Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mercier, Pascal: Night Train to Lisbon

A middle-aged teacher of Latin and Greek suddenly leaves Bern and travels to Lisbon as a result of picking up an old book inPortuguese, a language he does not know. In Lisbon, he investigates the life   the dead author and meets with members of his family and friends before finally returning to Bern (though there is one brief return soon after his initial arrival, This is a beautifully written book (again, praise to the translater) in which not a lot happens either in the present day or in the relating
of the life of the dead author some decades earlier. The writings and the teacher's reactions to them in which he questions his own life provide the novel's impetus providing a slow, thoughtful, read.

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