The Book of Disquiet

The Book of Disquiet

4.44 (20,309 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

List price: US$15.95

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


'In the middle of the conversations with myself that make up this book, I often feel a sudden need to talk to someone else, so I address the light hovering, as it does now, above the roofs of houses...' Seated at his desk in the Lisbon's Rua Dos Douradores, Bernardo Soares, an assistant book-keeper, writes his diary - a self-deprecating reflection on the sheer distance between the loftiness of his feelings and the humdrum reality of his everyday life. This is the first translation of a classic of existential literature - a book acknowledged by the critics as 'the most beautiful diary of the century' and voted by a panel of leading writers as one of the top 100 books of all time.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 128 x 198 x 18mm | 185g
  • Serpent's Tail
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • 1852427582
  • 9781852427580
  • 325,870

Review quote

It could not have been written in England: there is too much thought racing hopelessly around. The elegance of the style, well conveyed in what seems to be a more than adequate translation, is an important component and a very ironic one. The diary disturbs from beginning to end... There is a distinguished mind at work beneath the totally acceptable dullness of clerking. The mind is that of Pessoa. We must be given the chance to learn more about him -- Anthony Burgess * Observer * Pessoa's near-novel is a complete masterpiece, the sort of book one makes friends with and cannot bear to be parted with. Boredom informs it, but not boringly. Pessoa loved the minutiae of what we care to deem the ordinary life, and that love enriches and deepens his art -- Paul Bailey * Independent * It was a real bonus when Serpent's Tail published The Book of Disquiet, a meandering, melancholic series of reveries and meditations. Pessoa's amazing personality is as beguiling and mysterious as his unique poetic output. We cannot learn too much about him -- William Boyd * TLS Books of the Year * Many British reviewers have pegged Pessoa as a great long-lost modernist, but he also calls up echoes of Beckett's exquisite boredom; the dark imaginings of Baudelaire; Melville's evasive confidence man; the dreamscapes of Borges; even the cranky hermeticism of Witold Gombrowicz * VLS * This is an astonishing novel, one which batters you, pierces you, awakens and numbs you * Independent on Sunday * This book has moved me more than anything I have read in years. I have rarely encountered such exhilarating lugubriousness -- Paul Bailey * Daily Telegraph * [A] classic of existential literature -- Emma Tennant * Independent on Sunday * Portugal's greatest poet * Times * In a time that which celebrates fame, success, stupidity, convenience and noise, here is the perfect antidote -- John Lanchester * Daily Telegraph * A haunting mosaic of dreams, psychological notations, autobiographical vignettes, shards of literary theory and criticism and maxims -- Observer * George Steiner * Beyond classification... the insomniac's perfect companion -- Philip Pullman * The Times *
show more

About Fernando Pessoa

Fernando Pessoa, one of the founders of modernism, was born in Lisbon in 1888. He grew up in Durban, South Africa, where his stepfather was Portuguese consul. He returned to Lisbon in 1905 and worked as a clerk in an import-export company until his death in 1935.
Most of Pessoa's writing was not published during his lifetime: The Book of Disquiet first came out in Portugal in 1982. Since its first publication, it has been hailed as a classic.
show more

Rating details

20,309 ratings
4.44 out of 5 stars
5 63% (12,845)
4 24% (4,853)
3 9% (1,776)
2 3% (565)
1 1% (270)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X