The Old Patagonian Express

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
First edition (publ. Houghton Mifflin)

The Old Patagonian Express (1979) is a written account of a journey taken by novelist Paul Theroux. Starting out from his home town in Massachusetts,[1] via Boston and Chicago, Theroux travels by train across the North American plains to Laredo, Texas. He then crosses the border and takes a train south through Mexico to Veracruz where he meets a woman looking for her long-lost lover. He then takes the train south into Guatemala and then El Salvador where he goes to a soccer match and is amazed by the violence. He then flies to Costa Rica where he takes the train to Limon and Puntarenas. He ended his transit of Central America in Panama where he takes the short train ride across the isthmus. Theroux then proceeds to Colombia and then over the Andes[2] and finally reaches the cold, bare heart of Patagonia, the small town of Esquel. He endures harsh climates, including the extreme altitude of Peru and the Bolivian Plateau, meets the author Jorge Luis Borges in Buenos Aires[3] and is reunited with long lost family in Ecuador.

The book has been praised for its depth and understanding about the people, the culture, giving a flavor of the various South American countries.[4]

Chapters of Book[edit]

  1. The Lake Shore Limited
  2. The Lone Star
  3. The Aztec Eagle
  4. El Jarocho to Veracruz
  5. The Passenger Train to Tapachula
  6. The 7:30 to Guatemala City
  7. The 7:00 to Zacapa
  8. The Railcar to San Salvador
  9. The Local to Cutuco
  10. The Atlantic Railway: the 12:00 to Limon
  11. The Pacific Railway: the 10:00 to Puntarenas
  12. The Balboa Bullet to Colon
  13. The Espreso de Sol to Bogota
  14. The Espreso Calima
  15. The Autoferro to Guayaquil
  16. The Tren de la Sierra
  17. The Train to Machu Picchu
  18. El Panamericano
  19. La Estrella del Norte ('The North Star') to Buenos Aires
  20. The Buenos Aires Subterranean
  21. The Lagos del Sur ('Lakes of the South') Express
  22. The Old Patagonian Express


See also[edit]