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



Two Stars

Book Description
In Two Stars Paul Theroux explores the significance of two of the twentieth century's most celebrated stars Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe.
-Book Jacket

Book Description
A quick easy read, comprising 3 pieces on female movie stars - a definition of the 'starlet', a long article detailing Theroux's interviews with Elizabeth Taylor (including an interview with her close friend Michael Jackson) and a very short article on the auctioning of Marilyn Monroe's possessions.

A sense of tragedy runs through the whole book - the dashed hopes of most starlets in their longing for fame, the lost childhoods of Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson, Taylor's many failed marriages, Marilyn Monroe's miserable life and her eventual suicide. At the same time their bizarre lives and the money it generates feels incredibly surreal. Elizabeth Taylor bought Michael Jackson an elephant, Jackson went on tour with two cargo planes, carrying things like arcade games. The pair had a very playful relationship, perhaps trying to reclaim their lost childhoods, and imagine themselves as Peter Pan and Wendy.

Marilyn Monroe's red stiletto's were sold for $21 000; Tommy Hilfiger bought her thrift-shop jeans for $36 500. These were some of the low-priced items. Her sparkly 'Happy Birthday Mr President' dress sold for over a million dollars, the record auction price for a woman's dress. And yet, when Monroe died, she had only $5000 in the bank.

Two Stars reads a bit more like a biography than the study of celebrity in general that I had hoped for (with Taylor and Monroe as case studies), but I enjoyed it nevertheless. I'm from the wrong generation to know much about these stars though, so for someone who lived through their days of iconic fame (or just has a great interest in it), Two Stars would no doubt be an even better read.
-Lauren Smith (

Alternate Book Covers :

Publisher :
Penguin Books

Original Publish Date :
Jan 1, 2005

2007 All rights reserved.