Perlmann's Silence

Perlmann's Silence


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"What might have been, in less talented hands, an amusing literary thriller is, in Mercier's prose . . . something far more complex." —Alberto Manguel, The Guardian (UK)

Night Train to Lisbon , a tremendous international best seller, established Pascal Mercier as one of the most striking European voices in recent years, a writer whose finely wrought language and suspenseful narratives captivate readers' hearts and minds while equally quickening their pulses. Now, in Perlmann’s Silence , Mercier returns with a deft psychological portrait of a man striving to get his life back on track in the wake of his beloved wife’s death.

Philipp Perlmann is a prominent linguist who's come to a picturesque seaside town near Genoa to speak at a gathering of renowned international colleagues. Derailed by grief over his wife's sudden death in an accident, Perlmann is no longer confident of his professional standing, and writing his keynote address seems like an insurmountable task. As the deadline approaches, Perlmann realizes that he will have nothing to present to his expectant colleagues. Panic sets in and he decides to plagiarize the work of Leskov, a Russian colleague who was unable to attend. But when Leskov’s imminent arrival is announced and threatens to expose Perlmann as a fraud, Perlmann’s mounting desperation drives him to the brink of murder.

An exquisite, captivating portrait of a mind slowly unraveling, Perlmann’s Silence is a brilliant, textured meditation on the complex interplay between language and memory, and the depths of the human psyche.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802120830
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date: 02/12/2013
Pages: 640
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

A professor of philosophy, Pascal Mercier was born in 1944 in Bern, Switzerland. Perlmann’s Silence is his second novel to be translated into English, following the bestselling Night Train to Lisbon. He currently lives in Berlin.

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Perlmann's Silence 1.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Night Train to Lisbon was one of the best books I have read in YEARS. So, when I found out that Perlmann's Silence was coming out in English, I was thrilled! I preordered it and dove head first into reading it, the way I did with Night Train to Lisbon. What a disappointment. I couldn't even get past chapter 25 without feeling like I was going to die of boredom. Maybe it was simply that the translator did a terrible job, but something is off here. Maybe it's just me, but I can't bring myself to finish reading it. Such a shame.
Nequivocator More than 1 year ago
I really did think I was going to enjoy this book as, for the most part, it is well written and engaging. However, I gave up on page 189 after finding two absurd typographical errors within a few pages; the first is a sentence something like 'him... suppose him' and the second is the word 'threw' where it should have been 'through'. These were by no means the only occurrences of typos, misprints, or instances of clumsy translation. The main fault with this book is that it is far too long - Ideas and circumstances repeat themselves too often to no advantageous effect. What has happened to the idea of proof reading a book before printing it? I find all kinds of errors (incorrect word order, missing or extra words) at one place or another in about half the books I read (and I read a lot).