My Secret History
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Brilliantly written, erotically charged, My Secret History is Paul Theroux's tour de force. It is the story of Andre Parent, a writer, a world traveller, a lover of every kind of woman he chances to meet in a life as varied as a man can lead.
It begins with his days as a Massachusetts altar boy, when his first furtive sexual encounter introduces him to the thrills of leading a double life. As a teenaged lifeguard, Andre finds himself caught between the attentions of a beautiful young student and an amorous older woman. Soon he is in Africa, where the local women are numerous, easy, and free. And as the boy becomes a man he turns his attention to writing, which brings him fame, and a wife, who may finally cause him to know himself.
But not before he sets up his most dangerous secret life, one that any man might envy, but that could cost Andre Parent the delicate balance that makes him who he is.
faces, they looked almost beautiful to me, the way Father Feeney’s nuns had seemed. Their crying was not loud, there were no shrieks; it was all a soft agony of mourning, and in its muffled way it seemed to me the worst grief. The Pastor hooked his hands onto the front of the pulpit and hung on and leaned back, staring hard at the congregation. His severe eyes seemed to still the sobbing. Then it struck me that I had modeled God on the Pastor—God’s glare, and God’s scowling face, and even his
upon ourselves—Father Furty! In so many words, that was it. “And not to please ourselves!” he kept saying. And this refrain meant it wasn’t pleasure—no fun, no enjoyment, not even any conscious satisfaction. It was suffering. He said: Pray. He said: Forgive. He said: Do penance. And all this because Father Furty was a sinner. The Pastor didn’t use that word—he said “weak” and “almost lost” and “struggling”—but it was clear that he meant that Father Furty was a sad case. Because the poor man had
give you about twenty bucks. You think I’m shitting you. The place is right here in Boston.” “You can sell your body,” Muzzaroll said. “For science. For experiments and shit like that. You can get about three hundred bucks for it.” That sounded like a fortune to me. “Or in Speedo’s case, about thirty clams,” Larry said. “What happens?” I said. “Andy’s interested,” Larry said. “It’s like this. You sign something and they give you the money, and when you die they claim your bawd. Then they cut
could not sleep; but by Monday I was calm again. I was young, I felt it was temporary, I had just had my twenty-third birthday. That day I copied Milton’s poem about turning twenty-three into my notebook. It contained a line that gave me a pang: Time, the subtle thief of youth … I was changing fast. I mistook maturing for aging and was desperate to use all the time I had. I could not have done more. It made me extremely tired. Once I went to sleep while teaching a class. It was night school. I
He told me of his elaborate system of shelves for directions that said “Keep out of the reach of children” and his specially engineered coin for “Pry up with a coin.” At last I went to bed. I assumed that his nutty ideas were a result of fatigue and isolation. He was tiring himself in the building of the chimbuzi. I decided to break a vow I had made and introduce him to the Beautiful Bamboo. He was a slow steady drinker, and beer made him even more monotonous. When he was drunk he was solemn. He