Dr. Pereira is an aging, overweight, mostly lonely living the sunny life of an aesthete and gourmand—even while the menacing cloud of Fascism hangs over Salazarist Lisbon. He escapes facing the ominous times by translating French stories for a newspaper's weekly culture page. "Are you living another world?" his exasperated friend Father Antonio asks him. "For goodness's sake go and find out what's happening around you." When Pereira meets a young anti-Fascist writer, he is forced to break out of the shell of his own inhibitions.
"Tabucchi expertly chronicles Pereira's ascent to consciousness," wrote Publishers Weekly in a starred review. And it is his reluctant awakening that gives the novel its delightful, heroic power.