Isidro Rivera's Reviews > Night Train to Lisbon

Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Mar 27, 2012

it was amazing
Read from May 18 to June 08, 2012

Pascal Mercier's novel Night Train to Lisbon offers the reader a meditation on a variety of existential themes: life, the nature of friendship, self-awareness, and meaning. Written in complicated, dense prose, the novel weaves an intriguing tale of searching to understand the life of Amadeu de Prado, a physician who lived in Lisbon during the Salazar era. The protagonist, Raimundus Gregorius, a teacher of classical languages at a Swiss Gymnasium, finds an overwhelming urge to leave his job after a chance meeting with a woman and to travel to Lisbon where he investigates and unearths the life of Prado.

Gregorius arrives by train and discovers pieces of Prado's fascinating life, interviewing family and friends. In the course of his visits, "Mundus" learns about Prado's life and world, including his work with the resistance movement against the dictatorship of António de Salazar. As he learns about Prado, "Mundus" also changes and reflects on his own life and its various courses. And at the same time, he experiences Lisbon's most mysterious and inscrutable aspects.

The novel is not for everyone; its style and structure will turn off many readers. Nonetheless, the book offers a series of epiphanies in which the reader and the protagonist share in moments of discovery. The constant meditations on life make the novel particularly dynamic and immediate. At the same time, there is a strong philosophical current that keeps alive the energies of the novel. As a result, the reader also becomes acquainted with the lives and activities of two compliacted individuals.

A novel of intensity. It will make you think and reflect on the complexities and wonders of life.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Night Train to Lisbon.
Sign In »

Quotes Isidro Liked

Pascal Mercier
“Life is not what we live; it is what we imagine we are living.”
Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon

Pascal Mercier
What is it that we call loneliness. It can't simply be the absence of others, you can be alone and not lonely, and you can be among people and yet be lonely. So what is it? ... it isn't only that others are there, that they fill up the space next to us. But even when they celebrate us or give advice in a friendly conversation, clever, sensitive advice: even then we can be lonely. So loneliness is not something simply connected with the presence of others or with what they do. Then what? What on earth?”
Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon

Reading Progress

05/19/2012 "Beginning a new novel, recommended by a friend. We will see what happens."
12.0% "fascinating."
38.0% "Dense narrative."
43.0% "Very intense, philosophical at times"
60.0% "dense, philosophical, intense. i love it."
71.0% "Slow dense prose"
90.0% "Amazing events narrated"
show 12 hidden updates…

No comments have been added yet.