Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Night in Lisbon

The Night in Lisbon is a novel by Erich Maria Remarque published in 1962 that quickly climbed to the top of the American best-seller list.
The story takes place in 1942 in Lisbon, Portugal. The first-person narrator is a refugee from Hitler Germany and has come to Lisbon to try to get on a ship to America. Although, he and his wife both miss the necessary visas and tickets. On one evening he is staring at a ship anchored in the river Tagus, ready for departure to America the following day, when a stranger approaches and offers him two free tickets on the ship and a passport with a valid visa in exchange for keeping him company and listening his story. The stranger introduces himself as Josef Schwarz and explains that this is the name entered on his passport, but not his real name. Although, the narrator doubts the genuiness of the offer, he acceptes it.
During the course of that night, the two strangers move from cafés to night-clubs that are still open on the late hours as Josef Schwarz recounts his story. He starts from 1938 with how he received the passport of Josef Schwarz in Paris after five years as a refugee from Nazi Germany and finishes just few days before present. Schwarz`s story is quite romantic and it contains a lot of gripping encounters with Gestapo, near-misses, arrests and escapes.
Although, Remarque himself had no difficulties leaving Europe in 1939 with his wife because he already was a successful author, he has written this book about refugees who didn`t share his fortunate faith, explicitly, making it a very believable story.
I would recommend this one for anyone who is interested in 20th century European history as it is a very detailed book about exile from the Third Reich, but if you are just looking for something romantic and exciting then this might still be for you.

32 comments:

  1. Always like a good jaunt through history, will have a look.

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  2. I've read All Quiet on the Western Front but not anything else by ReMarque. Thanks for the tip.

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  3. Seems like a really good book, I'll have to try, and find it.

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  4. Sounds like a very interesting story, I have to check this out!

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  5. Amazing author - I love his books.

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  6. I'm with Van Helsing (I always wanted to say that). I LOVED AQotWF but that's all the Remarque I've read

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    1. I don`t think there`s a movie about this.

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  8. history geek here, might have to check this out now, thanks.

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  9. I love history like MRanthrope said too :D

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  10. That movie sounds really interesting, thanks for sharing. :)

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  11. Looks like my kind of book... I wonder if it's in the Kindle / iBook store.

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  12. thanks for the share
    added to my reading list

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  13. i have never heard of this but i will look into it :)

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  14. I've read this book before - I can say it did not meet my expectations, but then again, they are very different than those of an average person. Good book, nonetheless, I urge you people. Read the article too, it's not a movie.

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  15. Very cool!
    I tagged you in one of my posts, you are in the game!

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  17. Gripping story! This made my 'to read' list. Thanks.

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  18. The cover is so thrilling. And your review too. If I wasn't in a middle of The Museum of Innocence,, I would read this one right away.

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  19. Sounds like it might be worth reading

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  20. Sounds really interesting! I may have to check it out!

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  21. Wow, it sounds gripping! Stories from WW2 sadden me greatly. It was yet another terrible atrocity that should never have happened. You have very interesting taste in movies! :)

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    1. Ah sorry, K. Sleep deprivation is rotting my brain! I knew something was not right about my comment. I re read the word 'movies' before I published and had the weirdest feeling that something was wrong. Let me reiterate, you have very interesting taste in books! :)

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  22. Read it like 4 years ago, good thing you reminded it to me, I think I should read it again, great book ;]

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