The Lower River Free download À 107

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The Lower River Free download À 107 æ Ellis Hock never believed that he would return to Africa He runs an old fashioned menswear store in a small town in Massachusetts but still dreams of his Eden the four years he spent in Malawi with the Peace Corps cut short when he had to return to take over the family business When his wife leaves him takinEllis Hock never believed that he would return to Africa He runs an old fashioned menswear store in a small town in Massachusetts but still dreams of his Eden the four years he spent in Malawi with the Peace Corps cut short when he had to return to take over the family business When his wife leaves him taking th. A pilgrimage usually brings to mind young college grads or drop outs backpacking and seeking to find “who I really am” or the forty something just divorced and tired of the rat race individual plagued with ennui or provoked by accumulated reproaches Or is it the pilgrimage to Mecca or Delphi It does suggest a spiritual journey a life defining soul searching odysseyIn Theroux’s latest novel sixty two year old businessman Ellis Hock embarks on a pilgrimage Scorned by his wife and spurned by his daughter he decides to sell his men’s clothing business in Medford Massachusetts leave his home of almost forty years and return to the “lower river” in the country of Malawi in a remote bush town called Malabo Ellis romanticizes this African village that he spent four Peace Corps years as a teacher in after college and resolves he can “go back” and return to the happiest years of his life living in a mud hut with a thatched roof and commingling with the natives And so begins the expedition of Ellis Hock to the southernmost part of a southern province home of the Sena people in a land of few clothes and elaborate dance rituals He is White Man and Mwamuna wa Njoka—Snake Man; Ellis was known during his Peace Corps years for his deft handling and collection of black mambas green mambas puff adders spitting cobras the swimming sun snake the egg eating wolf snake the boomslang mbobo and the nsato or rock python Hock had a knack and a confidence to govern these scaly reptiles Ellis was also recognized for building a school and initiating plans for a medical clinic and paved roads He regarded himself as a savior of sorts the benefactor of a poverty stricken village But did he know himself then and the people he lived with and taught He is confident that he will be received with open arms on his return that his goodwill and proprietary feelings about the region about Africa would be recognized and embracedThe novel of Ellis’ return to Malobo is full of surprises Be prepared for an unorthodox narrative unvarnished and bold stripped of the political correct approach of progressives and alms givers including the well meaning philanthropists who patronize the less fortunate who are ignorant of their own contribution to apathy and greed—unenlightened because of their phlegmatic sense of charity that these uneducated indigent people are not much different from you or me at the core You will peer inside the militaristic supply depots necessitated by do gooder celebrities who spread their money and smiles and food drops without having a clue about the complex nature of the regional customs and hierarchiesOther works that have influenced this book have been mentioned in many reviews such as Conrad’s HEART OF DARKNESS and Graham Green’s THE HEART OF THE MATTER Theroux’s chronicled travelogue through Africa DARK STAR SAFARI reflects many of the themes in this story—of return and a desire to redeem lost youth There is also a vivid allusion to William Golding’s LORD OF THE FLIES a ripe and menacing glimpse into primitive culture It reminded me of a few select lines in the movie APOCALPYSE NOW from General Corman“Because there's a conflict in every human heart between the rational and the irrational between good and evil And good does not always triumph Sometimes the dark side overcomes what Lincoln called the better angels of our nature”Hock’s trek to his idealized paradise is an unforgettable life lesson written with intelligence and raw clarity Theroux can be a bit long winded at times; he isn’t into economy of words However his techniue serves the story well with the subtle and nuanced delivery of a ruthless civilization one that is all too ferociously human

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Ember him the White Man with no fear of snakes and welcome him But is his new life his journey back an escape or a trap   Interweaving memory and desire hope and despair salvation and damnation this is a hypnotic compelling and brilliant return to a terrain no one has ever written better about than Therou. A white man out of his element and trying to get back to the world he knows is a theme running through Paul Theroux's stunning novel THE LOWER RIVER I loved the characters locales and sheer desperation as the book wore on Reminiscent of Graham Joyce's SMOKING POPPY I found this story extraordinary

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The Lower RiverE family home he realizes that there is one place for him to go back to Malawi on the remote Lower River where he can be happy again   Arriving at the dusty village he finds it transformed the school he built is a ruin the church and clinic are gone and poverty and apathy have set in among the people They rem. I came to The Lower River with high expectations mostly founded on Paul Theroux's wonderful travel writing What I loved about books like Riding the Iron Rooster is true for this one as well; nobody describes unusual or exotic locales uite like him Sadly that's where the wonder stopped this timeEllis Hock was a compelling enough character in the beginning Characters approaching old age seem to seldom get the starring role in contemporary novels so I though it refreshing that we'd get to see him go through a late life crisis try to re insert himself into his youth to reboot his life I found him relatable if a bit of a downer and the beginnings of his journey rang true Then came AfricaWithout spoiling things too much it's safe to say that the Malawi he remembered from his 20's was not where he found himself in his 60's Instead of the joyous homecoming he anticipated he was met with antipathy by the locals uickly devolving into something far sinister Even as I write this the premise sounds exciting than what actually lies on the pagesMaybe that's the problem; the story just lies there It's as if the pacing itself got heatstroke early on and couldn't be bothered to rise from the hammock for the rest of the story Themes repeat themselves ad nauseum without gaining much in the way of insight The characters Hock included rarely stray from the expected The story arc is as flat as the lazy river itself tepid and predictable There are surprises sprinkled throughout the story but they seem calibrated to drive home a single point hungry people will do whatever it takes to find a meal It's true I'm sure but is that enough to hang a novel onThe whole exercise just felt uninspired and lugubrious At one point I found myself stopping to see where I was in the novel and actually rolling my eyes that I still had half the work left to read That's not a good sign By the time the novel reached its sudden yet curiously anticlimactic ending I was thoroughly disengaged from both the village and the weatherbeaten Mr HockI gave this one two stars The first is out of pure nostalgia for the great works Paul Theroux has produced before; the second for a few interesting characters even if they don't progress much if at all during the tale and for his knack for setting a scene in a way that puts an armchair traveler right into the thick of the African bush If only he'd picked up the pace if only the journey could be said to have changed the lives of at least one of the characters if only