The Kingdom by the Sea

The Kingdom by the Sea

A Journey Around the Coast of Great Britain

Book - 1984
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Paul Theroux's round-Britain travelogue is funny, perceptive and, said the Sunday Times, 'best avoided by patriots with high blood pressure . . . 'After eleven years living as an American in London, Paul Theroux set out to travel clockwise round the coast and find out what Britain and the British are really like. It was 1982, the summer of the Falklands War and the royal baby, and the ideal time, he found, to surprise the British into talking about themselves. The result is absolutely riveting reading. 'Few of us have seen the entirety of the coast and I for one am grateful to Mr Theroux for making my journey unnecessary. He describes it all brilliantly and honestly' - Anthony Burgess in the Observer. 'Filled with history, insights, landscape, epiphanies, meditations, celebrations and laments' - The New York Times.
Publisher: London ; New York : Penguin Books, 1984
ISBN: 9780140071818
Characteristics: 361 p. ; 20 cm


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Jun 13, 2017

Set in 1980's ?? This man should renew himself with GB of today - it's a new ballgame.

Jun 10, 2017

A low-key travelogue that's set in the 1980s, a dark time for most of lower/middle class U.K. There are some astute observations about cultural differences, skinhead encounters, and retired couples, but there's just so much beachfront travelling commentary before you start wishing his trip to wind up.


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Apr 29, 2010

Awesome writing by Paul Theroux, as usual.

Engaging in every paragraph, and treating us to a skewed view of his much loved Britain, where he lived for 8 or 9 years.


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Feb 24, 2009

One of the few boasts the British risked was that their country was changeless. In some trivial ways it was, but to an alien it seemed entirely irregular and unpredictable, changing from day to day. It was not a question of seismic shocks, but rather a steadier kind of erosion–like the seemingly changeless and consoling tide, in which there was always, in its push and pull, slightly more loss than gain. The endless mutation of the British coast wonderfully symbolized the state of the nation. In a quiet way the British were hopeful, and because in the cycle of ruin and renewal there had been so much ruin, they were glad to be still holding on–that was the national mood–but they were hard put to explain their survival. The British seemed to me to be a people forever standing on a crumbling coast and scanning the horizon.


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