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The Great Railway Bazaar | [Paul Theroux]

The Great Railway Bazaar

The Great Railway Bazaar is Paul Theroux's account of his epic journey by rail through Asia. Filled with evocative names of legendary train routes - the Direct-Orient Express, the Khyber Pass Local, the Delhi Mail from Jaipur, the Golden Arrow to Kuala Lumpur, the Hikari Super Express to Kyoto, and the Trans-Siberian Express - it describes the many places, cultures, sights and sounds he experienced and the fascinating people he met.
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Publisher's Summary

The Great Railway Bazaar is Paul Theroux's account of his epic journey by rail through Asia. Filled with evocative names of legendary train routes - the Direct-Orient Express, the Khyber Pass Local, the Delhi Mail from Jaipur, the Golden Arrow to Kuala Lumpur, the Hikari Super Express to Kyoto, and the Trans-Siberian Express - it describes the many places, cultures, sights, and sounds he experienced and the fascinating people he met.

Here he overhears snippets of chat and occasional monologues, and is drawn into conversation with fellow passengers, from Molesworth, a British theatrical agent, and Sadik, a shabby Turkish tycoon, while avoiding the forceful approaches of pimps and drug dealers. This wonderfully entertaining travelogue pays loving tribute to the romantic joys of railways and train travel.

©1975 Paul Theroux (P)1983 Recorded Books LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (66 )
5 star
 (22)
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3.9 (54 )
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4.0 (55 )
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    David Old Washington, OH, United States 03-27-11
    David Old Washington, OH, United States 03-27-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    55
    ratings
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    13
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    "Just about as good as it gets..."

    It's great to have this at Audible, an amazing trip by Paul Theroux, with great narration by the late Frank Muller, he captures Theroux's attitude, mood, and "crankiness," perfectly.

    Additionally, the book has what I think is the best attribute of recorded books; forward momentum. I usually listen while walking, and I think the best books help me move forward.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trent North Lambton, Australia 07-31-12
    Trent North Lambton, Australia 07-31-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
    ratings
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    4
    4
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    "A great listen for the traveller"
    What did you love best about The Great Railway Bazaar?

    A great travel adventure, written at a time when crossing the globe was a much more challenging experience. Will resonate with anyone who's embarked on a voyage across cultures.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It reminded me of what I love about freeform travel


    What about Frank Muller’s performance did you like?

    The narrator was excellent - when the accents seem natural and quietly add to the appreciation of the story, rather than being something that you notice outright, then the narrator has done their job well.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanne Palmetto, FL, United States 12-07-11
    Jeanne Palmetto, FL, United States 12-07-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    4
    3
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    2
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    "Riviting"
    What did you love best about The Great Railway Bazaar?

    I loved Theroux's frank descriptions of what he experienced and how he felt about everything.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It made me want to take the same trip--or ar at least parts of it.


    What about Frank Muller’s performance did you like?

    Muller's tempo is just right, alternating appropriately from phrase to phrase and he speaks the various accents convincingly.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gene Bowker 08-02-14
    Gene Bowker 08-02-14

    Rusted Rail Images

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "must listen for any Theroux fan"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The GRB is one of the classics in travel books. If you are a railroad buff like me, it is almost "required" listening


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Great Railway Bazaar?

    Theroux has a way to making the people he meets on the trains into unforgettable characters


    What about Frank Muller’s performance did you like?

    He has an easy to listen to voice. In my mind he is the voice of Theroux now, even though I don't know what he really sounds like =)


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Umm.. a little too long for that =) Great for a road-trip


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Noam D.N. Menashe, Israel 04-11-14
    Noam D.N. Menashe, Israel 04-11-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Excellent depiction"

    I love travel and love travelogues.
    This is my first experience with Paul Theroux and I extremely enjoyed his humor and his insight.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    matthew san diego, CA, United States 12-20-13
    matthew san diego, CA, United States 12-20-13 Member Since 2008

    I am an English teacher in China and can now read and write some Chinese.I have been to 13 countries on 4 continents.I am an avid audiophile

    HELPFUL VOTES
    79
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    "Paul's best work"

    This was the book that made Paul famous. It isn't as long as the newer Ghost Train To The Eastern Star, which is also a revisit of this classic Paul Theroux. The description evoke vivid imagery throughout the fast paced trip. The narrator, however was a bit too fast paced. I would have been happier had he slowed down long enough for me to digest Paul's descriptive writing. I have taken the trains in China, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Sri Lanka. All are as dilapidated as Paul says they are, but they are cheap, slow and comfortable. A few of the Chinese trains are very sleek and clean now. The characters are what made these train books so great. I have to wonder if some of them aren't fictional. I met a few interesting people on the trains, but it was mostly traveling salesmen in China. I can speak fairly well, so interacting with the locals is what the train adventure is all about.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Clodfelter Bryn Mawr, PA USA 09-10-13
    Jonathan Clodfelter Bryn Mawr, PA USA 09-10-13 Member Since 2012

    Happy Customer

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "How not to be a tourist while traveling"
    What did you love best about The Great Railway Bazaar?

    First, Frank Muller is my favorite narrator. Paul Theroux is a gifted author who writing in the general "travel" genre does not bore us with the silly and expected details of long waits in line that are the norm of travel. He does not bore us with the grandeur of the taj mahal, but instead focuses on the people along the way which opens the culture to us. What a gift.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The way that the author engaged the people wherever he went opening for us his take on the way people think and why.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Probably the rail travel through SE Asia.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I don't think it would work.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JJGlass Canyon Lake in the Hill Country near Austin) TX, United States 10-21-11
    JJGlass Canyon Lake in the Hill Country near Austin) TX, United States 10-21-11 Member Since 2009

    jjglass

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very slow"

    The late Frank Muller is my absolute favorite reader but even he couldn't help make this story interesting. It was very slow and boring.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-8 of 8 results
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  • Colin
    Hope, Wrexham, United Kingdom
    4/5/11
    Overall
    "I was on the train"

    The narrator of this story made it all come to life and it felt as though I was on the train travelling alongside and could smell and feel all the pleasures and discomforts afforded to the traveller. I have purchased the second part his return and already it has highlighted how the passing of time along with age makes you value and appreciate different things even after compensating and making allowances for memories being a ghost train and bringing about a sense of melancholy sense of loss.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Crispin
    Tufnell Park, United Kingdom
    3/29/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating recreation of traveling in a bygone er"
    Where does The Great Railway Bazaar rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best, top ten out of about 300 that I have tried


    What did you like best about this story?

    I have spent much of my life travelling around the world much of it solo. This books captures the experience and characters of a journey in detail. Paul's interactions and ability to portray the people you meet is brilliant. I love train travel and find this book almost like being on a journey.


    What does Frank Muller bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Frank is a great narrator, I enjoy the way he acts the parts


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. It is relaxing rather than compelling, like the journey itself, not to be rushed. You don't want to flick to the end any more than you should want to get to your destination on a good journey. It is a train not a Ryan Air trip.


    Any additional comments?

    I was intrigued by the other reviews. Just goes to show, we are all different.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • oliver
    Wallingford, United Kingdom
    3/26/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not the best audible book"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The story itself didn't grab me as his other books have. Paul appears to be bored himself during this journey which comes across, with a sense of apathy.


    What will your next listen be?

    not sure at this point


    Would you be willing to try another one of Frank Muller’s performances?

    Maybe


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom


    Any additional comments?

    n/a

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • paul
    Swindon, United Kingdom
    1/26/13
    Overall
    "Intensely irritating narration"

    Sadly the narration of this book ruined it for me , we where introduced to more and more characters as the story progressed their accents never sounded natural.and became intensely irritating

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-4 of 4 results

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