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Book Now To Avoid Disappointment
on 26 January 2015
I have only read 50 pages of this superb book so far but it's shaping up to be a classic. Who relates to this? "Whenever I've tried to free my life from a set of circumstances that continually oppress it, I've been instantly surrounded by other circumstances of the same order, as if the inscrutable web of creation were irrevocably at odds with me." ADDENDUM 25.10.15 OK, I raved about this book in my earlier review but, now I've read further, I think FP would have produced much more of real substance, given that he could write brilliantly (not that I can read Portuguese), if he'd had kids of his own and had to change nappies, clean up sick, and been kept up all night by infantile bawling, etc. Now I know more about his intensely private life I do wonder... He observes common people with their "smelly sexuality" etc but seems to be loath to admit that same olfactory offensiveness resulted in his own presence on the planet, a sign to counsel caution. Given his troubled upbringing that doesn't surprise me but the lack of honestly admitted experience (and who will ever know his true desires?) diminishes the power of his admittedly beautiful writing. I think Andrew Marvell's lines apply here - "Two paradises 'twere in one /To dwell in paradise alone." Creatively, that's what FP did, the eternal loner in his cheap flat's bed, watching the storms light up Lisbon and the always empty pillow next to him.