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  • Pereira Maintains

  • By: Antonio Tabucchi
  • Narrated by: Derek Jacobi
  • Length: 5 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 84
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57

Narrated by Sir Derek Jacobi with great feeling and style who also read it for Radio 4’s book at bedtime broadcast. Set in the sweltering summer of 1938 in Portugal, a country under the Fascist shadow of Spain, Pereira Maintains tells a tale of reluctant heroism. An editor at a second-rate Lisbon newspaper, Dr Pereira, wants nothing to do with European politics. Something of a recluse, his closest confidante is a photograph of his late wife, and he is happy to immerse himself in stories from 19th-century French literature.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant!

  • By Caroline on 31-12-11

Read this book! It is a gem!

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-10-11

The main character of the novel is a middle-aged, overweight journalist with heart problems who manages the culture section of a newspaper in Lisboa in the late nineteen thirties. The political situation in Europe is very much present in the book. Pereira is lonely and a bit depressed, talking to and seeking advice from a photograph of his deceased wife. The story begins with Pereira coming into contact with a young politically active couple.
The story is beautifully written with a quiet charm and wisdom that stayed with me long after I had finished the novel. In the novel the naive but honest and decent Pereira gradually finds a courage that makes for an ending to the novel that is satisfying. The novel caught my interest at once, and the narration by Derek Jacobi is brilliant. He catches the warmth and humour of the story perfectly.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful