The Great Railway Bazaar
The Old Patagonian Express
The Kingdom By The Sea
Sailing Through China
Sunrise With Seamonsters
The Imperial Way
Riding The Iron Rooster
To The Ends Of The Earth
The Happy Isles Of Oceania
The Pillars Of Hercules
Sir Vidia's Shadow
Fresh Air Fiend
Best American Travel Writing
Dark Star Safari
Ghost Train to the Eastern Star
The Tao of Travel
The Last Train to Zona Verde
Best American Travel Writing 2014
Deep South
Figures in a Landscape


Fong And The Indians
Murder In Mount Holly
Girls At Play
Jungle Lovers
Sinning With Annie
Saint Jack
The Black House
The Family Arsenal
The Consul's File
Picture Palace
A Christmas Card
London Snow
World's End
The Mosquito Coast
The London Embassy
Half Moon Street
The White Mans Burden
My Secret History
Chicago Loop
Millroy The Magician
My Other Life
Kowloon Tong
The Collected Short Novels
Hotel Honolulu
Nurse Wolf And Dr. Sacks
Stranger At The Palazzo D'Oro
Two Stars
Blinding Light
The Elephanta Suite
A Dead Hand
The Lower River
Mr. Bones
Mother Land



The Family Arsenal

Book Description
London is both theater and protagonist in Paul Theroux’s novel. His cast comes from every layer of its society. In Deptford, a seedy riverside district, lives a group that might pass for a family: Valentine Hood, late an American consul in Hue (sacked for assaulting a Vietnamese official); Mayo, a female thief working for the IRA Provisionals; and two street-wise teen-age waifs, Murf who makes bombs, and the girl, Brodie, who plants them.

Hood casts his lot with these dubious terrorists and with the Provos, who distrust his motives and keep him on the hook. Impelled to act for action’s sake, Hood becomes embroiled in a murder that triggers a shock wave of far-reaching consequences. Hood’s solo activities, meshing perilously with the IRA’s planned English offensive, draw more unlikely players into the game: Lady Arrow, who blackmails for kicks; Araba Nightwing and her actors’ commune of canting radicals; and bowler-hatted Mr. Gawber, who keeps the books for everyone. Urban struggle, Hood learns, is a family affair.

The Family Arsenal ranges wide, covering well-mapped parts of London such as Mayfair and the West End, and the darker, less-charted territory of the city’s netherworid. It is at once a superbly crafted novel of complex relationships and a tautly strung thriller, vastly compelling on both levels.

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Penguin Books

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