The Mosquito Coast (book report)

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The Mosquito Coast is a Paul Theroux’s adventure book first published by Hamish Hamilton in 1981 and retold by Robin Waterfield for Penguin Books in 1995. This is a story of a visionary man who leaves the United States in search of a better life, but makes a few mistakes that put the lives of your family at risk. All the story is told from the view point of his son Charlie, who admires his father.

The story begins in Hatfield, Massachusetts, where Allie Fox, the Father, lives with his patient wife and four children. He’s a clever and independent man who rejects the american way of life and believe that the country will be completely destroyed by war.

In search of a new lifestyle and fleeing to the United States, he moved with his wife and four children to Central America, more precisely to Jeronimo, a place that he believed to be untouched by modern man. He was always right and no one dares to counter it, do not even know it ends up being persuaded by their stories and doing what he wants.

Arriving in Jeronimo, Allie recruit all labor that can be achieved, including the Maywits, a family that lived on the land before him, but he managed to convince that did not belong to the place. All help was needed to build something that only he knows what it is, something big and loud that touches the fear of everyone involved, including his sons Charlie and Jerry.

The invention was named Fat Boy, it’is an ice maker, something amazing and innovative but that the “savages” did not see the value, after all, they kept on ice if they only ate things just harvested?

Allie is unfazed by the lack of initial interest and go looking for wild places, but finding people who are already known ice brought by the missionaries. Angered he goes even further, but this quest is a tribe that did not receive very well and apparently remains white men as prisoners.

Upon returning home, Allie finds his wife alone with twins daughters, April and Clover. The Maywits, who responded by that name but is called Ropers, had been taken by missionaries to civilization.

Days after his return, the men who seemed to be kept as prisoners broke into her home, armed and with expressions not friendly. For the first time, Allie was afraid, he realized that these people did not wish to leave and then uses the Fat Boy as a trap, offering it as a safe place to spend the night.

In the middle of the night, Allie woke up Charlie and goes to the Fat Boy. They locked the men in and turn on the machine, the cold would kill them within minutes, but the men started shooting and then the explosion came. All around the Fat Boy started a fire and the chemistry poisoned everything.

After the explosion the Fox family lost everything, but Allie needed losing everything to realize that was wrong. Now, he wanted to start again, but it was late, he had lost the trust of his family and also his sanity.

The Fox family lived for a time like scavengers, living off scraps and Allie became violent as to blow up a church. His sons turned against him when they discovered that the United States had not been destroyed and the first chance he had away from his wife and children, Allie committed suicide.

The Mosquito Coast is a great adventure that shows the thoughts and feelings of a person who believes he is creating a better world, who are ahead of everyone, but it was too far to try to prove his theory.


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