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The Resource The Club Dumas, Arturo Pérez-Reverte ; translated from the Spanish by Sonia Soto

The Club Dumas, Arturo Pérez-Reverte ; translated from the Spanish by Sonia Soto

Label
The Club Dumas
Title
The Club Dumas
Statement of responsibility
Arturo Pérez-Reverte ; translated from the Spanish by Sonia Soto
Title variation
Club Dumas
Creator
Contributor
Subject
Genre
Language
  • eng
  • spa
  • eng
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • The author of the successfully suspenseful Seville Communion now writes a novel no less dramatic and certainly no less atmospheric than its predecessor. The time is 1868, and the Spanish capital of Madrid is seething with plans and rumors of conspiracy against the regime of the disreputable, discredited queen, Isabella II. Don Jaime Astarloa, a fencing master, has other things on his mind. During this time of political unrest, an interesting young woman, Dona Adela de Otero, asks Don Jaime to teach her his fencing specialty, the "two-hundred-escudo thrust." Don Jaime overcomes his shock at hearing such a request from a lady and gives her the lessons she desires, but he is soon involved in the political intrigues swirling around him. What connection does Dona Adela have to the plot he unwittingly seems to have been sucked into? Then a friend of his is murdered, and the plot, of course, thickens, for Dona Adela disappears. She turns up dead--but is the body really hers? Finally, Don Jaime learns what his place in the plot really was--what purpose his involuntary participation served--and this leads to a walloping ending. ((Reviewed February 1, 1999)) -- Brad Hooper
  • Spain's bestselling novelist follows three polished and erudite thrillers (The Flanders Panel; The Club Dumas; The Seville Communion) with a fourth that combines the classic art of fencing, 19th-century Spanish monarchical politics and the eternal lure of the femme fatale. Don Jaime Astarloa, aging and solitary, is Madrid's greatest fencing master, eking out a threadbare living in this age of the pistol by teaching the sons of the nobility. In the hot summer of 1868, while rumors abound in Madrid of possible insurrection and the forced abdication of Queen Isabelle II, Don Jaime is visited by a beautiful young woman calling herself Adela de Otero, who offers him double his usual fee to teach her a secret, famously difficult sword thrust. At first Don Jaime refuses to consider a woman as a student; but with her intricate knowledge of fencing and the mysterious, tiny scar at the corner of her mouth, Adela wins him over and proves to be an expert fencer, gifted, disciplined and determined. Soon she is winning Don Jaime's heart as well. Thus is set into motion a complex succession of plots and counterplots analogous to the thrust and parry of a fencing match. P rez-Reverte is a master of lushly atmospheric suspense, and his prose is as spellbinding in the fencing gallery as it is in the arcane realm of honor and loyalty that shapes Don Jaime's world. The mysteries unravel to the final pages, as Don Jaime pursues his lifelong dream of discovering "the unstoppable thrust," not in politics, contemplation of his art or even romance, but on the floor of battle. 100,000 first printing; $100,000 ad/promo; author tour. (June) FYI: The Ninth Gate, the film of P rez-Reverte's The Club Dumas, directed by Roman Polanski and starring Johnny Depp, will open in April.
  • Chess, antiquarian books, the Catholic Church--all have figured in P rez-Reverte's richly entertaining mysteries. Now he's picked another intricate and demanding subject, fencing. There's political unrest in 1868 Madrid, but Don Jaime goes about his business as fencing master while trying to conceive of the perfect thrust. When the beautiful and mysterious Adela de Otero approaches him, asking for lessons, he at first refuses indignantly but soon discovers that she is relentless--and already a magnificent swordswoman. It's not long before Don Jaime is in love with Adela, but shortly thereafter she is taken over by one of his aristocratic clients, Luis de Ayala. And then de Ayala is found dead, killed by the merciless two-hundred-escudo thrust that Don Jaime himself has invented and taught to just a few people--including Adela. What follows is a fine tale of political intrigue with a lot of fencing lore deftly mixed in. Figuring out the political mess behind the killer's motivations might take a reread, but this will delight anyone who enjoys swashbucklers--though as one might expect, the book is more literate than any Hollywood film. For all mystery collections.--Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"
  • /* Starred Review */ Another colorful novel of intrigue from accomplished Spanish author Perez-Reverte (The Seville Communion, 1998, etc.). The setting is Madrid in 1868: a time of political unrest as self-indulgent Queen Isabelle II's hold on the throne grows shaky and numerous anti-royalist and revolutionary groups jostle for advantage. At the same time, tradition reposes serenely in the virtually cloistered life of the suave Don Jaime Astarloa, an aging "fencing master" who supports himself by teaching his art to Madrid's nobility while planning his treatise on "the unstoppable thrust"--to be written as soon as he develops and masters this ultimate skill. A cryptic prefatory flash-forward is followed by some rather turgid (flatly translated?) exposition before Pérez-Reverte efficiently places Don Jaime at the center of an exfoliating chain of intrigue whose individual developments are keyed to fencing moves and terms ("The Short Lunge," "Glissade," etc.). A beautiful young woman, Adela de Otero, persuades the initially reluctant master to tutor her and proves surprisingly worthy--in crisp, witty scenes charged with erotic tension. A marquis to whom Don Jaime introduces her is murdered under circumstances that point to Adela (who has inconveniently vanished); and a mutilated corpse that appears to be hers is dredged up from a river. A Javert-like police chief (Campillo) and a luckless journalist (Crceles) become involved, and signs both of a plot against the throne and of a murderous double agent deepen Don Jaime's panic and confusion (amusingly counterpointed by the "eternal polemics" exchanged among his cronies at the ironically named Café Progreso). A climactic surprise meeting concludes with the master's serendipitous performance of that "perfect thrust"--at a decidedly opportune moment. Not quite equal to Perez-Reverte's very best, though it succeeds admirably both as a vivid picture of an unfamiliar culture and as high, sophisticated entertainment. (Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 1999)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
005821
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Pérez-Reverte, Arturo
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
LC call number
PQ6666.E765
LC item number
C5813 1996
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Soto, Sonia
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Rare books
  • Antiquarians
  • Rare books
Label
The Club Dumas, Arturo Pérez-Reverte ; translated from the Spanish by Sonia Soto
Instantiates
Publication
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
362 p.
Isbn
9780151001811
Lccn
96011962 //r97
Other physical details
ill.
System control number
  • (Sirsi) o34355559
  • CARL0623282573
  • (OCoLC)34355559
Label
The Club Dumas, Arturo Pérez-Reverte ; translated from the Spanish by Sonia Soto
Publication
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
362 p.
Isbn
9780151001811
Lccn
96011962 //r97
Other physical details
ill.
System control number
  • (Sirsi) o34355559
  • CARL0623282573
  • (OCoLC)34355559

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