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 Consul's File

Book Description
Post-colonial Malaysia is Theroux territory, charted fictionally in Saint Jack and revisited in The Great Railway Bazaar. The Consul’s File is a journey with a young American diplomat to a “bachelor post” at the uneasy frontier where civilization meets jungle.

The Consul records his stint in Ayer Hitam through a sequence of tales in which he is both observer and participant. As his intimacy with the town grows, so does his motley cast of Asians and exiles: the son of a Cantonese cafe owner, dreaming of a Fuibright one day and a movie contract the next; Margaret Harbottle, writer of travelogues and freeloader extraordinary; an American ingenue dubbed “The Flower of Malaysia,” who flirts with local mores and gets more than she bargained for.

Orphans of empire, the English and Americans find refuge in their down-at-the-heels club -- the scene of an epic tennis match between a Malay prodigy and a despised Japanese salesman - - and diversion on the sexual battlefield. A dependent wife goes on permanent liberty in Bali. A woman anthropologist woos, and subdues, an aborigine chief. And the Consul, on a Singapore rendezvous with a former lover, finds diplomatic relations fatal to passion.

The supernatural flourishes like exotic flora in Ayer Hitam, and its ghostly influence pervades many of the Consul’s tales. From the comic to the bizarre, they build into a sensual evocation of place and character. This is a master storyteller writing at the height of his formidable power.

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Ballantine Books

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