Essay Topic 1
Theroux opened the book with a description of his childhood love of trains. What was it about trains, as opposed to other forms of transportation, that fascinated him so much? Why did he choose to travel by train through Asia? Would he have had the same rich experiences he had by train if he had instead flown from city to city in Asia? Would he have met the same people and had the same fascinating conversations?
Essay Topic 2
Yashar Kemal, the Marxist highly critical of the Soviet Union, was full of contradictions, according to Theroux. The author's traveling companion, Molesworth, commented that the Turks lacked character because they were neutral during World War II. Would the inability of a nation to take sides during that pivotal and generation-defining war affect the nation's character? What other nations were neutral during WWII? What impact, if any, did that...
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