Synopses & Reviews
From the New York Times best-selling author of Hotel Honolulu and Dark Star Safari, Blinding Light is a pithy, entertaining novel of manners and mind expansion. A washed-up writer sets out with his onagain girlfriend for Ecuador's jungle in search of a rare hallucinogen. Traveling amid a gaggle of thrill-seeking tourists, he finds his drug, which heightens both his powers of perception and his libido but leaves him with an unfortunate side effect: periodic blindness. It's a Faustian bargain he is willing to take, as long as it helps him finish his novel. Smuggling a stash home to the States, he spends the next year of his life in thrall to his psychedelic muse and his erotic fantasies, with consequences both pleasurable and disastrous.
As is often the case, Theroux's greatest power resides in his detailed and sensuous descriptions, and he is positively dazzling here as he calls forth a vivid world not of sights but of scents, sounds, and touch.
From the New York Times best-selling author Paul Theroux, Blinding Light is a slyly satirical novel of manners and mind expansion. Slade Steadman, a writer who has lost his chops, sets out for the Ecuadorian jungle with his ex-girlfriend in search of inspiration and a rare hallucinogen. The drug, once found, heightens both his powers of perception and his libido, but it also leaves him with an unfortunate side effect: periodic blindness. Unable to resist the insights that enable him to write again, Steadman spends the next year of his life in thrall to his psychedelic muse and his erotic fantasies, with consequences that are both ecstatic and disastrous.
Slade Steadman's lone opus, published twenty years ago, was Trespassing, a cult classic about his travels through dozens of countries without benefit of passport. With his soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend Ava in tow, Steadman sets out for Ecuadors jungle in search of a rare hallucinogenic drug and the cure for his writers block. Amid a gang of thrill-seeking tourists, he finds his drug and his inspiration but is beset with an unnerving side effectperiodic blindness. His world is altered profoundly: Ava stays by his side, he writes an erotic, autobiographical novel with the drug serving as muse, and he returns to stardom.
Steadman becomes addicted to the drug and the insights it provides, only to have them desert him, along with his sight. Will he regain his vision? His visions? Or will he forgo the world of his imagining and his ambition?
As Theroux leads us toward the answers, he makes fresh magic out of the venerable intertwined themes of sight and insight. He also offers incisive, sometimes hilarious takes on the manifold ironies of travel, of trespass and trangession, and of the trappings of the writers lifefrom the fear of the blank page to the unexpected challenges of the book tour.
About the Author
PAUL THEROUX's highly acclaimed novels include Blinding Light, Hotel Honolulu, My Other Life, Kowloon Tong, and The Mosquito Coast. His travel books include Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, Dark Star Safari, Riding the Iron Rooster, The Great Railway Bazaar, The Old Patagonian Express, and The Happy Isles of Oceania. He lives in Hawaii and on Cape Cod.