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Arturo Pérez-Reverte

Author of The Club Dumas

74+ Works 33,769 Members 947 Reviews 158 Favorited
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About the Author

Novelist and former journalist Arturo Pérez-Reverte Gutiérrez was born in Cartagena, Spain on November 25, 1951. He started his journalistic career writing for the Spanish newspaper Pueblo and later for Television Espanola - the Spanish state owned television, in the role of war correspondant. He show more worked as a war correspondent from 1973 to1994 before becoming a full-time writer. His first novel, El húsar, which was set in the Napoleonic Wars, was published in 1986, and he is well-known internationally for his popular Captain Alatriste fiction series, which takes place in 17th-century Europe. Pérez-Reverte has been elected to the Spanish Royal Academy. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Photo © Jon Barandica


Works by Arturo Pérez-Reverte

The Club Dumas (1993) 6,264 copies
The Flanders Panel (1990) 3,786 copies
Captain Alatriste (1996) 2,709 copies
The Seville Communion (1995) 2,475 copies
The Fencing Master (1988) 2,445 copies
The Queen of the South (2002) 2,323 copies
The Nautical Chart (2000) 2,087 copies
Purity of Blood (1997) 1,674 copies
The Sun Over Breda (1998) 1,208 copies
The Painter of Battles (2006) 1,057 copies
The King's Gold (2000) 917 copies
The Siege (2010) 564 copies
What We Become (2012) 446 copies
Cabo Trafalgar (2004) 406 copies
La sombra del águila (1993) 377 copies
Territorio comanche (1994) 351 copies
Un día de cólera (2007) 301 copies
Hombres buenos (2015) 287 copies
Falcó (2016) 271 copies
El húsar (1983) 222 copies
El puente de los asesinos (2011) 222 copies
Sidi (2019) 189 copies
El francotirador paciente (2013) 175 copies
Una historia de España (2019) 145 copies
Eva (2017) 139 copies
Patente de Corso (1998) 124 copies
Línea de fuego (2020) 118 copies
Sabotaje (Serie Falcó) (2018) 116 copies
El italiano (2021) 100 copies
Con Animo de Ofender (2001) 98 copies
El problema final (2023) 89 copies
Ojos azules (1656) 81 copies
Los perros duros no bailan (2018) 79 copies
Obra breve (1979) 51 copies
Todo Alatriste (2016) 38 copies
Perros e hijos de perra (2014) 28 copies
El pequeño hoplita (2010) 25 copies
Los heroes cansados (1995) 16 copies
4 relatos (2006) 3 copies
?O ?italiano (2023) 2 copies
La carta esférica (2002) 1 copy
2006 1 copy
2005 1 copy

Associated Works

Voices in the Evening (1961) — some editions — 245 copies


17th century (163) 20th century (166) adventure (438) adventures (169) Alatriste (279) art (191) books (135) books about books (132) chess (183) crime (185) ebook (105) fencing (86) fiction (3,512) historical (408) historical fiction (1,043) historical novel (381) history (197) literature (350) Madrid (129) mystery (1,647) narrativa (123) novel (531) Novela (509) occult (88) own (119) Perez-Reverte (169) read (303) Roman (117) series (80) Spain (1,335) Spanish (610) Spanish fiction (137) Spanish literature (730) suspense (136) swashbuckling (107) thriller (480) to-read (872) translation (192) unread (186) war (94)

Common Knowledge



Club Dumas by Centipede press in Fine Press Forum (November 2023)


I give this book a lower rating than the previous books in the series, and it's not because it does anything particularly wrong. It's a rather entertaining yarn about a heist (or black op, since it's done at the behest of the authorities) commanded by Captain Alatriste during Spain's Golden Century.

The problem is that the mannerisms of the series are starting to tire me out. The narrator interrupts the story so much to give us the same lecture on how Spain at that time combined greatness in the arts and in the bravery of the people with corruption and self-defeating mismanagement. OK, OK, I get it. How could I not, I'm Spanish myself. But really, it's a simple enough message, there's no need to hammer it down so much. Reverte really should let the series grow beyond that.

The narrator, Iñigo de Balboa, Alatriste's young protégé, keeps teasing us with details of what's going to happen between him and his love and nemesis, the heartless Angelica... OK, count me in. I would like to see that, but until then, could we please concentrate on the story at hand?

Having said that, Alatriste is a great character. Complex, multi-faceted, cynical, generous, brave... a hero and a rogue at the same time.

The story itself, once you remove the embellishments and the repetitious discourse, is straightforward but effective.
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jcm790 | 16 other reviews | May 26, 2024 |
The last of the Captain Alatriste novels up till now. Supposedly there are two more planned, but there has been nothing since 2011 (I'm writing this in 2024).

It's just another Alatriste caper. I enjoyed it and thought it was a step up from the previous ones. Now that Íñigo is older, we see a clearer picture of Captain Alatriste, and the effect his lifetime as a soldier or mercenary has had on him. There were some emotional moments between him and Íñigo that I enjoyed.

The story was a bit slight, though. I often have this sensation with these novels, as if they were a novella extended into a novel. Reverte takes his time, with lengthy descriptions and the narrators opinions (really Reverte's) about the history of Spain. Which are fine, but we have just read about them them too often in this series.

There's no real resolution to any of the long-running plot threads, like Íñigo's love for the cold-hearted Angelica or Alatriste's rivalry with Malatesta. Enjoyable little story, nevertheless.
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jcm790 | 9 other reviews | May 26, 2024 |
Pleasant enough swashbuckler tale. Perez-Reverte creates a great character in Captain Alatriste, the poor but proud former soldier who now earns a living as a sword for hire in Spain's 17th century Golden Age. Alatriste is truly the incarnation of Golden Age Spain's virtues and flaws.

Reverte writes about his swashbuckling hero with conviction and genuine affection for the genre. However, he pulls no punches when it comes to emphasizing the corruption and decadence of 17th century Spain. The narration has a bittersweet tone, because of that.

The author does a good job in recreating the time period, and showing how literature and poetry paid a big part in the ethos of the time. This is the century of the great Lope de Vega, called "The Phoenix of Wits", and countless other great playwrights, poets and artists. One of them, Francisco de Quevedo, a historical figure who is by his own right one of the greats of classic Spanish literature, plays a big part in the story, as Alatriste's friend. Reverte freely intersperses lines of poems, which I appreciated as helping to create the book's atmosphere. I read this in Spanish, and it no doubt loses something in translation, at least when it comes to poems.

The book is short and very fast to read, but it has a big problem that keeps it from realizing its potential. The story is told in first person by Iñigo Balboa, then a 13-year-old boy who is under Captain Alatriste's protection after the death of his father, an old friend of Alatriste's in his soldiering days. Iñigo tells the story many years later, as an old man, and the author uses this artifice to digress and educate the reader about the decadent glory of Golden Age Spain. This is not badly done, but it is done so often that it becomes repetitive and the plot becomes secondary. The novel would have benefited from taking away many of these digressions and adding more story, because the plot is quite interesting but also flimsy. It could almost have been done in a short story, if one takes away the narrator's ramblings.

I would give it 3.5 stars. Since goodreads does not allow that, I will be generous and round it up to 4, since this was really a pleasant read. If only it had had a stern editor who would have forced the author to concentrate on the story he is telling and only educate the reader when necessary...
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jcm790 | 80 other reviews | May 26, 2024 |
These Alatriste novels are so good in some ways, and so frustrating in others... As adventure stories they do not quite work, at least not all the time. They have too much editorializing by the narrator. The problem is not so much that he (an older version of the kid, Iñigo Balboa) editorializes, but the repetitive nature of that editorializing. It contributes to create the mood that Perez-Reverte wants to get across, that of greatness and decadence, bravery and futility, but sometimes it seems that we are listening to a grandfather who tells always the same stories, not remembering that he is always telling them. Iñigo starts talking about how the Spanish soldiers are loyal to the crown even knowing perfectly well that for the crown they are nothing, expendable pieces that don't even need paying. When he starts the familiar litany we think "here we go again..."

For adventure stories, too little happens. If we took away all the endless talking at best we would be left with novellas, not novels. But on the other hand all the talking, the bitter editorializing, the historical details not directly related to the plot, the Spanish Golden Age poetry... all contribute ti create the mood that set these stories apart. The characters are excellent too. Perez-Reverte clearly has done a lot of research and the way people talk, at least to my untrained ears, seems genuine, much different from how modern people would talk. These soldier characters are not the 21st century liberals transplanted to historical times that we see in so many modern historical novels. They really think in a way different from ours, and we get some scenes of carnage that are quite horrifying. The Spanish "heroes" are brutal, and their enemies are equally brutal. But they are still fundamentally human. The way iñigo, no longer a boy, seeks to rebel and put distance between himself and Captain Alatriste, not quite succeeding because there's too much linking those two, rings true.

This book doesn't have much of a unifying plot, it's more like a number of set pieces related to the time Captain Alatriste and Iñigo spend as fighters in a Spanish corsair ship in the Mediterranean, fighting against turks and many other enemies, because Spain was at war with half the world. The Spanish fighters, who didn't lose a single land battle for more than a century, are exceedingly fierce, and the last part of the novel is an epic fight of incredible intensity, filled with blood and testosterone.
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jcm790 | 17 other reviews | May 26, 2024 |



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Tommi Hänninen Cover designer
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½ 3.6

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