Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Recommended Reads

by Edd Doerr

Looking for some good reads? Then let me recommend the novels of Arturo Perez-Reverte, the Spanish novelist, journalist, columnist and former war correspondent (born 1951 in Cartagena, Spain). His two dozen novels are nearly all readily available in English. I have read over half of them in Spanish, but they translate well into English.

His seven Captain Alatriste novels are about a Spanish soldier during the period of Dumas' Three Musqueteers. Especially good is Purity of Blood, about the Inquisition and Spanish anti-Semitism.

He has written several about the Napoleonic wars, including a rather comic one, The Shadow of the Eagle, about Napoleon's 1812 invasion of Russia. His Cape Trafalgar deals with the battle that made Nelson famous. The Fencing Master and The Nautical Chart are mysteries, the first in 1868 Madrid and the second, as good as anything by Melville, Stevenson, or Conrad, is a contemporary story that makes The Maltese Falcon look simple.

On the whole, I'd say that Perez-Reverte compares favorably with Hemingway.

His books of collected columns are terrific but available, unfortunately, only in Spanish.

I met the author in Washington several years ago and was impressed.

No comments: