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The Stranger at the Palazzo d'Oro Paperback – 6 May 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (6 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141011122
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141011127
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 569,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paul Theroux was born and educated in the United States. After graduating from university in 1963, he travelled first to Italy and then to Africa, where he worked as a Peace Corps teacher at a bush school in Malawi, and as a lecturer at Makerere University in Uganda. In 1968 he joined the University of Singapore and taught in the Department of English for three years. Throughout this time he was publishing short stories and journalism, and wrote a number of novels. Among these were Fong and the Indians, Girls at Play and Jungle Lovers, all of which appear in one volume, On the Edge of the Great Rift (Penguin, 1996).

In the early 1970s Paul Theroux moved with his wife and two children to Dorset, where he wrote Saint Jack, and then on to London. He was a resident in Britain for a total of seventeen years. In this time he wrote a dozen volumes of highly praised fiction and a number of successful travel books, from which a selection of writings were taken to compile his book Travelling the World (Penguin, 1992). Paul Theroux has now returned to the United States, but he continues to travel widely.

Paul Theroux's many books include Picture Palace, which won the 1978 Whitbread Literary Award; The Mosquito Coast, which was the 1981 Yorkshire Post Novel of the Year and joint winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and was also made into a feature film; Riding the Iron Rooster, which won the 1988 Thomas Cook Travel Book Award; The Pillars of Hercules, shortlisted for the 1996 Thomas Cook Travel Book Award; My Other Life: A Novel, Kowloon Tong, Sir Vidia's Shadow, Fresh-air Fiend and Hotel Honolulu. Blindness is his latest novel. Most of his books are published by Penguin.

Product Description

Review

Supremely moving. A master class in detail and sensuous evocation.The Financial Times of London Yet another stimulating volume in [Theroux's] impressive canon.The San Francisco Chronicle Erotic intrigue is at the heart of these stories, each of which renders familiar territory wonderfully strange.Vogue For armchair adventuring, STRANGER AT THE PALAZZO D'ORO is golden.Boston Herald an accomplished book by an accomplished writer (B+) Denver Rocky Mountain News Therou'x prose is shot through with gentle melancholy, evoking the complexities of matters of the heart with subtlety and grace. (3.5 out of 4 stars) People Magazine Theroux has rarely been in better form.The Los Angeles Times futher proof that Theroux, the evocative prose stylist, remains ever worth reading.The Washington Post Compelling reading.Charlotte Observer Theroux has the ability to capture people and places that are achingly beautiful Pittsburg Post Gazette Theroux uses his precise, realistic style like a scalpel...a marvelous yarn.Providence Journal a satisfying mix of tales...[Theroux's] stories are engrossing and evoke an air of sensuality.The Oregonian Oddly beguiling...dramatically rich.Contra Costa Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Paul Theroux is the author of many bestselling books, both fiction and non-fiction, including most recently Hotel Honolulu and Dark Star Safari. He divides his time between Cape Cod and Hawaii.

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This is my only story. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Littlepig Littlepig on 18 Sept. 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is a real jewel to revel in: lush, mouth-watering descriptions, strong believable characters and passages evoking scents, textures and emotions. It's a collection of short stories based on events occuring in the childhood of a boy named Andy, and a novella (the title story) about a young man's sexual awakening in Italy.
Theroux's talent lies in creating characters one can really understand and empathise with. For me, his main triumph lies in the short stories about Andy and his friends. It's like "Stand By Me" on paper, with a darker side. If Theroux decides to write more about Andy, Walter and Chicky, I for one will be queueing to buy the book!
A literary work of art; pictures painted by words.
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Format: Hardcover
Paul Theroux is a very prolific author. He is probably still better known as a travel writer but in fact he has written a good deal more fiction than anything else. Some of his books have been first class. In both My Secret History (1989) and The Mosquito Coast (1981) Theroux expertly explores human relationships, particularly in unusual or challenging circumstances. The Stranger at the Palazzo D'Oro is not as good as these but it well worth reading nonetheless. If there is a theme connecting the novella and short stories brought together here it is probably sexuality, or at least female sexuality from a specifically male viewpoint, a familiar preoccupation of Theroux's. The title novella follows a young American as he travels in Italy. At the Palazzo D'Oro he encounters a couple who immediately intrigue. She is a wealthy German Duchess; arrogant, aloof and often downright rude. Despite, or perhaps because of this she is a sexual magnet toward which our young protagonist is irresistibly drawn. Through his relationship with her some of the mysteries of the female of the species, both public and very private, are revealed to him. Some of the writing strikes one as rather sexist but Theroux would presumably be entirely unapologetic about this as his intention is to look at women and sex from a male perspective. The novella is quite shocking at times, to reveal why would spoil the plot so it is left for readers to discover that for themselves.

The other stories are set in the USA and feature a pre-adolescent boy called Andy.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. C. Pilling on 2 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback
That title's a little harsh, however, I came away disaatisfied: both with the shortness of the stories (one story in particular came across as if from his notebook that he didn't value or couldn't be bothered to write properly) and with the adolescent egocentricity - in particualar the story about the adolescent. The writing is good, the topics are ingenuious and provocative. He's very good at sex and grounding it the real world and other events and thoughts. As my introduction to Theroux, not sure I'll read another though.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jacqueline on 6 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
Chose this book at random for our book group. We all agreed that the stories contained within were not particularly well written. We decided these were a selection of ideas for a novel that were gathered together to form a set of short stories. Was very disappointed.
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By Shantiq on 4 Mar. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
ace
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