- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 5 hours and 33 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Canongate Books
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 12 Aug. 2011
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005H2M4IC
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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Pereira Maintains Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
Pereira is a journalist working for a small evening paper and has been asked to set up a culture section. He does not think of himself as particularly political, just a man getting on with a rather dull, unsatisfying job and mourning his dead wife. Maybe he can promote the literature and values he loves without causing any trouble in his new position - he translates a 19th century Balzac story from French for inclusion in the paper.
Then he reads an article by a young man and offers him work, a decision which is going to shake up his life. Monteiro Rossi turns out to be totally set on writing unprintably subversive articles extolling the revolutionary political views of his heroes. Pereira is soon introduced to his attractive and fiercely opinionated girlfriend Marta.
Pereira quickly finds himself committed to supporting these young dissidents and their views, whatever the cost to him. The story is told using the phrase "Pereira maintains" several times on each page - he is trying to explain what happened, as if he was sucked in despite himself.
There is a lot to think about within this book, and it has made me want to find out more about Portuguese history, in the context of Europe in 1938 and the looming war for or against fascism. Pereira has been trying not to take sides, but in the story he feels compelled to take the side of what he feels is right, at any cost.Read more ›
Impeccably translated from Italian, this subtly humorous story with a growing underlying sense of menace captures Lisbon in the summer heat of 1938, as Portugal slides into fascist dictatorship on the coattails of its aggressive neighbour, Spain, under the influence of Franco.
Punctuated with the refrain, "Pereira maintains", this is the testimony of a journalist employed in a sinecure to produce the new weekly cultural page for a small newspaper, "The Lisboa". Sunk into a dull routine, overweight and unhealthy, Pereira's life revolves around eating "omelettes aux fines herbes", drinking sugary lemonade at the Cafe Orchidea, and communing with a photograph of his dead wife.
Since he is a humane man with principles, he is gradually forced out of his ostrichlike state by the examples of repression which become increasingly hard to ignore. A carter is murdered by the police for being a socialist, but staff on "The Lisboa" are too scared to report the story in the boss's absence: information on the real state of affairs has to be gleaned from listening to the BBC or obtaining a foreign newspaper. An attractive woman whom Pereira meets on a train confides that she is planning emigration to the US, because she is Jewish. The office telephone system is altered without warning so that all calls come through the nosy female caretaker, clearly a police spy.Read more ›
This is a small book which might feel slow and uneventful at times, but suspense it not Tabucchi's motive. It is a hearbreaking glimpse into Dr Preira's life where we get a very human perspective of the choices he makes. We meet a man who, at the tail end of his life, is desperately lonely since his wife died. He is mourning for the children they never had and dreaming wonderful dreams of his youth while his overweight body slowly lets him down. Pereira is a lost, weak and vulnerable old man.
The narration is unique - it reads alost like a witness statement. The phrase 'Pereira maintains' is repeated throughout this book, giving us the sense that he is being pressed on the accuracy of his account. At the same time, it has a finicky, tentative tone of an old man. It pays attention to the weather and what he is eating, how he sleeps - all things an old man would be concerned with. It fits Pereira perfectly - He is hesitant and timid, he prioretizes his comfort and is startled by small changes in his routine. It is a perfect process of character creation, which makes his final act of rebellion even more impressive.
This book has a slow build and a quick finish - As long as you take it for what it is, and as long as you are not expecting a fast-paced political thriller, there is no reason why you shouldn't enjoy this book as much as I did.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant. This book, about standing up for the truth, came to me highly recommended and I wasn't disappointed. From the first page it races along and leaves you breathless. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Polly Walshe
Very interesting book. It does grow on the reader with actions and thoughts which make you question the behaviour of Pereira and wonder if his final action should represent the... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Mari C. Maybank
This book generated much discussion in our reading group. The book and author were unknown to all of us and was a chance purchase at a summer fete. A real find! Read morePublished 7 months ago by Ann8
What a great novel. Pereira is an Everyman we can all relate to. With chaos all around him, he is safe in a comfort zone but circumstances force him to question his safety while... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Fionn O Grada
“Philosophy appears to concern itself only with the truth, but perhaps expresses only fantasies, while literature appears to concern itself only with fantasies, but perhaps it... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Wras
Portugal 1938 - Spanish civil war in progress, Germany & Italy joining the fascist alliance. This is the setting for this subtle, quiet testimony from a fat, elderly journalist who... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Blue Moon
But I'll never drink lemonade or eat omelette aux fines herbes aginPublished 12 months ago by davidsamazon