The Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux

Published March 31, 2023

The Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux

Book info

  • Title The Mosquito Coast
  • Author Paul Theroux
  • Year 1981
  • Genre Adventure

Allie Fox is going to re-create the world. Abominating the cops, crooks, junkies and scavengers of modern America, he abandons civilization and takes the family to live in the Honduran jungle. There his tortured, messianic genius keeps them alive, his hoarse tirades harrying them through a diseased and dirty Eden towards unimaginable darkness.


I read this almost immediately after finishing the TV adaptation on Apple TV+ to see how it fitted. The creaters of the show said if there had been a third series it would bridge the gap to the book/film, so I wanted to understand where we are in the timeline. Actually, I wish I hadn’t bothered. The book is well written, obviously, and it’s an interesting idea that sparked a few imaginations. But I didn’t enjoy it, the father character does everything with no explanation why and is way more obnoxious and presumably struggling with his mental health. The mother has no name at all and is really a simpering background character until the last few pages. It’s all sort of without purpose and ultimately really grimy and depressing. The TV show was much better!

Rating: 2 / 5

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