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The Nautical Chart: A Novel of Adventure (Bello) Paperback – 2 Jan 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (2 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1447262433
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447262435
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3.5 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 689,576 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

Amazon Review

The fifth novel from the much acclaimed Spanish literary magician Arturo Pérez-Reverte, The Nautical Chart, is (the subtitle tells us) "a novel of adventure", and this vivid and colourful tale of lost treasure, love and betrayal on the high seas is a work that conjures the shade of past masters of nautical adventure. Conrad, Melville and Stevenson are in this heady brew, but not one of those masters ever produced something quite as rich and strange as Pérez-Reverte's utterly individual narrative--although it certainly won't be to every taste.

A beautiful woman named Tánger Soto is at the centre of The Nautical Chart. Nearly 230 years after it went to the bottom, Tánger has uncovered the location of a brigantine called the Dei Gloria, a significant ship of the Jesuit brethren's fleet sunk by pirates in the 17th century. Working for the Naval Museum in Madrid, she keeps her discovery clandestine until she is able to enlist the aid of the laconic seaman Manuel Coy at a maritime auction in Barcelona. He is persuaded to join her on a wild treasure hunt off the southern coast of Spain, fully aware that this is much more than a simple search-and-recover mission, and that Tánger is as full of secrets as the sunken vessel they are tracking down. Coy is a suspended sailor with nothing to do, a mariner without a ship. Tánger utilises her singular manipulative skills with men and her expertise with documents, atlases, and nautical maps to chart the search for the lost treasure. Coy is bewitched by his fiercely determined companion, and before long finds himself falling in love. Along with El Piloto, the canny old man of the sea whose sailboat they chart, they head into perilous seas that promise fortune--or death.

The plotting of this mélange of mystery, love and betrayal is an ever-surprising crossbreed between the adventure tale and the literary novel, constantly (and delightfully) wrong-footing the reader at every turn. Pérez-Reverte utilises his experience as a television journalist who has reported on some of the world's most dangerous crises to ensure that the reader's pulse is often racing, but (as in such earlier novels as The Seville Communion and The Fencing Master it's his powerfully evocative prose that commands our attention. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'A classic of its genre, equal to the best of Eric Ambler and Patrick O'Brian - and, beyond genre, not far below the levels and depths plumbed by Melville and Conrad themselves... In a virtually perfect fusion of absorbing action and precise, intricate characterisation, Perez-Reverte magically sustains the tension and suspense over a span of almost 500 pages' Kirkus Reviews --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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We could call him Ishmael, but in truth his name is Coy. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 22 Dec. 2002
Format: Hardcover
One of Perez-Reverte's most outstanding characteristics has always been his ability to incorporate academic research and arcane and thought-provoking historical data into an exciting and stimulating historical mystery. In the past, this research has always been an integral part of the novel's structure, and woe be unto the reader who, half-asleep when reading, misses a key detail or fails to note some crucial connection necessary to understanding the conclusion. This novel is different. Though it contains an intellectual mystery, it is also part treasure hunt, love story, character study, and treatise on sexual politics.
Not totally successful on any of these levels, I found the novel entertaining, but lacking those special characteristics which have always made Perez-Reverte's books so mentally engaging. The story is relatively simple. Coy, a seaman who has been suspended for two years because of an accident, begins working for Tanger Soto, a pretty, blonde librarian for the Museo Naval, who has purchased a maritime atlas which will help her to locate a sunken ship. The ship, owned by the Jesuits, sank in 1767, and Tanger believes it carries a treasure, which she intends to find. Predictable complications ensue.
The plot divides into two parts--the first part is exciting and full of action as Coy and Tanger launch their search, while the second part is almost dead, as their rivals for the treasure disappear for almost 200 pages. Perez-Reverte tries to keep the excitement going by having a particularly nasty rival reappear, menacingly, from time to time on shore, but eventually the author has to resort to the cute trick of introducing a completely new character, the narrator, to juice up the narrative and the search for the sunken ship.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 22 Dec. 2002
Format: Paperback
Just as the technical detail in The Fencing Master reserected my interest in Fencing, the suberb technical detail in The Nautical Chart has awoken a dormant interest in nautical maps and sextants! The gripping story line with its middle-aged hero and young, beautiful heroine/villain (a well proven receipe for Arturo fiction) simply pulls you into the story; you literally feel part of the tale. I've now read the full series of from this Author, and am hungry for more.
My only disappointment is that unlike the previous books, this translation is in american English.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By bxbspringboard on 25 Jun. 2003
Format: Hardcover
Arturo Perez-Reverte is one of my favourite authors but this is not his finest work. The plot is predictable and the tension is not developed. It wanders into unnecessary musing on the nature of life too often and ultimately one is left dissatisfied with the motivations of the characters. In particular, nothing about the leading character explains his actions.
Good - but compared to his other works mediocre
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By CURLY GATES on 21 July 2004
Format: Paperback
I've loved all APR's other books, they have been exquisitely clever, intriguing and atmospheric. However, this one absolutely dragged. I found the main characters unsympathetic to the point of being irritating, and just lost all interest in the ins and outs of both the plot and the leading characters' 'tantalising' relationship. The almost obssessive recounting of every annoying little nuance of the latter began to make me wonder whether the writing was playing out some fantasy from his own life. I don't recommend this book, but do read all the others.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Nov. 2001
Format: Hardcover
As ever with Arturo Perez-Reverte, this is another stylish, intelligent mystery, set against a backdrop of several Spanish cities and involving the obligatory beautiful, enigmatic blonde and tough-yet-vulnerable hero. Once again Perez-Reverte subverts the cliches of the genre, taking a search for sunken treasure and turning it into a journey through the falsehoods and self-deceits of the human heart - while along the way dispensing considerable information about 17thC Spanish navigation. Despite the by-now-expected play with the position of the narrator, this is perhaps more like a straight adventure story than the more complex Dumas Club or Seville Communion, and like The Fencing Master it also contains a number of disquieting reflections on the relations between women and men. Witty, brave and self-aware: a brilliant reinterpretation of the 19thC adventure novel. My only quibble is why it's available solely in an American translation, occasionally grating to an English reader.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I believe that people`s testes are very different so it is impossible to say which book is good which one is bad. It depends on what you like. This particular book is the best book I have ever read in my life!!! By saying that I mean it! Moreover Arturo Perez Reverte is my favourite author. I have read all of his books that have been translated into English. Plus I really appreciate Spanish authors, I love their way of narrating. It is always passionate, colourful and full of details. The stories are overfilled with adjectives that always stand out of the ordinary ones. Sometimes the action is missing but this is exactly what I adore about the books. It has a moderate pace that doesn`t rush you anywhere but covers you with the atmosphere of the story you are reading.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Burnett on 30 Aug. 2002
Format: Paperback
Someone once said of Peter DeVries, "I love his book. I read it every time he writes it." Arturo Perez-Reverte has cemented his claim to such backhanded praise with this release, "The Nautical Chart".
This book follows the standard Perez-Reverte formula, one that became almost tiresome after "The Flanders Panel" was released.
Here we are offered Coy, a down-on-his-luck sailor with barely enough knowledge to get the job done, a man who thinks and acts with his fists as opposed to his wits, Tanger Soto, a single-minded femme fatale who echoes Hammett's Bridget O'Shaughnessy (from "The Maltese Falcon", which this book references and echoes)and a pair of villains as cruel and unlikely as Gutman and Joel Cairo. The group are all in search of a vast treasure buried beneath the sea centuries ago. That's pretty much all there is to the story.
It's not the repeat of the old formula that bothers me so, rather it is the change in writing style that seems to have sucked the joy out of my reading of Perez-Reverte, and I don't know whether to blame this on the author or his translater. Former translator Sonia Soto had a flair for language and helped ease The Club Dumas and The Flanders Panel into the American consciousness by imbuing these books with a fluid formality that seemed just right for the content. New translator Margaret Sayers Peden has a wooden ear, seemingly translating some sections exactly as written (which makes them seem odd and flat to an English speaker) and others by trying to inject modern slang and make the book sound more contemporary.
It is a fact that, unless we read the original language, we are at the mercy of the translator when reading foreign literature. A good one can make the work sing and a bad one will make it squawk. Sadly, without a strong, fresh framework from Perez-Reverte, this translation merely squawks
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