PRAISE


“At the beginning of “On the Plain of Snakes: A Mexican Journey,” his latest travel book, Paul Theroux writes that he can “identify” with Mexico. When he left his home in Massachusetts to drive to Mexico, it was during a time he felt “peculiarly ignored and weakened.”—Houston Chroniclereview

“A couple of years ago, the novelist and travel writer Paul Theroux visited the U.S.-Mexico border. South of the line he interviewed several people at a shelter serving migrants and deportees, and his memory of an encounter with a woman named María stalked him thereafter “like an apparition.” She wept as she told Mr. Theroux how she had left her three young children with their grandmother in Oaxaca, deep in the Mexican interior, so that she could find menial work at a hotel in the United States. But she had lost her way in the desert and was arrested, abused and deported. “Later I saw her alone,” he writes, “praying before she ate, an iconic image of piety and hope.” He resolved to come back and travel to María’s home region by car in order to find out why she and so many others risk crossing furtively into the U.S. “On the Plain of Snakes” is the fierce and poignant account of his monthslong quest.”—The Wall Street Journalreview

“If Paul Theroux’s new book on Mexico is a commercial success, he’ll have Donald Trump to thank for it. But the initial inspiration came from a young man who worked in a doctor’s office…”—The Wall Street Journalopinion

“Paul Theroux, a novelist and one of America’s most prolific travel writers, recently spent over a year making “forays” into Mexico. In a half-dozen trips, each lasting around a month, he drove his own car the length of the border and traveled through the hinterlands: Sonora, Potosi, Oaxaca, Chiapas. In particular, Theroux was interested in exploring the motivations behind Mexican migration to the U.S. “What are they leaving? Who are they leaving behind?” he wondered. The result is his newest work, On the Plain of Snakes: A Mexican Journey, which is out Oct. 8th”—Barron’s PENTAarticle

“Theroux has taken many trains (as he did in “Riding the Iron Rooster” and “The Great Railway Bazaar”), but for his travels around Mexico, he decided to drive. The choice was wise, as it allowed him to visit villages and landmarks he might otherwise have missed. Whether it’s Frida Kahlo’s legendary Blue House, border towns or coastline, Theroux presents a Mexico riddled with problems and gifted with beauty.”—The Washington Postarticle

“In his 70s, the writer embarks on one of the great adventures of a traveling life, a solo road trip from Reynosa to Chiapas and back.”—The New York Timesarticle

“The richness and beauty of Mexico’s cultural history are marked and accented by strife, struggle and, prosperity. In his latest book, On The Plain Of Snakes: A Mexican Journey, literary maestro Paul Theroux brings to light both the traditions and turmoil’s that shape of the life the deeply proud Mexican people today. Theroux brings a journalist’s clarity, a historian’s depth, and a storyteller’s watchfulness to his latest adventure.”—Unnamed Projectreview

“Admittedly, there are no actual snakes on the cover of Paul Theroux’s newest book, but the title’s clever homage to Snakes on a Plane makes me smile every time I see it. World traveler and renowned writer Theroux wanted to see for himself the borderlands that have sparked political battles and acrimony in the U.S. and Mexico. As he spends time among the people who live just south of the Arizona border with Mexico, he talks with those who remain in Mexico even as family and friends go north. Theroux’s global perspective, gleaned from years of travel in a wide range of regions, brings a new view to the border debate. (October 8)”—Amazon Book Reviewarticle

“Dark-edged but ultimately hopeful… Theroux’s usual excellent mix of vivid reportage and empathetic rumination is energized by a new spark of political commitment. Armchair travelers will find an astute, familiar guide in Theroux.”—Publishers Weeklyreview

“Illuminating, literate, and timely—a must-read for those interested in what's going on inside Mexico.”—Kirkus *starred* reviewstarred review 

“A textured portrait…Theroux does not hesitate to articulate his point of view on a number of topics as he unapologetically takes into consideration context, anecdotal evidence, and his on-the-road experiences to arrive at his prescription for improving the Mexican situation.”—Booklist *starred* review

“Tourists headed to Mexico and those interested in the current migrant situation will learn a great deal.”—Library Journal

“Relentlessly engaging…Theroux demonstrates how a traveler’s finely wrought observations…sometimes offer the best political and social analysis.”

Washington Post

“Much of [Theroux’s] writing reflects affection for the people in whose midst he is apt to find himself, and a spirit of inquiry that is part anthropological and part autobiographical.”

The Wall Street Journal

"Theroux has been whisking me around the planet for more than four decades. I am transfixed, always, by his ability to write convincingly about the human condition, to make me laugh and cry--and stop to think. His work is benign sorcery. And the books keep coming." 

Anthony Summers, Finalist, Pulitzer Prize for History and Official and Confidential, The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover, The Eleventh Day: The Ultimate Account of 9/11

“[Theroux’s] work is distinguished by a splendid eye for detail and the telling gesture; a storyteller’s sense of pacing and gift for granting closure to the most subtle progression of events; and the graceful use of language.”

Chicago Tribune

 

“Paul Theroux is an undisputed master of travel literature. He has traversed Mexico with such dedication that he knows its roads as he knows the lines on the palm of his hand.  His curiosity does not recognize borders. Nor is he a stranger among us: he is Don Pablo, a wise man who never stops learning.”

—Juan Villoro, journalist, playwright, and one of Mexico’s most famous authors

 

“A fascinating immersion in my country, free of prejudice and with eyes wide open.”

—Guillermo Osorno, founder of the cultural journal Horizontal and author of Tengo Que Morir Todas las Noches