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  • The Old Patagonian Express

  • By: Paul Theroux
  • Narrated by: Norman Dietz
  • Length: 16 hrs and 43 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (62 ratings)

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The Old Patagonian Express cover art

The Old Patagonian Express

By: Paul Theroux
Narrated by: Norman Dietz
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Summary

The Old Patagonian Express tells of Paul Theroux's train journey down the length of North and South America. Beginning on Boston's subway, he depicts a voyage from ice-bound Massachusetts to the arid plateau of Argentina's most southerly tip.

Shivering and sweating by turns as the temperature and altitude rise and plummet, he describes the people he encountered - the tedious Mr Thornberry in Limón and reading to the legendary blind writer, Jorge Luis Borges, in Buenos Aires.

©1979 Cape Cod Scriveners Company (P)1986 Recorded Books Inc

Critic reviews

"One of the most entrancing travel books written in our time." ( Financial Times)
"Travel writing at its most accomplished." ( Sunday Telegraph)

What listeners say about The Old Patagonian Express

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

mispronounciation

Shame the narrator can't read English must be because he's American. You'll end up grinding your teeth and baffled to the meanings of some simple sentences.

2 people found this helpful

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Wonderful romantic tale of a great train journey

I wish I had made this journey through North and South America before privatisation when the trains were still running as a joined up system but having come late to the party the next best thing is this book. You accompany the author on a beautifully recounted tale of the ups and downs of an adventure that - although it has a clear destination - has many uncertainties along the way. The narrator does justice to the book but there are some occasional issues with the recording. However these seem to belong to the time the book was written and for me they simply bring the tale to life. I particularly enjoyed his intelligent account of Buenos Aires’ culture and his literary conversations with Jorge Luis Borges.

1 person found this helpful

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Awful reader

No complaint about the book, its a good read but every sentence you can hear the reader clicking his lips together and it is relentlessly annoying.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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I gave up!

Maybe I am a bit too young for the style that this books is written in.

I was hoping for something Michael Palinesque and this book is not.

I made it to chapter 5 before I gave it up.

I found each chapter to be repetitive, with similar descriptions of people and places. At times the descriptions of the girls he came across could be at best lecherous and at worst salacious and bawdy. I'm not a prude but in this day and age, to read about a man 'noticing' every working girl or attractive woman he comes across is boring.

Wasn't the kind of travel writing I was hoping for.

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Unique travel experience

A unique travel experience that is so vibrant and vivid its as if your there.