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
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 Stranger at the Palazzo d'Oro, A Dead Hand, Millroy the Magician, The Elephanta Suite, Saint Jack, The Consul's File, The Family Arsenal, The Mosquito Coast, and his works of non-fiction, including the iconic The Great Railway Bazaar are available from Penguin.