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The Dumas Club Paperback – 5 Jun 1997


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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: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,894 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

Review

"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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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By "doctor-skel" on 11 Mar 2003
Format: Paperback
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 In Lucas Corso we find a typically Perez-Revertine lead (a modest and withdrawn existential hero of curious yet fanatical habits - a man living in the past) struggling with familiar themes of murder, intregue, and especially, conspiracy.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 By Mr. JC Mitchell on 4 Aug 2006
Format: Paperback
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 By Mr. Matthew C. Franks on 31 Mar 2004
Format: Paperback
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 By A Customer on 2 Nov 2001
Format: Paperback
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 By "ajp123" on 21 Feb 2003
Format: Paperback
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 By Craobh Rua VINE VOICE on 7 Feb 2008
Format: Paperback
"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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