With no apparent plot, life, to the hero of
My Other Life, is often messier than fiction - sometimes it appears our hero is leading many separate lives. The only connection is that they all involve the same person.
Pavel Medved, Paulie, or Paul Theroux, the fictional narrator of these memoirs and a man of many guises, has reconstructed his past, giving it wit and life, tragedy and pathos and imposed an order on it through careful editing. Inordinately fond of train travel, he takes us on a journey over a career spanning 30 years and distills it into poignant episodes. From his early education by his eccentric Uncle Hal, himself an unlikely author and lover of dog biscuits, we are guided through Theroux's years as a fledgling novelist in literary London, under the wing of the rapacious Lady Max, to his grief at finding himself alone again, at age fifty, in the town of his youth. Complex, candid and confessional, the distinctive qualities of My Other Life will be instantly recognizable to admirers of Theroux's My Secret History.
In this stylish and clever novel the real Paul Theroux has created a protagonist of depth and great subtlety whose fall from grace sets him adrift-until he recognizes again the redeeming power of this art.