The Book of Disquiet

(Penguin classics)

544 pages

English language

Published Nov. 26, 2002 by Penguin Classics.


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4 stars (5 reviews)

1 edition

Review of 'The Book of Disquiet' on Goodreads

3 stars

A difficult book to judge, a fragmentary journal of a disaffected existence. While there is no plot, and nearly no characters besides the fictionalized author, there is story, of a philosophically-minded dreamer nihilist bookkeeper, working his boring job, visiting the countryside, walking the anonymous streets of Lisbon at night and at lunch, and musing on art, literature, and the mind. There are gems of insight here, though they largely would have appealed more to me when i was 24 and single and just discovering the soulless-ness of modern life.

Review of 'The Book of Disquiet' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I only got to skim through this book, but as others have noted, it's not really something that lends itself to being read from cover to cover in a few weeks. I had never heard of Pessoa when I picked this up - I was in the mood for a small paperback "biography" and thought this looked interesting.

At first, as I was reading it, Pessoa's thoughts seemed so random, but as I learned more about the "heteronyms" he wrote under, the complexity of his work quickly became apparent. I don't know how he managed to express such deep thoughts in the voice of a -- if only slightly -- different person. I'm not a voracious reader, but I can't think of another author who has created this kind of world of semi-autobiographical characters. Fascinating stuff.

Review of 'The Book of Disquiet' on 'GoodReads'

5 stars

Pessoa is one of my favourite authors and I am looking forward when they get around to compiling the rest of his scraps of writing bundled in the thousands from his big old chest. "The Book of disquiet" is not just disjointed prose but a travel-log of thought, for me it is the moment you put up the umbrella when it is raining and the moment you put it down when the rain stops, if that makes any sense, it is that between thought.

I actually had someone reading over my shoulder on a long train journey whilst reading this book, and they had to ask before I got off who the author was.

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rated it

5 stars


  • Pessoa, Fernando, -- 1888-1935.
  • Poets, Portuguese -- 20th century -- Biography.