Theroux's Stranger at the Palazzo D'Oro
Paul Theroux’s The Stranger at the Palazzo D’Oro and Other Stories will not be reviewed here. The opening of the first, cornerstone story in the collection is deftly written and brilliant in the Sicilian sunshine. The main character flashbacks to his younger days when he was a traveler through Italy. In Sicily, he happens onto the Palazzo D’Oro, a beautiful, old world hotel, and meets a seductive, old, haughty, spoiled, and disturbingly infantile Countess. She has low self-esteem, so her assistant asks the young man to make her believe that he, the young man, loves her. Thus begins the really boring, totally trite, and very predictable love affair that I cannot force myself, as this is not a paying venture, to finish. It was so bad, I couldn't bring myself to even try to read the other stories. Theroux should try travel writing and keep fantasies about the bedroom to a minimum. Back to the library this one goes.