Deep South

Deep South

Four Seasons on Back Roads

eBook - 2015
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"One of the most acclaimed travel writers of our time turns his unflinching eye on an American South too often overlooked. Paul Theroux has spent fifty years crossing the globe, adventuring in the exotic, seeking the rich history and folklore of the far away. Now, for the first time, in his tenth travel book, Theroux explores a piece of America--the Deep South. He finds there a paradoxical place, full of incomparable music, unparalleled cuisine, and yet also some of the nation's worst schools, housing, and unemployment rates. It's these parts of the South, so often ignored, that have caught Theroux's keen traveler's eye. On road trips spanning four seasons, wending along rural highways, Theroux visits gun shows and small-town churches, laborers in Arkansas, and parts of Mississippi where they still call the farm up the road 'the plantation.' He talks to mayors and social workers, writers and reverends, the working poor and farming families--the unsung heroes of the South, the people who, despite it all, never left, and also those who returned home to rebuild a place they could never live without. From the writer whose 'great mission has always been to transport us beyond that reading chair, to challenge himself--and thus, to challenge us' (Boston Globe), Deep South is an ode to a region, vivid and haunting, full of life and loss alike"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: 2015
ISBN: 9780241969366
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: McCurry, Steve
OverDrive, Inc

Related Resources


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jan 26, 2017

If I were a southerner I might possibly be insulted by this book, the author can come across as very condescending, though, he might comes across as pretty condescending to anyone who doesn't read quality books or travel the world. I'm not sure if he means to but he does.
That said, the man has a way with words, he can describe the setting and the people in a way that almost, almost makes you feel like you're there and I do feel like I know more about The South than before.
It was great that he spent the time to visit the outlying areas, that he didn't spend his time in New Orleans or Charleston but went to the little towns that are trying to survive and talked to the people trying to help and the people trying to survive and the people who are working hard and making things better.
I'm going to have to visit the area myself to see if his vision runs true, or if he had preconceived notions that he found a way to substantiate but I guess that's what travel writing is all about, to inspire someone to go where they haven't gone before, and he's done that for me.

Oct 19, 2016

I am not always a fan of Theroux's travel writing -- he is often too grumpy for my tastes. But, I liked this very much. You can hear the cadence of those Southern voices in this book, and Theroux does let the people tell their stories, much more than I found in his other travel books. Also, Steve McCurry's photos are - as always - excellent.

Sep 08, 2016

While I really wanted to like this book - and think the subject matter is extremely important, Theroux lost me early. Having traveled through a majority of his route, I feel that he missed the mark on conveying just how remote and desolate some areas are. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the dialogue and his intentions.

Aug 04, 2016

Travel writer Theroux wanders the small towns of South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Arkansas looking for answers to questions of race, culture and identity.

I’d not read Theroux before. Some touching portrayals, insights and facts, but often repetitive and he seemed to have an ax to grind with Bill Clinton, which got tiresome. Liked the literary discussions about southern writers.

The rural South remains different from the rest of America, or so Paul Theroux claims in this travelogue that encompasses four seasons in South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas and Louisiana. He finds stark poverty that compares to his experiences in the 3rd World, isolation and a lack of funding. He also finds numerous stories. It's a good ride to be on that way if you're a traveler. Recommended by Jeffrey

Mar 11, 2016

A sad, disheartening, and marvelously written account of his travels through the Third World parts of the deep south. He finds beautiful landscape, harsh poverty, and strong people.

PimaLib_MaryG Mar 01, 2016

This is one of Paul Theroux's best books. it will stay with me for a long time. He brings his insight to the back roads and small towns of the American South.

Feb 26, 2016

Best thing I've read in years! An annotated literary guide to the American road trip and to the American blues. A survey for anyone who is unemployed and/or in search of truly meaningful work on what desperately needs doing and the miracles people you least suspect are performing every day in every way. Hint: America confers zillion$ on Africa while the Black Belt starves and languishes for neglect. And they work so hard for the little they get. Housing subsidies require the recipients to arrange and provide all the labor. Think of that. Quite a study esp for Aboriginal scholars in Canada.

PimaLib_HeatherR Feb 01, 2016

Armchair travel with Paul Theroux, and you'll meet inspiring people, hear powerful stories, and learn about the Deep South you never knew.

Oldprof Dec 29, 2015

This book describes an America in desperate need and generally ignored in what passes for domestic political dialog today. It is an absorbing and troubling read that goes a long way to explain how our population is so harshly polarized. Theroux is eloquent in his description of the humanity of the people he met, and he allowed them to teach him about their deep South. I highly recommend this book.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at SL

To Top