Alexander (Louis) Theroux Introduction

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(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Alexander (Louis) Theroux 1939–

American novelist.

Theroux is known for his ornately stylized prose and elaborate word plays. Though his themes are serious, Theroux's presentation is in a comic, sometimes satiric, vein.

His novels are unique and critically controversial. His first novel, Three Wogs, for example, gives three accounts of racial prejudice in England in such an energetic style that it is called alternately "exasperating" and "refreshing." With Theroux's recent work, Darconville's Cat, the controversy continues. As the force of this novel lies in its style rather than in its content, some critics have accused Theroux of losing contact with his characters in cascades of verbalism, repetition, and obscure turns of phrase. Other critics, however, find a consistency between the matter and manner of Theroux's works, suggesting that Darconville's Cat, like Three Wogs, is as much about love, betrayal, and life as it is about words.

(See also CLC, Vol. 2 and Contemporary Authors, Vols. 85-88.)