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The Mosquito Coast Paperback – 11 Dec 1986

4.4 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Paperback, 11 Dec 1986
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; Television tie-in edition edition (11 Dec. 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140082905
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140082906
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 10 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,429,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Paul Theroux was born in Medford, Massachusetts in 1941. He has written many works of fiction and travel writing, including The Last Train to Zona Verde, Dark Star Safari, Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, Riding the Iron Rooster, The Great Railway Bazaar, The Elephanta Suite, A Dead Hand, The Tao of Travel and The Lower River. The Mosquito Coast and Dr Slaughter have both been made into successful films. Paul Theroux divides his time between Cape Cod and the Hawaiian islands. His most recent work is Deep South, which is published by Hamish Hamilton. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is an absolutely fantastic novel. It works so well because Theroux refuses to let the reader make up their mind about whether to admire or detest the obsessive and maniacal central character, Allie Fox, as he plunges his family deeper and deeper into despair. His misguided search for what he sees as an alternative to the American dream is almost compelling, but the effect that this has on those who love him becomes increasingly disturbing as the plot unwinds. Theroux controls this balance brilliantly.
I read this when I was in Central America, but it's so absorbing that I could have been anywhere! Not a light-hearted read by any stretch, but the pages turn very quickly and I just couldn't put it down. Very strongly recommended.
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By A Customer on 7 Dec. 2002
Format: Paperback
I was hooked from the very first page. The adventures inflicted upon this family by the brilliant and dangerous Allie Fox draws the reader into a world tainted by their desperate struggle for survival. But their lives are not in danger just because they are living in the jungle far away from any kind of civilisation, but also because Allie Fox, the father and husband, demands absolute loyalty through disaster after disaster. But this book is not as depressing and frustrating as it sounds. Personally I enjoyed the inventions and plans of Allie (the most fascinationg being the ice-machine!), obviously the result of the brilliant mind behind this book. An uneasy combination of reality and an element of this-could-never-happen-in-real-life makes this a book that will not fade away once closed, rather a book one starts reading from the beginning again once the last page had been turned.

What makes a good book for me is when I never want it to end. This is one of those books.
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Format: Paperback
The Mosquito Coast is told through the eyes of Charlie Fox, a typical American boy. The story he tells us chronicles the "adventure" his family has when his father, Allie Fox takes them all to live in the Hounduran jungle. This is a stunning book which I have already read several times. The story is fantastic; a mixture of sarcastic humour, adventure and emotion. The character of Allie Fox (genius or goat: you decide,) is unique and hilarious and one you can just come back to again and again. I highly recommend this to anyone; all books should be as good as this.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book solely because I had read good reviews of it. I'm glad to say that those reviews were spot on. The Mosquito Coast poses questions on a wide range of subjects from family to modern culture. The story is intriguing and after a few chapters I found I was totally gripped.
The father is ingenious, and its difficult not to admire his creativity and intellect, but he has a very cruel streak. There are a few episodes that illustrate his callous nature towards his children in the beginning of the book, but as it proceeds, his actions and attitudes become all the more chilling. The devotion of his wife and children (especially that of Charlie) show the amazing control one person can have over others.
The last three-quarters of the book are utterly gripping, as the father's inability to accept blame for his own mistakes pushes the family into extremely difficult circumstances. From here readers are kept on a knife edge to the shocking climax.
Gripping story, effective writing, interesting characters. Read this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It took me a while, but I finally finished Mosquito Coast. Some say it’s Theroux’s best novel. It might be. I’m not sure. It’s certainly very different from Saint Jack and My Secret History. However, there are similarities with The Lower River, although I would say the Mosquito Coast is much more elaborate than the Lower River. It’s probably the best of the five or so Theroux novels I’ve read. Theroux’s writing is uncluttered and fluid, and often excellent, but it’s his storytelling that really shines. What an imagination. The main character, Allie Fox, as seen through the eyes of his son, Charlie, is an unforgettable literary figure. Without going on and on, this is great read. For about 10 years now, or since I read The Great Railway Bizarre, Paul Theroux has been one of my favourite authors. Five stars.

Troy Parfitt is the author of Why China Will Never Rule the World
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Format: Paperback
This book is a must-read for anyone who enjoys an imaginative story. It is hard to put down once you start reading, and is absolutely full of creative and interesting sub-plots.

The personalities of the different characters in the book are key to understanding the plot, and they are portrayed in a way which grips the reader. The strange mind of the father pushes the family further and further into their own secluded world, shutting off the outside technology.

Overall, a must-read book! Fantastic!
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Format: Paperback
It had been a while since I read a book by Theroux. I love his travel books. He has been called a cynic by many, though I guess that could be seen as a recommendation as well. To me it isn't necessarily a negative point. Theroux writes big books, which makes them ideal to take on a holiday, at least to me, as I read a lot and can't take piles of books.
The Mosquito coast is a novel, yet it is also a travel book. An American family decides to leave the States, the country is not making progress according to Father. They end up in Honduras where they manage to create a little community where they live happily, all doing their daily chores. Father even manages to build an ice machine, use fire to make ice, even in the heat of central America. Yet father goes berserk and things do not look as brightly as they did before.
Great story, difficult to put down. It does help that I have been in Honduras and have some images in my head when I read this. Apart from that I saw a great movie with Robin Williams as the brilliant, yet crazy father (apparently it already had been turned into a movie, I must have missed that one). Greatly recommended.
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