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Estonia: A Ramble Through the Periphery By Alexander Theroux,

  • Title: Estonia: A Ramble Through the Periphery
  • Author: Alexander Theroux
  • ISBN: 9781606994658
  • Page: 312
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Any journey with Alexander Theroux is an education Possessed of a razor sharp and hyperliterate mind, he stands beside Thomas Pynchon as one of the sharpest cultural commentators of our time So when he decided to accompany his wife the artist Sarah Son Theroux on her Fulbright Scholarship to Estonia, it occasioned this penetrating examination of a country that, for maAny journey with Alexander Theroux is an education Possessed of a razor sharp and hyperliterate mind, he stands beside Thomas Pynchon as one of the sharpest cultural commentators of our time So when he decided to accompany his wife the artist Sarah Son Theroux on her Fulbright Scholarship to Estonia, it occasioned this penetrating examination of a country that, for many, seems alien and distanced from the modern world.For Theroux, the country and its people become a puzzle His fascination with their language, manners, and legacy of occupation and subordination lead him to a revelatory examination of Estonia s peculiar place in European history All the while, his trademark acrobatic allusions, quotations, and digressions which take us from Hamlet through Jean Cocteau to Married with Children render his travels as much internal and psychical as they are external and physical Through these obsessive references to Western culture, we come to appreciate how insular the country has become, yet also marvel at its fierce individuality and preternatural beauty such is the skill of Theroux s gaze.This travelogue of his nine months abroad also brims with anecdotes of Theroux s encounters with Estonian people and in some of its most bitterly comedic episodes his fellow Americans whom he at times feels alienated from than the frosty, humorless Europeans.Estonia A Ramble Through the Periphery is as biting and satirical as it is witty and urbane as curious and lyrical as it is brash and irreverent It marks a new highlight in an already stellar career and a book that continues Fantagraphics exceptional line of prose works.
    Estonia A Ramble Through the Periphery Any journey with Alexander Theroux is an education Possessed of a razor sharp and hyperliterate mind he stands beside Thomas Pynchon as one of the sharpest cultural commentators of our time So when h

    One thought on “Estonia: A Ramble Through the Periphery”

    1. Theroux is Latin for thorough not , and this book is nothing if not Therouxly exhausting He suggests towards the end that Thomas Mann was wrong when he said Only the exhaustive is truly interesting Right on, brother But Estonia A Ramble is fascinating for its duration and irresistible for those enamoured with Theroux s knack for a comprehensive insult, and his utterly sui generis way of looking at the world The Theroux I read, the less I see an opinionated shit stirrer and misomisanthropist, bu [...]

    2. Fragment of the interview with partly functional president of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves IL Speaking of outside opinions, I recently read Alexander Theroux s book Estonia A Ramble Through the PeripheryTHI Yes, I read it too, but then I am probably the only person in Estonia who also read his Darconville s Cat in 1981, and Three Wogs as well I d say it s typical Alexander Theroux, one of the most misanthropic writers there are I mean, if you remember, in Darconville s Cat he has a thirty page c [...]

    3. The book is interesting from the how a foreigner might see Estonia point of view, but it should not be trusted as a guidebook, as it is filled with mistakes There are factual mistakes, names misspelled, the bits in Estonian language are often translated incorrectly Also, whoever told him that I love you in Finnish is S isin mieluummin salmiakkia I d rather eat salty liquorice , was making an odd joke of some sort He really should have checked his facts or just asked a local person to help Most E [...]

    4. A novelist unread visits a country unvisited, writes a travel piece Washington Times review washingtontimes news 2Yes read it because it is Mr Theroux If you want something else perhaps an encyclopedia article or a Fodors if you can find it.

    5. This is one of the worst books I have ever read I struggled to get through it and have come to the conclusion that from now on I will be less antsy about quitting books I bought this because I loved the title, it sounded like it would be an exciting book about a country that not as many Americans go to I went to Estonia for a week in the beginning of September and was blessed with lovely weather and I found the people nice, if not overly warm I found them very intelligent and open to discussion [...]

    6. If you ve ever worked in a record shop or used bookstore or some other kind of retail business that attracts cranky, opinionated loudmouths that are insightful and fascinating despite themselves, you may recognize the authorial voice here Theroux reminds me of the older punk rock guys I used to work with during my independent retail years exceptionally well read, idiosyncratic, given to bizarre tangents, kind of a dick, but able to spin interesting, thoughtful and wide ranging stories on subject [...]

    7. A waste of my time and money I suppose I d assumed that Alexander would be writing a travel memoir in the style of Paul Theroux, and I m always interested in Estonia and the Baltics But this isn t even worth finishing Alexander visits Estonia and then justrants He begins by despising the Russians left behind in Estonia after independence in 1991 and the Soviet collapse dismissing them as malevolent and vile and then launching into page after page about how much he despises and hates Israel and I [...]

    8. Don t get this book to learn about Estonia although if you read it you will surely learn something about the tiny Baltic country The sub title has it exactly right it s a ramble through the periphery Estonia is not a travel book or a history in any typical sense it s a frequently funny, crank s catalog of Estonia as observed by a hyper literate, cantankerous traveler It s 300 pages of creatively connected observations about television, movies, music, food, culture, manners, religion, weather, pe [...]

    9. This may be my favorite book ever written Just a thorough detailing of the experience that is Estonia He really soaked it up and nailed it perfectly review could be 12pages Read it for what he titles it Periphery This is not a state department briefing of the Baltic It is the view from a salty man I traveled through the country, briefly, and was very pleased with what he found unique everywhere.

    10. It s a crying shame Alexander Theroux isn t hailed as a national treasure The author of the masterpieces Darconville s Cat, Laura Warholic Three Wogs will express unrepentant schadenfreude over the fact that all these books are way out of print But to wit The Estonian language is a vowel dump, an explosive alphagram drill full of repeated letter combinations with multiple bingoes He was a Virginian of middling height with eyeglasses whose odd, blunt muzzled head was shaped exactly like a capybar [...]

    11. This will be the first time on that I ve reviewed a book I didn t finish however, I stumbled upon a linguistic mistake that is so absurd and fact checkable, the other elements I found annoying but somehow somewhat digestible, suddenly became overwhelming, and it became impossible to keep reading I suspect that other factual and linguistic errors abound Let me use the linguistic mistake as my starting point In a glib, toothless analysis of Estonian language, he compares the phrase I love you in E [...]

    12. In reading this book, one finds out a lot about its author, Alexander Theroux One finds that he struggled mightily with Estonian as a language and no wonder, that he found many of the people to be cold and unfriendly, and he found reading material difficult to come by, that he disliked many American expatriates and was particularly hostile about the American war effort in the Middle East during the 2000 s when he wrote One finds out that he is well read and that he wished to subject Estonia to t [...]

    13. Bizarro read An author husband accompanies his Fulbright scholar artist spouse on her program in Estonia IF you can overlook the fact that the author is an egotistical, self important, America loathing, self proclaimed intellectual this is an entertaining, quirky view of an quirky, little country.He hits on the overwhelming rudeness of the people he claims they NEVER smile , the strangeness of the language, oddities of the culture and legacy of Soviet rule he DOES present a unique vantage point. [...]

    14. Theroux s impressions of a few months spent in Estonia in 2009 Really sings when he s at his crankiest and crabbiest a particular highlight is the chapter of unflattering portraits of his wife s fellow Fulbright recipients , but flags frequently in a way that his similarly styled essay collection The Primary Colors doesn t.

    15. Estonia is another Theroux book full of his lists oddball names, music, movies, geography, history, food and a prideful husband s praise of his wife movie star beautiful, her art brilliant Then what were they doing in Estoniaa country he freely admits even the most avid explorers avoid Kicks One wouldn t think so after working your way through his lengthy gripes.

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