I knew going into The Last Train To Zona Verde (2013) that Paul Theroux would decide that he had enough of travel in the dark continent. So I suppose the suspense lies in where and what finally breaks him. The miseries of travel are what he specializes in and it was interesting to see what finally breaks the camel's back. It seems that it was Angola that did him in, although his credit card was duplicated while he was in Namibia. He seems to have enjoyed most of his travel from South Africa into Namibia, but the true tests of his mettle started with his overland entry into Angola with its corruption and desolate poverty and menacing cities full of idle youths with little hope:
Not my misery-as flitting bird of passage, I had nothing to complain about-but the misery of Africa, the awful poisoned, populous Africa; the Africa of cheated, despised, unaccomodated people; of seemingly unfixable blight: so hideous, really, it is unrecognizable as Africa at all. But it is, of course-the new Africa.
In fact he resists taking the a train in Angola and decides that he is to close to death to take the chances and the discovery that he loved so much has lost their appeal at this stage in his life:
Yes,-what happened? Why was this trip going flat? Was it because I always had to figh for a seat, and kept seeing the same dreary sights, the same bad roads, the same sorry market women, the same slums? In Africa every rural village is different, but every city is the same, and a perfect fright.
Of course as in any Theroux travel book there are lots of references to other books about the places he travels, travel books in general, or works of fiction that he uses to references his observations or feelings about places. It is sad to think that Theroux is done traveling, but a lifetime is a limited time and there are other travel books by him that I have yet to read so the open road is also still there for me as well.