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Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon

Posted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:49 pm    Post subject: Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon    


I haven't seen any reference to Pascal Mercier's Night Train to Lisbon and I would like to rec it highly. Am I cheating if I quote directly from the cover summary because I think it describes exactly what the novel is about.
   "One day mild-mannered, middle-aged teacher Raimund Gregorius suddenly quits his ordinary life and, for no reason apparent to his colleagues or his students, sets off on a journey across Europe.  Haunted by a mysterious old book that seems, somehow, to speak to him personally, he embarks in search of clues to the life of its enigmatic Portuguese author, Amadeu de Prado. Gradually he uncovers the life of an extraordinary man: a child prodigy, a doctor, a philosopher and a rebel.  And as Gregorius learns about Prado, he also begins a process of self-discovery, looking back at his own life and the choices he has made, wondering about the man he might have been.  Hurtling through the dark, Night Train to Lisbon is a profound tale, wonderfully told, propelled by the mystery at its heart."
    Gregorius is a philologist so this will also appeal  to anyone interested in languages. If you speak Portuguese, the book is a real treasure.  The philosophy and life lessons described in Prado's book are alone worthy of your read. I have photocopied some of the pages before I pass it on.
    I must also add that a friend gave me the book. She didn't like it because it was too difficult.


I read this last year and I loved it, too. Also, the part before the end is good when he goes back to his old school, isn't it? I am not going to say any more in case I spoil it for others....

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