Customer Reviews


12 Reviews
5 star:
 (6)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT
The Painter of Battles is a beautifully written word picture encompassing everything from "the Butterfly effect", to art history lessons, to a morality homily on the futility of war and the evil that man bestows on his fellow man.

Perez-Reverte draws you into the story as he meticulously recounts (probably from his own experiences as a war journalist) example...
Published 20 months ago by Red Rock Bookworm

versus
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "He was referring to a previous life, and that did not please Faulques at all" - 3.5 stars
Let me preface this review by sharing that I am a huge Perez-Reverte fan and have read almost all his books, most of them in the original language. If I had to define what I like about this author, I would say that his main strength lies in writing entertaining novels while using elegant prose and delivering a well-thought-out message. Therefore, he caters to many people...
Published on 3 Feb 2008 by Sebastian Fernandez


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "He was referring to a previous life, and that did not please Faulques at all" - 3.5 stars, 3 Feb 2008
By 
Sebastian Fernandez (Tampa, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Painter Of Battles (Hardcover)
Let me preface this review by sharing that I am a huge Perez-Reverte fan and have read almost all his books, most of them in the original language. If I had to define what I like about this author, I would say that his main strength lies in writing entertaining novels while using elegant prose and delivering a well-thought-out message. Therefore, he caters to many people. Those that are looking for literary fiction are usually satisfied, as are those seeking a captivating plot. Sadly, with this novel, the author falls short of the mark established by his previous works. At times I felt like I was reading the "normal" Perez-Reverte and enjoyed it immensely, but in other portions I think that the author lost his way and went into long passages that bored me.

Maybe the fact that the novel carries a loud and clear message against war, explains why Perez-Reverte got a little more serious in this work and forgot a little about keeping the reader entertained. I felt almost as if this novel was a cathartic exercise, since the writer has similarities with the main character, the ex-war-photographer turned painter, Andres Faulques. Perez-Reverte worked for years as a journalist, and in that time covered many armed conflicts between 1975 and 1994, and then he decided to start writing books. It is not hard to see the parallelism. If you want to read a great work about his experiences as a war journalist and you can read in Spanish, I wholeheartedly recommend you to seek "Territorio Comanche".

Going back to the novel at hand, when we find Ivo Markovic show up at Faulques' house and informs him that he is going to kill him, we get the sense that this is going to be a fast-paced thriller. Nothing could be further from the truth, since the work turns constantly to long reflections by Faulques about his experience in the war and how the environment can affect human behavior and led people to act in terrible fashion. There is also a mea culpa by the painter in the sense of not having done much to stop the madness, and once again, this makes us wonder if this is a reflection of Perez-Reverte's feelings.

Even though this work was disappointing, one cannot disregard the fact that this author's writing style is among the best and that the message and overall plot presented in the novel are worth reading about. It is a shame that parts of it are so boring.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dialogues on Man and War, 2 Feb 2008
By 
A. Ross (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Painter Of Battles (Hardcover)
Those, like me, who are familiar with Perez-Reverte's "literary thrillers" or swashbuckling adventure stories will find a beast of a different color in this latest book. Simply put, it is not an entertainment (in the Graham Greene sense), nor is it intended as such. Rather, the book is a rambling dialogue on the nature of war and mankind. Part of this dialogue is between Falques, a 50-something photojournalist turned painter and a former Croatian soldier who has come to kill him. Another part of the dialogue occurs in flashbacks between Falques and his then model-girlfriend, as they skulk through war zones taking photos. And a third part of this dialogue takes place within Falques himself.

The problem is that the vast majority of this dialogue is tedious in the extreme. Just to give a taste, I'll flip to a random page...OK...how about this from page 130: "Nothing will truly be what it is until the unfeeling Universe wakes like a sleeping animal, stretches its legs, stirring the skeleton of the Earth, yawns, and takes a few random slashes. Do you realize that? Yes, of course you do. Now I understand. It's a question of geological amorality. Of photographing the useful certainty of our fragility." Now, if you like that, great -- because there are passages like that on almost every page. Personally, I find this kind of writing a grind to get through and had to force myself not to skim.

This is not to say the book is entirely one note. Perez-Reverte used to work as a war correspondent, and his descriptions of the photographer at work in various war zones is outstanding both in terms of mood and detail. It's hard not to read the book as a very personal meditation on Perez-Reverte's part, almost as a form of therapy in an attempt to grapple with the horrors he must have seen and then dispassionately reported on. This leads down some rather familiar roads, most notably the question of whether or not the observer of violence (or let's just say evil) is complicit in the act simply by witnessing it. Some may be drawn into this discussion, but I found it far too tedious (and at times pretentious) to connect with. For those who are art lovers, there is also ton of discussion of very famous painters, their war-related works, and their techniques -- none of which resonated with me.

Personally, I like a bit of plot in my fiction -- and there isn't any here. There's some tension in terms of whether or not the Croatian is actually going to kill Falques, but it kind of feels like more of a red herring, a lure to ensure the reader continues on with the book. And the excellent portions about the war zones are simply not worth wading through all of Falques' meditations on his girlfriend and their time together, nor the art of war, nor his own role in any of it. I'm sure others will take more from the book, but it simply isn't my cup of tea.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT, 4 Aug 2012
By 
Red Rock Bookworm (St. George Utah USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Painter Of Battles (Paperback)
The Painter of Battles is a beautifully written word picture encompassing everything from "the Butterfly effect", to art history lessons, to a morality homily on the futility of war and the evil that man bestows on his fellow man.

Perez-Reverte draws you into the story as he meticulously recounts (probably from his own experiences as a war journalist) example after example of the insanity of war and examines the cruelty and finality of its outcome. In essence, Perez-Reverte gives us and in depth look at the nature of man who he perceives as possessing an in-born inescapable evil that he has, utilizing his superior intelligence, refined through the centurys into an art form.

This story of two men, inescapably linked by a war, a chance encounter and a photograph, and the culmination of those events is mezmerizing. As the story progresses, their relationship becomes almost symbiotic in nature.

This is definitely not your "run of the mill" novel and Perez-Reverte is not your run of the mill writer. His fluent prose and evocative observations will fill your mind and soul like a fine dinner satisfies your hunger. Perez-Reverte has created his own "Butterfly Effect". By writing this book, he has effected the perception of his readers.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars May contain scenes that might upset some viewers, 25 Aug 2012
By 
R. Sinclair "RoyS." (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Painter Of Battles (Hardcover)
When we sit watching the news or reading the papers reporting on various conflicts, how often do we really think about the people behind those images. Those images are often selected not because of what they depict as such but because somewhere it is thought that there is some abstract artistic merit.We are probably all aware of images of war that we consider are of some artisitic value. How often do any of us even think about the real people shown in those images and the real effects on them. We admire or merely glimpse the brief artistic' snapshot while we sit in comfort.
Perez-Reverte has been there and seen it and I read this book in some ways as his own exploration of his previous role and how he was able to undertake it. It is really a meditation on the violence and cruelty that people can inflict on each other, and which people have done for so long and possibly why.
I have enjoyed all of Perez-Revertes fiction that I have read and rank them with the best - perhaps because in all of them there lurk real people that he has encountered.
This book questions how we can watch/read/hear about violence and in so many cases see it as just another form of entertainment or information update.
It is a deeply personal book, (That's my view), and does not make for pleasant reading but it is all the better for that.
In his books his characters ring with the same authenticity as his background information about book collecting, chess, map reading etc. - this book helps explain why.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Close, but no cigar, 6 Oct 2009
By 
R. D. Schofield (Spain) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Painter Of Battles (Paperback)
I'm a fan of Perez Reverte - Seville Communion, Fencing Master, Queen of the South: top reads - but he's trying just that bit too hard with The Painter of Battles. Yep, I know the fly-leaves say he was a war correspondent. Maybe the (too often repeated) significant images within the mural see A P-R reliving some of his own experiences/guilt. But it's a hand that is over-played and leaves the tale taking much too long to tell: too little to say, too many pages to say it in. Shame really because it would have been a great 60 page short story.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not one of his best..., 11 Jun 2008
By 
This review is from: The Painter Of Battles (Hardcover)
I'm a big fan of Perez-Reverte, but this book is a poor effort. The main female character in the book comes out with such utterly pretentious drivel that you will be gritting your teeth and wincing every time she appears. It's very "talky" but the dialogue is preposterously overwrought. I don't know quite what direction the author was trying to go in with this book but he needs to get back on track!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Painter of Batles - Arturo Perez-Reverte, 11 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Painter Of Battles (Paperback)
I enjoyed the book. I belong to a book club and it was the choice for January - a good read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars "The Painter of Battles", 26 April 2011
This review is from: The Painter of Battles (Paperback)
One of the most unusual stories I've read in ages. I hated to put it down when I had other things I needed to do. The Chicago Tribune called Perez-Reverte "...the master of
the intellectual thriller." I have to agree. I loved it! It was the first of his books that I read, but I will be reading some of his others soon. ~~~~~ Help yourself to a good read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark matter, 10 Aug 2009
By 
Dr. A. Choules (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Painter Of Battles (Paperback)
A little different from most of his other work (that I have read). A fairly intense character study of an ex-war photographer and the moral questions that one would expect to arise from a review of his working life forced by a confrontation with a victim/soldier he once photographed. Some fairly graphic descriptions of the atrocities of war. Not one for light reading on the beach but intense and written in Perez-Reverte's own style of swirling memories that usually conjure the images he conveys. I can clearly see the lonely tower, the immense painting and the Painter's unshaven, chainsmoking visitor...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars cliched contrived pretentious and flat, 27 Jan 2009
This review is from: The Painter Of Battles (Paperback)
I very rarely give up on books -- unless they are very bad. I gave up on this one
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xa587f390)

This product

The Painter Of Battles
The Painter Of Battles by Arturo Perez-Reverte (Paperback - 16 Oct 2008)
7.99
Not in stock; order now and we'll deliver when available
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews