BOOKS: High-Fiber Moralist

America's unhealthy eating habits inspire novelist Paul Theroux's latest burst of satiric sleight of hand

Paul Theroux has written nearly 30 books, both novels and travel memoirs. This far-flung native of Massachusetts has never been mistaken for a regionalist. His work reflects his experiences as a teacher in Africa and Singapore and as a wanderer in the Third World.

Ironically, Theroux's nonfiction, notably The Great Railway Bazaar, has excited the public's imagination more than his fiction. Few know he wrote The Mosquito Coast, remembered more for the film version than for the original novel. Too bad, because Theroux is a gifted and versatile tale spinner. He usually writes about outsiders: artists, adventurers and dreamers on the...

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