Prescriptions for urban ills: the small town revisited

by David W. Lyon

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This paper, a review of Paul Theroux's latest novel, O-Zone, originally appeared, with minor modifications, in Urban Studies, v. 24, no. 1, Feb. 1987. The review discusses the book's futuristic dystopia, relates it to Theroux's philosophy and interest in travel, and focuses on the thrust of the antiurban plot--America's unwillingness to assimilate aliens and outcasts. It concludes that although Theroux's novels generally present a dark side, there is a life-affirming pastoral attitude expressed in this book that suggests he should be classified as a romantic.

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