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Publisher's Summary

One of the most acclaimed travel writers of our time turns his unflinching eye on an American South too often overlooked.

Paul Theroux has spent 50 years crossing the globe, adventuring in the exotic, seeking the rich history and folklore of the far away. Now, for the first time, in his 10th travel book, Theroux explores a piece of America - the Deep South. He finds there a paradoxical place, full of incomparable music, unparalleled cuisine, and yet also some of the nation's worst schools, housing, and unemployment rates. It's these parts of the South, so often ignored, that have caught Theroux's keen traveler's eye.

On road trips spanning four seasons, wending along rural highways, Theroux visits gun shows and small-town churches, laborers in Arkansas, and parts of Mississippi where they still call the farm up the road "the plantation". He talks to mayors and social workers, writers and reverends, the working poor and farming families - the unsung heroes of the South, the people who, despite it all, never left, and those who returned home to rebuild a place they could never live without. From the writer whose "great mission has always been to transport us beyond that reading chair, to challenge himself - and thus, to challenge us" (Boston Globe), Deep South is an ode to a region, vivid and haunting, full of life and loss alike.

©2015 Paul Theroux (P)2015 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    56
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    42
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    27
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    7
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    12

Performance

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    60
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    39
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    9
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    13
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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I MISS THE OLD THEROUX

Would you try another book from Paul Theroux and/or John McDonough?

I always have, I always will.

Would you recommend Deep South to your friends? Why or why not?

Not really. The Old Theroux would have been snippy and persnickety. His non-travel writer persona was a pleasure. The New Theroux is affable and cheery -- and kind of tedious. Also, the book is shockingly repetitive, as if he was being paid by the word. Does the New Theroux have an editor?

Was Deep South worth the listening time?

Yes and no. I liked the many Patels, but the gun shows were all the same gun show. And the generalizations (cliches?) were endless. The Old Theroux would have tossed the book aside for something more colorful.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Painful Narrator

What would have made Deep South better?

I could not finish listening to this book, although I love Theroux. The narrator was horrible. Painful to listen too.

Would you recommend Deep South to your friends? Why or why not?

Bad narrator.

Would you be willing to try another one of John McDonough’s performances?

Absolutely not.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting perspective, informative

Where does Deep South rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Pretty good.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Not relevant

Would you be willing to try another one of John McDonough’s performances?

Never, he was the worst. Why would you have a narrator with a pronounced lisp?

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

not relevant

Any additional comments?

We listened to this book while driving through many of the places he also visited which made it more interesting. But seemed like he got stuck in a rut and only presented the african american point of view. While we appreciated their stories, we know from experience that there are plenty of white southerners who are not red neck racists.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

First chapter could have been it all

Loved the first chapter. Then came the looong referances to other books. Gave up 2hours in.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Decent story, Obnoxious Narrator

What would have made Deep South better?

Had they used a different narrator, this may have been a decent listen. I couldn't finish listening.

Would you be willing to try another book from Paul Theroux? Why or why not?

No. This was a very disappointing audiobook.

What didn’t you like about John McDonough’s performance?

His dry mouthed delivery, spittle inflected enunciation, unnecessary pauses and overall performance were so annoying that I had to stop listening. The single worst narration I've ever heard.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

educational and eye opening roadtrip

Loved this book. should be required reading around the USA. Theroux ventured to the places often forgotten in America. He gives voice to the spirit and the reality of the Deep South. I learned SO MUCH. Stick with ...the last few pages are so powerful once you take this journey with "Mr. Paul".

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic Book, Gold Standard Performance

Marvelously performed, this is perhaps Theroux's best book, and an important discussion of the current state of the South.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Too long

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I would not focus so exclusively on poverty in the South. It finally wore me out and I am interested in the South and have travelled there myself. I also got tired of hearing about gun shows. Frankly, I think I just got tired because the audiobook was so long. I did like the last 2 chapters, though, and will read more of his books.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Most - the description of the land. Least - the failure to really describe any of the southern celebrations .

Would you be willing to try another one of John McDonough’s performances?

No. I think I will read any more of his books. I thought the accent was overbearing and the southern dialect overdone, but that just may be me, because I have heard it firsthand all my life.

Could you see Deep South being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No

Any additional comments?

I loved Zona Verda, which was the first of his books I have read. I have not enjoyed any of them as much since.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Patrick
  • Beltsville, MD, United States
  • 09-18-16

Don't which was know what's worse: the book or the reader.

The book was uninteresting; thought it would never end. The book's thesis is that the South is poor and racism is prevalent. Dah! The author provides little insight beyond that. The reader is awful! His attempt at black accents and his vocal characterizations of older people and women is grating and annoying.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Needs new narrator - maybe.. PAUL THEROUX?? :/

What would have made Deep South better?

Paul Theroux actually narrating his own books

What didn’t you like about John McDonough’s performance?

not right for this author

What character would you cut from Deep South?

john mcdonough

Any additional comments?

paul..narrate your own books please, would be great to have first voice of author

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Graham
  • 07-14-17

Enjoyable book

If you could sum up Deep South in three words, what would they be?

Great writing that keeps you engaged, but only criticism would be John McDonough's narration which is at times is too breathless and irritated me. I'm not sure what age he is but sounds about 80 which in turn makes the content sound aged..

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • J
  • 04-29-16

Great book

Found the narrators voice a little irksome at first, but got used to it and was rewarded by a great audio travelogue.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-28-18

Rich, unblinking, empathetic…great narrator.

Theroux takes us without comment past the curtain of cliches that surrounds the American South to the contradictions and mysteries of this strangely layered land. He does so completely and without judgment. For me, the much criticised narrator was just right for the people and the places, for the pace of life and for the turns of fortune of this country within a country.

A great book and beautifully read.