Ghost Train to the Eastern Star by Paul Theroux Hamish Hamilton, HK$221 Revisiting old places, like returning to a former lover, can bring back lurid memories that would otherwise fade away. When Paul Theroux retraces his own footsteps - which 30-odd years ago produced The Great Railway Bazaar - he recalls in vivid hues how that adventure cost him his happy household (during his absence his wife replaced him). This time, at 66, he embarks on a similar journey, albeit with less homesickness, more money and three extra decades of learning. For these and other reasons Ghost Train to the Eastern Star is a more rewarding book. Theroux is as sharp as ever as he pulls out of London on a journey that takes him through Europe and Asia. Since the original trip new countries have come into existence and others - Iran and Afghanistan, for example - have become no-go zones. Some things, however, are the same. Singapore, where he lived for several years in the 1960s, is still a 'tinkered-with experiment' whose people, he writes, 'criticise each other' because 'they can't criticise the government'. Tokyo remains a futuristic city. Ghost Train is Theroux's autobiography of sorts - another reason it is recommended.