¶ Read ¶ The Consul's File by Paul Theroux Î coinfetti.co

Superb collection of short stories, set in the Malaysian town of Ayer Hitam in the rubber jungles of Johore.
Back in the 70s, Paul Theroux spent a couple of years in the Far East, around the time that the American military effort in Vietnam was collapsing in shame and acrimony.
Theroux was only 36 when he published this book, but on this evidence, he could have been mentioned in the same breath as Somerset Maugham and Joseph Conrad as a chronicler of the East had he been content to plough this particular furrow.
But that was never going to be Theroux’s style; so footloose was he that he eventually came to be known as the Anglosphere’s foremost literary traveler.


In the meantime, you have these short stories which in their attention to time and place are a memorial to a lost world.
The world of white planters who dealt Linked short stories not my cup of tea.
As an Asian I could not relate to any of the stereotypes that was mentioned in this book.
Wow, my opinion of this book is improved.
Not that it was bad before, but in the first few stories in this collection I had detected too much of a Graham Greene influence and too many of the stories or ideas for them seemed to be in selfconscious homage to Somerset Maugham's Far East stories.


By the time I got more than a couple of stories into the collection I began to appreciate the unique qualities of Theorux's writing.
This is worthy of at least a paper length discussion, but Theroux's style is understated and unassuming.
At first he seems deceptively transparent, rather simple, and his style is so natural it seems pretty much unadorned.


But there is a postVietnam ethos in these postcolonial tales of the Far East that is anything but simple.
There is also a unique American literary quality to the writing which sets it apart from the work of Greene and M



Paul Theroux, The Consul's File (Ballantine, 1978)

I know of Theroux through his wonderfully minimal little horror tale The Black House; seems most people know him for travel writing.
This is something of which I was previously unaware, but I became well acquinted with it while reading this book, a loose collection of stories about the life of an American consul sent to Ayer Hitam (in Malaysia) to close down the consulate there.
(As a side note, Ayer Hitam is now a forest preserve maintained by the University Putra Malaysia, and dropping by UPM's website to take the photo tour lends a whole other perspective into reading this book.
)

Theroux's hapless protagonist spends his time cataloguing the odd folks to be found in and passing through Ayer Hitam, and Theroux's strength lies mostly in characterization.
The population of Ayer Hitam ( A young and sensitive diplomat arrives at Ayer Hitam, a remote Malaysian town in the heart of a dwindling rubber and palm plantation region, with a brief to close the American Consulate there.
The book is the recounting of the diplomat's experiences, opinions and findings about the place and its people.
The events that trigger the stories are nothing if not dramatic, starting with his arrival meeting with a garrulous woman, who turns out to be paranoid.
The narrator subsequently meets ghosts, encounters murders of expats, witnesses the blood chilling consequences of black magic, dysfunctional marriages, a kidnapping attempt and other such sensational events.


He also meets people like him, who despite the apparent differences in style and This is a story book; every chapter a different anecdote on South East Asian life as an expat.
It holds different writing styles; horror, romance, travel, satire.
Each is compelling, relaying a deeper message than the story itself.
It can be read as a portrayal of human character and of a parable of universal dreams and flaws.


The writing is very fluid and pleasant.
Theroux doesn't spoonfeed you his message, the reader is left to draw her own conclusions.


I loved the last chapter, it's an essay about traveling, life and writing in general.

The Consul's File Á Paul Theroux wrote The Consul's File in 1972, no doubt drawing from his experiences teaching in Singapore in the late 60s.
The stories are set in Ayer Hitam, a remote Malaysian town in the heart of a dwindling rubber and palm plantation region.
I suspect he chose this area to deflect criticism of people he may have encountered in Singapore that served as models of the characters in the consul's story of people he met there.
I see this novel with a central character (the stand in for the author) recounting stories of people he has met in a particular place is one that he would reuse to great effect again in Hotel Honolulu.
I think this character allowed Theroux to give his impression of SE Asia at that time, for example:

He was what some people called a reactionary; he was brutal and blind, his fun was beer The Consul S File Theroux, Paul Livres NotRetrouvez The Consul S File Et Des Millions De Livres En Stock SurAchetez Neuf Ou D OccasionTitle The Consuls File Livres NotRetrouvez Title The Consuls File Et Des Millions De Livres En Stock SurAchetez Neuf Ou D Occasion The Consul S File English Edition EBook Theroux, PaulAchetez Et Tlchargez Ebook The Consul S File English Edition Boutique Kindle Genre FictionThe Consul S File By Paul Theroux Goodreads Paul Theroux Wrote ¶ read The Consul's File by Paul Theroux Î The Consul S File In , No Doubt Drawing From His Experiences Teaching In Singapore In The Late S The Stories Are Set In Ayer Hitam, A Remote Malaysian Town In The Heart Of A Dwindling Rubber And Palm Plantation Region I Suspect He Chose This Area To Deflect Criticism Of People He May Have Encountered In Singapore That Served As Models Of The Characters In The Consul S Story Of The Consuls Files The Consuls Files Quote Of The Day Week However Long Act As If What You Do Makes A Difference It Does William James Pages Home Disclaimer About Madam Monday, June ,Closed But Not Forgotten Forgetting As Brought To Our Attention By Madam S Sister In Arms, Domani Spero Diplopundit, And Published In Stars And Stripes KABUL, Afghanistan The US State Department THE CONSUL S FILE By Paul Theroux Kirkus Reviews THE CONSUL S FILE By GET WEEKLY BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS Email Address Subscribe Tweet KIRKUS REVIEW A Feast, A Bazaar, A Joy And A Coup No Easy Feat, Over A Span Of Five Years, To Produce Twenty Self Sufficient Stories In Assorted Genres Detective, Ghost, Farce, Quiet Tragedy Or Comedy And Have Them All Well, All But One Come Out Neck Laced On A Shapely String Of Setting, Tone, AndThe Consul S File Book By Paul Theroux Thriftbooks Theroux S Consul S File Is Perhaps The Most Evocative Book About What Its Really Like To Be In The Foreign Service The Episodic Nature Of The Story Matches The Life And Work, Even At Larger Posts The Sequel London Embassy, Does Not Work Quite As Well, But Is Still Worthwhile The Consuls File Theroux Paul Free Download, Dctitle The Consuls File Addeddate Identifier Innetdli Identifier Ark Arktkxf Ocr ABBYY FineReaderPpiScanner Internet Archive Python Library V Plus Circle Add Review Comment Reviews There Are No Reviews Yet Be The First One To Write A ReviewViews DOWNLOAD OPTIONS Downloadfile ABBYY GZ Download Download The Consul S File Theroux, PaulAward Winning Writer Paul Theroux Takes Us On A Journey Through Small Town Malaysia Through The Eyes Of The Exuberant Spencer Savage In His Breathtaking Novel The Consul S File Spencer Savage, A Young American Consul, Is Posted To Ayer Hitam, A Small Malaysian Town, In The S Told To Close Down This Remote Outpost In The Sweltering Jungle, He Instead Finds Himself Drawn To The Many Cannot be compared to the experts in this genre of colonial fiction, namely Maugham for short stories, and Orwell for capturing so well the atmosphere of the British Raj in Burma.
Perhaps more comparable is Anthony Burgess's Malayan trilogy, for covering the same locality and period with it's multiethnic cast of characters, except Theroux's stories do not follow any plot line, just a collection of the protagonist's experiences over 2 years as a diplomat based in a small town in 1970s Peninsular Malaysia.


The stories themselves were a mixed bag, ranging from the supernatural and mythic to murder mystery and daily life at the expatriate club house.
Nothing terribly exciting but well crafted short fiction nonetheless, suitable for a leisurely read while lounging at the pool of some old colonial style hotel I imagine.
Wavering at the 3.
5 mark.
This book's made up of a series of colonialist vignettes.
At times I couldn't believe this was set in the 70s as the stultifying "club" atmosphere, and casual racism could have been lifted straight out of a Kipling book.

In spite of this, Theroux's snapshots felt real (or as real as any of that bizarre world can feel).
The gothic horror story added a muchneeded change in tempo.