(1941- ) US author, father of Marcel Theroux; best known for novels like Saint Jack (1973) and The Mosquito Coast (1982), which cruelly anatomize their far-flung settings, and for travel books which do the same. Some of his slighter books have fantastic content. The Black House (1974) is a horror story whose protagonists, dislocated in England after a long sojourn in Africa, are further disrupted, spiritually and physically, by a ghost whose sexual allure is not easy to resist; Dr. De Marr (1990) and Millroy the Magician (1993) are fantasies.
O-Zone (1986) is a long, seemingly ambitious Post-Holocaust sf novel set in the familiar killing ground of a near-future Dystopian America, irradiated with traces of Holocaust, where the rich lurk within domed Keeps and the poor roam a desolated terrain. It may be that Theroux thought this venue was original to the book – an error typical of the Mainstream Writer of SF – and that the tale could therefore sustain the metaphorical load imposed by its author; its deployment of Pseudoscientific terminology is not without embarrassment.
Master Snickup's Cloak (graph 1979), a nonfantastic (but mythopoeic) tale by Theroux's brother Alexander Theroux (1939- ), is sometimes listed as by this author. [JC]
see also: Pollution; Slipstream SF.
Paul Edward Theroux
born Medford, Massachusetts: 10 April 1941
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