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The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel

Hardback: 332 pages                                                                                                 
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Spiegel and Grau Feb 2016
Source: Tywyn Public Library
First Sentence: Tomas decides to walk.
Review Quote: An exploration of faith and how we can learn to accept death. Martel has an ability to write about the very fundamental human emotional threads that join us. 'Irish Independent'
Main Characters: Tomas,
Setting: Tras-os-Montes, Portugal

My Opinion: Three parts written as novellas with no chapters which is not a favourite format of mine. Took me until the final one to pull together the connections and understand, I think, what Martel is getting at. Maybe if I was not reading this for book club I would have given up. However I was glad I persevered as the third story is the best as for me it is the exploration of faith that melds this novel together. In conclusion it was for me personally just an ok read but only because it bored me, despite being so skillfully written.     

Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:

In Lisbon in 1904, a young man named Tomás discovers an old journal. It hints at the existence of an extraordinary artifact that—if he can find it—would redefine history. Traveling in one of Europe’s earliest automobiles, he sets out in search of this strange treasure.

Thirty-five years later, a Portuguese pathologist devoted to the murder mysteries of Agatha Christie finds himself at the center of a mystery of his own and drawn into the consequences of Tomás’s quest.

Fifty years on, a Canadian senator takes refuge in his ancestral village in northern Portugal, grieving the loss of his beloved wife. But he arrives with an unusual companion: a chimpanzee. And there the century-old quest will come to an unexpected conclusion.

The High Mountains of Portugal—part quest, part ghost story, part contemporary fable—offers a haunting exploration of great love and great loss. Filled with tenderness, humor, and endless surprise, it takes the reader on a road trip through Portugal in the last century—and through the human soul.

Video Trailer for 'Yann Martel - The High Mountains of Portugal ' Courtesy of YouTube

Author Profile

Yann Martel was born in Salamanca,Spain on June 25th 1963. After studying philosophy at university, he worked at odd jobs and travelled before turning to writing at the age of twenty-six. He is the author of the internationally acclaimed 2002 Man Booker Prize-winning novel Life of Pi, which was translated into thirty-eight languages and spent fifty-seven weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List. His collection of short stories, The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, and his first novel, Self, both received critical acclaim. Yann Martel lives in Saskatchewan, Canada, with the writer Alice Kuipers and their four children.

Photographs, Trailer and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites.

YouTube Video    Amazon Page - Yann Martel   Goodreads Profile    Twitter Profile

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The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel


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