Paul Theroux Quotes

There must be something in the Japanese character that saves them from the despair Americans feel in similar throes of consuming. The American, gorging himself on merchandise, develops a sense of guilty self-consciousness; if the Japanese have these doubts they do not show them. Perhaps hesitation is not part of the national character, or perhaps […]

Ever since Mexico, the description, ‘formerly an important Spanish city, famous for its architecture’ made me stiffen in apprehension, but no city had fallen as far as Lima. Like a violated tomb in which only the sorry mummy of a withered nationalism was left, and just enough religion to console a patient multitude with the […]

It is the simplest fact of Indian life: there are too many Indians.

As Calcutta smells of death and Bombay of Money, Bangkok smells of sex, but this sexual aroma is mingled with the sharper whiffs of sex and money.

A city that was familiar: it matched a stereotype in my memory. My image of the Indian city derives from Kipling, and it was in Lahore that Kipling came of age as a writer. Exaggerating the mobs, the vicious bazaar, the color and confusion, the Kipling of the early stories and “Kim” is really describing […]

I cannot make my days longer so I strive to make them better.

The Australian Book of Etiquette is a very slim volume.