The Book of Disquiet, Paperback
4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Sitting at his desk, Bernardo Soares imagined himself free forever of Rua dos Douradores, of his boss Vasques, of Moreira the book-keeper, of all the other employees, the errand boy, the post boy, even the cat.

But if he left them all tomorrow and discarded the suit of clothes he wears, what else would he do? Because he would have to do something. And what suit would he wear? Because he would have to wear another suit. A self-deprecating reflection on the sheer distance between the loftiness of his feelings and the humdrum reality of his life, The Book of Disquiet is a classic of existentialist literature.




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Review by

I have this habit of keeping a pencil close by when I'm reading a book which I know is going to have some passages I want to remember. So, whenever I come across a sentence or a paragraph that strikes me for some reason, I underline it.Well now, what's mostly happened with my copy of the "The book of disquiet" by Fernando Pessoa is that there is something underlined in almost every page of the book. Which is the same to say that this is a memorable book on the whole. I'd even dare to say that this is more than a mere book, it is a gate to upper thinking, a new way of understanding the world, a new philosophy, a daring and maybe even scary but sincere approach to what is hidden in our human souls, if we are brave enough to look.I knew a bit of Pessoa before I picked up this book. Vastly known Portuguese poet, famous for his ability to create different "personalities" and stick to them closely to perfection, writing in different styles according to the voice of each character. Schizophrenia? Or the mind of a genius who fooled everyone who knew him? Or a man who disguised himself out of boredom and who was able to live more than 70 different and complete lives through all these invented "characters" to become a complete real person? Maybe all these options at once. Maybe none. We'll never know.Anyway, even though I knew about Pessoa, I wasn't prepared for this book. Not only unconnected recollections of the "supposed" life of Bernardo Soares, one of Pessoa's characters, but also unanswerable questions which left me kind of anxious and peaceful at the same time, if that makes any sense...Questions regarding consciousness, the almost obsession about dreams and the state of peaceful lethargy of sleeping, doubts aroused regarding deities, love and death. And about what it is to be happy or to feel nostalgia about a non existent past, or about egoism and solitude. But all this questions made even more intense with this overflowing passion for writing, and for literature. And for Lisbon. A privileged mind which opens for us, humble readers who want to witness an amazing transformation of the world surrounding us, seeing for the first time what our lives really are, or what they aren't and what we should expect them to be.An experience which will leave you exhausted but with renewed energy to face this extenuating and unavoidable journey which we call life.

Review by

I felt sad when it ended, but glad I finished it. This is a lovely book for exposing one's interior, but I feel that almost anyone thoughtful enough could have written it. It is a book for all "like minds" to enjoy being friends with. And to my dismay there was really nothing new here under the sun. After completing two books of poems and now this, my study of Fernando Pessoa is over.