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Extended Audio Sample Fresh Air Fiend: Travel Writings 1985–2000 Audiobook, by Paul Theroux Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (598 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Paul Theroux Narrator: Norman Dietz Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2016 ISBN: 9781436145084
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Internationally acclaimed author Paul Theroux adds Fresh Air Fiend, named a New York Times Notable Book, to his highly praised travel writings. A collection of essays, this intimate and fascinating book explores five continents and many cultures, while delving deep into the mind of Theroux. From one adventure to the next, listeners will be captivated by what the Chicago Tribune calls “an irresistable storyteller.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Theroux’s ability to provide insight into places like Christmas Island is unparalleled.”

    Austin Chronicle

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alexis | 2/4/2014

    " Found this collection to be a bit uneven. Admittedly, I did skim some of the essays and entries. Sometimes Theroux can be a wonderfully funny and irreverent travel writer. Other times, he comes off as whiny and crabby. There were some pieces that I absolutely loved, and a few that I skipped. Good if you want to dip in and out, I guess. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James | 1/18/2014

    " This is a collection of some of Paul Theroux's shorter pieces that were written between 1985 and 2000. The short pieces are interesting because they provide a glimpse into some of his shorter trips that he's mentioned in passing elsewhere, or even trips that were cut out of some of his longer books. I particularly liked the second-to-last section, which contained pieces that he wrote as introductions for other people's books. They were a good introduction to other travel writers that Theroux himself greatly admires, some famous and some more obscure. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nard | 1/1/2014

    " a disappointing mishmash of protracted essays "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 12/26/2013

    " Not the best Theroux I've read, but still quality if you're going for essay format. Last section is focused entirely on literature/authors - often reads more as book reviews or biographies than otherwise - and I can't say it always held my interest, as I was there for the "travel writings" factor. Still interesting, though, and for the vast majority, met my expectations of another Theroux book. Approve. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie | 12/26/2013

    " Collection of short stories, some better than others, not my favorite. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Georgina | 11/29/2013

    " Not as good as 'Dark Star Safari'. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bárður Örn Gunnarsson | 11/24/2013

    " Great travel book. I love his travelogues when he's on his kayak but I didn't like his China stories as much. Opposed to many of the reviewers I liked the Nantucket kayak story the most! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carl | 11/23/2013

    " Has a small section on the ability of travel to remove you from your cultural comforts and the effect that it has on your perceptions....the book is a must read for adventurers due to that section alone, the rest is just icing that makes you want to run away from the routine immediately. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sally Bullock | 10/20/2013

    " I would give it 4.5, really. Theroux can be judgmental at times but I have a great admiration for his sense of adventure. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathleen McRae | 9/27/2013

    " I enjoyed reading most of this book and enjoyed the descriptive quality of Mr Theroux's writing.He is at his best when writing his impressions of places all the small details that make a book interesting andinformative . Good read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Komodosam | 9/27/2013

    " Very enjoyable. Paul Theroux is an excellent travel writer, and I look forward to reading more of his books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicki | 9/26/2013

    " I pick up this book whenever and wherever. if you're stuck in a city setting or its nasty outside- this book will keep you motivated and inspired to get out there and get some fresh air "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charlane Brady | 7/14/2013

    " Paul Theroux is my favorite travel writer. This book is probably my favorite by him. I read the book while traveling on a train from Hong Kong to Beijing and it was a perfect companion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Raikkonen | 6/27/2013

    " Paul is a great author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cuni | 5/12/2013

    " Nice travel reading. Easy to put down and pick up again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marnie | 4/30/2013

    " I really enjoyed the first portions of the book, when he was talking about his travels and his own writing. However, the last sections didn't do much for me. So I'm mentally giving it 3.5 stars, but that's not an option here. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cherie | 1/13/2013

    " B+ Some really good essays, but others are just a bit dragging; still, quite worthwhile "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris Galvin | 10/26/2012

    " I really liked this book. He seems to be stuck in his head, but what would you expect from a writer. He comes off as a intellectual elitist in his earlier stuff, but he has the skills to pull it off. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt | 4/3/2012

    " Few books oscillate this wildly from the profound to the profoundly boring. Paul Theroux, I don't care about each and every one of your kayaking misadventures or the toast you made off Nantucket over a camp fire. I do like some of your other essays though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenn Stark | 2/12/2012

    " Probably more of a 3.5. This book is split into distinct and separate chapters, some of which I absolutely loved, others that I didn't and mostly skipped over. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jshapiro | 12/27/2011

    " Good to read at the beach (in fact much is about the beach). His description of kayaking at Cape Cod, Scotland, Africa, etc. makes it sound enticing. Also has insightful comments at beginning about traveling (why, where, how). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Serena_v | 5/29/2011

    " Currently listening to the audio book version - on disc 6 of 19, so far so good! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wil | 3/29/2011

    " Made me want to get a sea kayak. And to live in a small snow-bound hut for a season. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cuni | 2/11/2011

    " Nice travel reading. Easy to put down and pick up again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 7/22/2010

    " poignant and insightful reflections on travel to distant lands. as with most travel writing, this is great night/beach reading. as another reviewer noted, it's a bit uneven (not all the essays are great), but overall very solid. readable and intelligent. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie | 9/27/2009

    " Collection of short stories, some better than others, not my favorite. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 7/23/2009

    " I really liked this book. He seems to be stuck in his head, but what would you expect from a writer. He comes off as a intellectual elitist in his earlier stuff, but he has the skills to pull it off. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Serena_v | 4/9/2009

    " Currently listening to the audio book version - on disc 6 of 19, so far so good! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charlane | 7/25/2008

    " Paul Theroux is my favorite travel writer. This book is probably my favorite by him. I read the book while traveling on a train from Hong Kong to Beijing and it was a perfect companion.

    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt | 5/28/2008

    " Few books oscillate this wildly from the profound to the profoundly boring. Paul Theroux, I don't care about each and every one of your kayaking misadventures or the toast you made off Nantucket over a camp fire. I do like some of your other essays though. "

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About the Author
Author Paul Theroux

Paul Theroux is the author of many highly acclaimed novels and travel books. His novels include A Dead Hand and The Mosquito Coast, an international bestseller and the basis of the major motion picture. He lives in Hawaii and on Cape Cod.

About the Narrator

Norman Dietz is a writer, voice-over artist, and audiobook narrator. He has won six Earphones Awards and was named one of the fifty “Best Voices of the Century” by AudioFile magazine. He and his late wife Sandra transformed an abandoned ice-cream parlor into a playhouse, which served “the world’s best hot fudge sundaes” before and after performances. The founder of Theatre in the Works, he lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.