Dunedin Athenaeum & Mechanics Institute

For people passionate about words

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Recent books

The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel (February 2016)

From the author of the international bestseller Life of Pi

In Lisbon in 1904
, a young man named Tomas discovers an old journal.  It hints at the existence of an extraordinary artefact that - if he can find it - would redefine history.  Travelling in one of Europe's earliest automobiles, he sets out in search of this strange treasure.

Thirty-five years later, a Portuguese pathologist devoted to the murder mysteries of Agatha Christie finds himself at the centre of a murder mystery of his own and drawn into the consequences of Tomas's quest.

Fifty years on, a Canadian senator takes refuge in his ancestral village in northern Portugal, grieving the loss of his beloved wife.  But he arrives with an unusual companion: a chimpanzee.  And there the century-old quest will come to an unexpected conclusion.

The High Mountains of Portugal - part quest, part ghost story, part contemporary fable - offers a haunting exploration of great love and great loss.  Filled with tenderness, humour and endless surprises, it takes the reader on a road trip through Portugal in the last century - and through the human soul.
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