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The Dumas Club [Paperback]

Arturo Peréz-Reverte
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
RRP: £8.99
Price: £6.79 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

5 Jun 1997

In the world of rare books everything has its price. But when the book is a satanic tract, the currency is not money but life...

A well-know bibliophile is found hanged days after selling a rare manuscript of Alexander Dumas's classic, The Three Musketeers. Across Madrid, Spain's wealthiest book dealer has finally laid his hands on a 17th-century manual for summoning the devil. Lucas Corso, solitary and obsessive, is the detective hired to authenticate both texts. But the further he follows the trail of devil worship, the more it leads him back to Dumas. He's the unwitting protagonist in someone's evil plot, but is he sleuth or hero, Sherlock Holmes or d'Artagnan?

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The Dumas Club + The Flanders Panel + The Fencing Master
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (5 Jun 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099448599
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099448594
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Arturo Perez Reverte lives near Madrid. Originally a war correspondent, he now writes fiction full time. His novels include THE FLANDERS PANEL, THE CLUB DUMAS, THE FENCING MASTER, THE SEVILLE COMMUNION, THE NAUTICAL CHART, THE QUEEN OF THE SOUTH and the bestselling CAPTAIN ALATRISTE series. In 2003 he was elected to the Spanish Royal Academy. His website can be visited at www.perez-reverte.com

Author photo (c) Jon Barandica

Product Description


"A dizzyingly complicated, dazzlingly allusive, breathlessly exciting novel of adventure and detection" (Michael Kerrigan Scotsman)

"A noir meta-fiction. Even a reader armed with a Latin dictionary and a copy of The Three Musketeers cannot anticipate the thrilling twists of this Escher-like mystery" (New Yorker)

"A sophisticated and exciting intellectual game which brilliantly illustrates the sheer delight of fiction" (Stephanie Merritt Daily Telegraph)

"A rip-roaring entertainment - tongue in cheek and sword in hand" (Mail on Sunday)

Book Description

A wonderfully atmospheric Spanish mystery about a manual for summoning the devil, set in the world of antiquarian booksellers

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making antiquarian books exciting? Here's how. 11 Mar 2003
Five stars without hesitation. This is a true, break-neck speed, thriller somewhat in the flavour of The Thirty-Nine Steps. In fact, if you dig deep enough there are other parallels. Set in the scholastic and obsessive world of antique book collections, Perez-Reverte manages to infuse his writing, and his characters, with a infectious passion for the literary classics. In Lucas Corso we find a typically Perez-Revertine lead (a modest and withdrawn existential hero of curious yet fanatical habits - a man living in the past) struggling with familiar themes of murder, intregue, and especially, conspiracy. Naturally this is a conspiracy bound-up with at least one feme fatal. Here the plot surrounds Corso's expertese in authenticating collectable antique publications, one of which is an Alexandre Dumas manuscript. The other text is similarly old, similarly precious work - the demonic 'Nine Gates to the Kingdom of Shadows', a text that cost it's author his life and possibly even his soul. It is these two strands that come together so potently in this book as members of the mysterious 'Dumas Club' and collectors of the occult become indistinguishable as Corso is pursued across Europe leaving a trail of corpses in their wake. Such pressure is always required to draw-out Perez-Revertes's characters' true natures - and here some of Corso's more dubious character traits emerge, leaving as ambiguous but believeable a human-being as you will find in modern fiction. However, it is the technique of the classic mystery/thriller that makes this such an extrodinary exciting read. Sadly it is one that is absent from the feature film - directed by Roman Polanski and staring Johnny Depp - The Nine Gates. Read more ›
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Devil in the details 4 Aug 2006
I'm writing this review in response to the one above it, although erudite it might put some people off that would take great pleasure from this novel.

I must confess that I only looked into reading this after seeing the film that's based on it, The Ninth Gate, which captures the atmosphere created in the novel brilliantly, that of a fevered, devoted set of uber-collectors of demonic texts - and the lengths that they will go to obtain others.

In my opinion if you are a lover of books, have a smattering of knowledge of the occult and can suspend your disbelief for a couple of hours then this is one of the most rewarding literary experiences that I've had recently. Like the reviewer sharing the page with me, I too am a bibliophile.

For best results, I recommend reading this whilst listening to the film soundtrack by the immensely talented Wojciech Kilar, or indeed anything by him.

My only complaint is that there is a dearth of similar material of sufficient quality to go on to once you have finished.....
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57 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality 31 Mar 2004
I loved this book.
I am a fan of mystery and intrigue, and this book is nothing but! About the world of antique books and the lengths some will go to get their hands on them, it starts as a mystery and descends into devilry and murder.
It is the story of a man hired to find the only three known copies of a 16th century book on Satanism for which the author was burned alive. His client wants the books, he just wants his money. But as events unfold, things suddenly don’t seem as black and white as he first thought. More and more the puzzle points to the long dead author Alexander Dumas, author of The Three Musketeers. How is his work related? And what does it have to do with a well-known book collector, found hanged days earlier...
Quality stuff!
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Occult and literary plot twists and turns 2 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This novel which features two intertwined story threads, one regarding a Dumas manuscript and the other the quest to authenticate a satanic text kept me guessing to the end. Perez-Reverte skillfully combines fact and fiction to create a convincing world where fabled books such as the Delomalenicon (like HP Lovecrafts' Necronomicon) are real and the boundaries of reality and fantasy become blurred. Buy it, you wont be able to put it down.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars response to "wheatear" 21 Feb 2003
I think i can clear up a small matter. It is more likely no mistake has been made in accounting for the books of Dumas' series on the three Musketeers. In france, as far as i am aware, the series is a trilogy, with the last three books ("The Vicount de Bragelonne", "Louise de la Valliere" and "The Man in the Iron Mask") all being contained in one volume called "The Vicount de Bragelonne, or Ten Years After". It is only in English that by habit the three sections of this final book are divided into three shorter works. I assume therefore that the author, reading either the origional french or a similar spanish translation, would only be aware of the "trilogy" and not the five book production we are used to in the English world. The confusion is obvious from the simmilar titles used in France and England. As for "The Dumas Club" itself, it is a suberbly written and involving book which i was unable to put down. One of the best i have read in years.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You're as dead as your books, Corso 7 Feb 2008
By Craobh Rua VINE VOICE
"The Dumas Club" was first published in 1993, and was first translated into English in 1996. "The Ninth Gate", which was directed by Roman Polanski and starred Johnny Depp, was loosely based on the novel.

The story is told by Boris Balkan, a rather well-known in Spain's publishing industry. He's done the occasional translation, edited a few other books, written reviews and ran courses for writers- as such, he's regarded as Spain's most influential literary critic. In fact, when someone needs an opinion on the nineteenth century novel, Balkan is the man to ask. It's this expertise that leads to his meeting with Lucas Corso - who proves to be the story's central character.

Corso is what Balkan describes as a "mercenary of the book world". He works for a very small number of clients - exceptionally rich book dealers who pay very well to avoid getting their hands dirty. He does appear to be very good at his job - patient, an excellent memory, an expert knowledge of the literary world and a conscience that doesn't bother him unduly. He has also mastered a number of rabbit-like expressions, designed to tease more information out of the person he's questioning. However, he can change from a rabbit sharing half a carrot to a mean wolf, off on the hunt, in an instant. (He is also an expert on Napoleon's battles, and has a certain obsession with Waterloo in particular). Corso comes to Balkan with a manuscript he's wants examined - chapter forty-two from "The Three Musketeers", apparently in Dumas' own handwriting. Balkan refers Corso to a graphologist, based in Paris, by the name of Achille Replinger - both a friend and an expert on nineteenth-century French writers.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear.
This was the choice for our reading group, but only a couple of us (not me) persevered and read all through. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tricia
3.0 out of 5 stars Liked the film better
I enjoyed the book but having seen the film first was a little disappointed. Glad I read the book though. Good plot.
Published 3 months ago by Mr. N. E. Chandler
4.0 out of 5 stars Before or after seeing "The Ninth Gate" read the original novel - it's...
You might say the film was a dumbed-down version of the book - it leaves much of the plot and some of the characters out. Read more
Published 5 months ago by J. Lees
4.0 out of 5 stars A good yarn
It is difficult to review a plot that is in many ways a mystery without spoiling it for others. At face value it's an occult story; I wouldn't call it a thriller. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Travis
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb.
Not much point in adding any description of the book as plenty of people on Amazon have done a fine job in doing so. Read more
Published 13 months ago by M. Crossman
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dumas Club
The Dumas Club: A stunningly clever novel. iI reminds me of Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum and The Name of the Rose, but it is more fun.
Published 14 months ago by John McAllister
5.0 out of 5 stars Evxellent
Saw the film The Ninth Gate and wanted to read the original book. The film was good but the book is better by far. If you loved the film- buy the book. Well worth the price.
Published 16 months ago by Bookdude
3.0 out of 5 stars Not enough Hammer Horror!
This is the book on which the Johnny Depp movie THE NINTH GATE is based. Published in the 1990s, I bought it because Carlos Ruiz Zafon (THE SHADOW OF THE WIND) lists it as one of... Read more
Published 19 months ago by David Gee
3.0 out of 5 stars Fiction within fiction
It is a neat idea. Take one well respected fiction classic and use it's theme and characters to generate a copycat tale set in the modern world, overlay a supposed fascination of... Read more
Published on 9 April 2012 by Mick Read
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my favourite Perez Reverte
I've been on a bit of a downward curve with Perez Reverte.

The first book I read of his was "The Fencing Master", which remains one of my favourite books of all... Read more
Published on 13 Nov 2011 by M. Saxby
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