquito Coast Nov. 13 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
It is only in a few instances where a book has affected me so profoundly. Here is a story with a somewhat reproachable philosophy, but a philosophy that I empathize with; Allie Fox sets out with his loyal family to start anew in the savage ridden coast of Honduras. It is here that life becomes a stage for great triumphs of ingenuity and human compassion, and also great tragedy. It is with this book that I listened, as did Charlie, to the constant discourse of his father, and felt the love and the eventual hate that he felt. Allie Fox was truly the modern day tragic figure set up to fail even in the very beginning. If only some of today's parents had the audacity to take their children away from their programmed lifestyles and actually learn about people and nature and socialization instead of preordained history taught to the blank faced TV generation waiting to race home to their playstations. Of coarse you can't play god or make ice in the jungle or lead your family against the river current to their ultimate doom (or salvation depending on how you look at it), but what other option did he really have? Was he to regress? Ultimately it was selfishness that drove him, and perhaps this overshadowed his philosophy, making it safe for us to think of his speeches as the rhetoric of a crazy man where as it should have acted as a reminder and wake-up call to the reader that we live in a society of banality, and boldness should not be shunned or disregarded.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Mosquitio Coast Nov. 13 2003
By devi
Format:Paperback
The story is about the Fox's family. allie Fox always think that America was an awful country. He hated everything about America. The people, the bilding, everything. One day he took his family to an island called Jeronimo. In there he and his family started a new life. Allie was happy in there, but not the rest of his family. His family was suffer in there. But there an explotion happened. They had to find a new place.
Allie was very stuborn. He always wanted his family to do what he told. Sometime his family really hated him. But in the end when Allie was died, his family realize how much they loved allie.
I like this story because the plot of the story was very unpredictable. The character were very unique and unusual. This story taught us that we have to hear everyone opinion.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Mosquito Coast Nov. 13 2003
Format:Paperback
This story started when Allie Fox's started his madness. He took his family to the jungle in Jeronimo ( a primitive island ). He lied to his family. He said that America were burnt. His family believe and went to Jeronimo. There, they started a new life. But finally their new life wasn't last too long. Their new life wasn't as good as their imagination.
I like this book because this book was very unique. This story wasn't usuall, and rare. However, I was disappointed about the film, because i feel pity. His family suffered because of Allie Fox madness.
I suggest this film must have a better character. And i also suggest this film more unique and it is not a funny story '_'
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but eventually bordering on annoying.
The character of Allie Fox is both the fuel and the fire of this ambitious and well-written yarn about an eccentric inventor who uproots his family and transports them to Honduras... Read more
Published on Dec 31 2003 by D. Knouse
3.0 out of 5 stars Mosquito Coast
This story is about a family taht didn't want to apply changes. Allie Fox named himself as an inventors by using any stuff and think and pit them all together to be a better... Read more
Published on Nov. 12 2003 by Jeannie
1.0 out of 5 stars The small story of Mosquito Coast
The Story started about a father who was really hate living in the city. His name was Allie Fox, he is a inventer. He has a wife and 4 children, They all lived in New York. Read more
Published on Nov. 12 2003 by Bryan
2.0 out of 5 stars Family of the Jungle
The story is about a father that hates America. He hates fat people and everything about America. So one day his father had a plan that he will take his family to a jungle in... Read more
Published on Nov. 12 2003 by anthony
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not Great
I admit I have enjoyed other Thereoux novels a little more than this one which appeared a little strained at times. The hero(? Read more
Published on Oct. 29 2003 by Avid Reader
3.0 out of 5 stars What About Mother?
The huge, gaping "hole" in this story is the characterization (or lack thereof) of Mrs. Fox, AKA "Mother". Read more
Published on Aug. 11 2003 by Mary Lins
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Adventure Story
The Mosquito Coast is a gripping book about a father, Allie Fox, who leads his family to the jungles of Honduras to start a utopian community. Read more
Published on Nov. 14 2002 by James Kunz
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