Random House, Inc. From the jungles of Ecuador to the island of Martha’s Vineyard, Paul Theroux’s new novel titillates with eroticism, intelligence, and wit.
Slade Steadman is the ultimate one-book wonder. His lone opus, published twenty years ago, was a cult classic about his travels through dozens of countries without benefit of passport. With his soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend in tow, he sets out for Ecuador’s easternmost jungle in search of a rare hallucinogenic drug and what he hopes will be the cure for his writer’s block.
But his world is altered profoundly when he becomes addicted to the drug and the insights it provides, only to have them desert him, along with his sight. Will he regain his vision? His visions? Or will he forgo the world of his imagining and his ambition? As Theroux leads us toward the answers, he makes fresh magic out of the venerable, intertwined themes of sight and insight. He also offers incisive, sometimes hilarious takes on the manifold ironies of travel and the trappings of the writer’s life — from the fear of the blank page to the unexpected challenges of the book tour.