The High Mountains of Portugal

Yann Martel

The High Mountains of Portugal
The High Mountains of Portugal is the story of a great quest for meaning, told in three intersecting narratives touching 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 the consequences of 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. (From Knopf Canada) Thumbnail image for whitespace-620.jpg


Finally it is Tomàs who speaks. "Let me tell you why I'm travelling. It's been a difficult journey so far. I'm searching for a lost treasure. I've spent a year determining where it might be - and now I know. Or I nearly know. I'm close. When I find it, I'll take it to the National Museum of Ancient Art in Lisbon, but I believe it will be worthy of a great museum in Paris or London. The thing in question, it's - well I can't tell you what it is, but it's an impressive object. People will stare at it, their mouths open. It will cause an uproar. With this object I'll give God his comeuppance for what He did to the ones I love."

From The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel ©2016. Published by Knopf Canada.