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The Club Dumas (1993): The Eight-and-a-Half-th Gate

Arturo Perez-Reverte, The Club Dumas (Harcourt Brace, 1993)

[originally posted 11Oct2000]

phtoo credit: jameshduncan.blogspot.com

Is it more Musketerrs or Monte Cristo? Read on and find out…

Having now read this, I wonder if those who didn’t like The Ninth Gate had already read the book before seeing the movie. Where Polanski took the low road and created a piece of comedic silliness centering around a book capable of raising the devil, Perez-Reverte actually wrote a stylish, low-key drama about an attempt to authenticate a chapter of The Three Musketeers. While the word “panache” tends to be horribly overused, that’s the best way I can describe it. Perez-Reverte uses some of the conventions of the serial novel even as he makes fun of them, but he does so in such a way that the reader is still bowled over. (For those who have read the book, the last paragraph of Chapter 13 is the perfect example of what I’m talking about here.)

The plot twists keep the pages turning even while Perez-Reverte’s poetic style demands a leisurely pace. The perfect combination. ****

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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