With this highly anticipated new novel, the author of the bestselling Life of Pi returns to the storytelling power and luminous wisdom of his master novel.
The High Mountains of Portugal is a suspenseful, mesmerising story of a great quest for meaning, told in three intersecting narratives that touch the lives of three different people and their families, and taking us on an extraordinary journey through the last century.
We begin in the early 1900s, when Tomás discovers an ancient journal and sets out from Lisbon in one of the very first motor cars in Portugal in search of the strange treasure the journal describes. Thirty-five years later, a pathologist devoted to the novels of Agatha Christie, whose wife has possibly been murdered, finds himself drawn into Tomás’s quest. Fifty years later, Senator Peter Tovy of Ottawa, grieving the death of his own beloved wife, rescues a chimpanzee from an Oklahoma research facility and takes it to live with him in his ancestral village in northern Portugal, where the strands of all three stories miraculously mesh together.
Beautiful, witty and engaging, Yann Martel’s new novel offers us the same tender exploration of the impact and significance of great love and great loss, belief and unbelief, that has marked all his brilliant, unexpected novels.
Yann Martel is the author of Life of Pi, the international bestseller published in more than 50 territories that has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide, won the 2002 Man Booker (among many other prizes), spent more than a year on Canadian and international bestseller lists, and was adapted to the screen in an Oscar-winning film by Ang Lee. Martel is also the award-winning author of The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios (which won the Journey Prize), Self, Beatrice and Virgil, and a book of recommended reading: 101 Letters to a Prime Minister.
‘Martel fills his novel with unusual, different, interesting, and often amusing, elements...There is plenty of humour, some of it dark, some of it laugh-out-loud, almost slapstick.’ BookMooch
‘[An] extravagant smorgasbord of a novel...at every turn Martel’s deft observations and quiet compassion for human suffering shine through.’ Saturday Paper
Martel’s writing has never been more charming, a rich mixture of sweetness that’s not cloying and tragedy that’s not melodramatic...The High Mountains of Portugal attains an altitude from which we can see something quietly miraculous.’ Washington Post
‘Martel is in a class by himself in acknowledging the tragic vicissitudes of life while celebrating wildly ridiculous contretemps that bring levity to the mystery of existence.’ STARRED Review, Publishers Weekly
‘A wonderfully inventive, 20th-century-spanning odyssey that contains some of the finest writing of Martel’s career.’ Globe and Mail
‘[Martel’s] depiction of loss is raw and deeply affecting—but it’s the way in which he contextualises it within formal religion that gives this book an extra dimension...Martel is not in the business of providing us with answers, but through its odd, fabulous, deliberately oblique stories, his new novel does ask some big questions.’ Telegraph
‘Told in unobtrusive, clean prose, The High Mountains of Portugal has the classic feel of a parable...Fascinating and ultimately satisfying.’ Australian
‘Unforgettable and highly recommended.’ Good Reading