This is a blog about my reads as well as everything related to them.
My taste is for good quality literature - old and new. Some of it I review here or on my main book blog Edith's Miscellany.
Pascal Mercier’s Night Train to Lisbon is no light read. It’s a philosophical novel about the search for identity, for the outer events of a life and seized as well as missed opportunities moulding a personality.
The protagonist of Night Train to Lisbon is 57-year-old Raimund Gregorius who has been teaching ancient Greek, Latin and biblical Hebrew in a grammar school in his birth town Berne for decades. He is a creature of habit and a model of reliability paired with precision avoiding the imponderables of life best possible. After a chance encounter with a woman about to jump from the bridge that he crosses every day on his way to school, he starts a chase after a strange Portuguese man whose book Gregorius found in a second-hand book shop. He takes the night train to Lisbon not knowing what he will find, nor what he is really looking for. In Lisbon he plunges into the history of Amadeu Inácio de Almeida Prado and that of Portugal during the dictatorship of António de Oliveira Salazar. At the same time he analyses and questions his own life as a school teacher without ambitions and as a divorced man without passion. The story is absorbing like a thriller with the difference that on the way through the book we aren’t hunting for a dangerous killer, but for the life story of a person never catching more than just a small glimpse of it at a time.