Pereira Maintains

  • by Antonio Tabucchi
  • Narrated by Derek Jacobi
  • 5 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 nineteenth-century French literature. All this changes when he meets Francesco Monteiro Rossi, an oddly charismatic young man. Pereira gives Rossi work, even after discovering that he is using the money to recruit for the anti-Franco International Brigade. Pereira Maintains chronicles Pereira's ascent to consciousness, culminating in a devastating and reckless act of rebellion. An extraordinary novel from one of Italy's most acclaimed contemporary writers read by Sir Derek Jacobi, one of Britain's best-loved actors who recently appeared in The Kings Speech. Tabucchi is the author of 20 novels, nine of which have been translated into English.
He has been awarded many prestigious literary awards and prizes including the Premio Campiello, The Premio Viareggio and the Aristeion Prize for this book.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


This audio book is a real gem - a great story with perfect narration by Derek Jacobi. The story is set in Lisbon in the late 1930's and although it's short, the description of the main character, the city and the heat of the summer are fantastic. The story unfolds quite slowly but never too slowly as there is always a sense of apprehension as you know that Pereira is going to face some sort of trouble. I would highly recommend this and will definitely look for more books by this author.
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- Caroline

Read this book! It is a gem!

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.
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- Elizabeth

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-08-2011
  • Publisher: Canongate Books