The Kingdom by the Sea

This is a really good travel book, but it took me a long time to start reading it because of the title and the cover.  They are both really boring to me.  The book is interesting, informative, sometimes exciting.

I think the picture on the cover is supposed to be a majestic view of the train running between a cliff and the ocean, but it turned out flat and muddy.  The title doesn’t reflect Theroux’s great writing.  I can’t think of a better one, but this one put me off.

Lastly, the author’s name is bigger than the title of the book.  Not a good idea.  This later edition made his name even BIGGER in relation to the title, but its a much better cover.  It’s a Penguin edition, and they are smart.

The description of couples staring out to sea appears often in the book.  Also, the subtitle has changed from the dry “A Journey Around the Coast of Great Britain” to the more precise “His candid and compulsive account of a journey round the coast of Great Britain.”

A photographer’s name is given and someone takes credit for “typography” but no one is credited for the jacket design.  Maybe it was Theroux?


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