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The Club Dumas

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¿Puede un libro ser investigado policialmente como si de un crimen se tratara, utilizando como pistas sus paginas, papel, grabados y marcas de impresion, en un apasionante recorrido de tres siglos? Lucas Corso, mercenario de la bibliofilia, cazador de libros por cuenta ajena, debe encontrar respuesta a esa pregunta cuando recibe un doble encargo de sus clientes: autentifica ¿Puede un libro ser investigado policialmente como si de un crimen se tratara, utilizando como pistas sus paginas, papel, grabados y marcas de impresion, en un apasionante recorrido de tres siglos? Lucas Corso, mercenario de la bibliofilia, cazador de libros por cuenta ajena, debe encontrar respuesta a esa pregunta cuando recibe un doble encargo de sus clientes: autentificar un manuscrito de "Los tres mosqueteros" y descifrar el enigma de un extraño libro, quemado en 1667 con el hombre que lo imprimio. La indagacion arrastra a Corso - y con el, irremediablemente, al lector - a una peligrosa busqueda que lo llevara de los archivos del Santo Oficio a los libros condenados, de las polvorientas librerias de viejo a las mas selectas bibliotecas de los coleccionistas internacionales.


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¿Puede un libro ser investigado policialmente como si de un crimen se tratara, utilizando como pistas sus paginas, papel, grabados y marcas de impresion, en un apasionante recorrido de tres siglos? Lucas Corso, mercenario de la bibliofilia, cazador de libros por cuenta ajena, debe encontrar respuesta a esa pregunta cuando recibe un doble encargo de sus clientes: autentifica ¿Puede un libro ser investigado policialmente como si de un crimen se tratara, utilizando como pistas sus paginas, papel, grabados y marcas de impresion, en un apasionante recorrido de tres siglos? Lucas Corso, mercenario de la bibliofilia, cazador de libros por cuenta ajena, debe encontrar respuesta a esa pregunta cuando recibe un doble encargo de sus clientes: autentificar un manuscrito de "Los tres mosqueteros" y descifrar el enigma de un extraño libro, quemado en 1667 con el hombre que lo imprimio. La indagacion arrastra a Corso - y con el, irremediablemente, al lector - a una peligrosa busqueda que lo llevara de los archivos del Santo Oficio a los libros condenados, de las polvorientas librerias de viejo a las mas selectas bibliotecas de los coleccionistas internacionales.

30 review for The Club Dumas

  1. 4 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    Arturo Pérez-Reverte - image from Periodistadigital.com Corso is an unscrupulous dealer in and acquirer of rare books. When a famous collector is found dead, he is called in to authenticate what is supposedly an original manuscript chapter of The Three Musketeers. He is subsequently engaged to find the remaining known copies of a mysterious book that may have the power to summon Satan himself. The flap copy portrays this as in intellectual thriller and it is indeed that. It would help to be famil Arturo Pérez-Reverte - image from Periodistadigital.com Corso is an unscrupulous dealer in and acquirer of rare books. When a famous collector is found dead, he is called in to authenticate what is supposedly an original manuscript chapter of The Three Musketeers. He is subsequently engaged to find the remaining known copies of a mysterious book that may have the power to summon Satan himself. The flap copy portrays this as in intellectual thriller and it is indeed that. It would help to be familiar with the work of Dumas, but still fun even in the absence. There are references aplenty that presume an eidetic memory of great literature, or, in the absence of that, at least an eagerness to engage the Google engine to add some light. Whether the refs are obvious or require research, the author makes this a fun-filled journey, a puzzle with literary clues and a surprise ending. Quite recommended. Pérez-Reverte is one of the best known, and best-selling contemporary authors of Spanish fiction. ============================EXTRA STUFF> Links to the author’s personal, Twitter and FB pages

  2. 4 out of 5

    John Mauro

    "The Club Dumas" is quite a thrill ride for bibliophiles. The main character, Lucas Corso, is an antiquarian book dealer and an investigator known for doing whatever it takes to meet the demands of his privileged clientele. He is approached by a wealthy client asking him to authenticate a manuscript which is supposedly a rare original document by Alexandre Dumas. Corso's investigation leads him on a path to find a legendary occultist book, which supposedly contains instructions for how to summon S "The Club Dumas" is quite a thrill ride for bibliophiles. The main character, Lucas Corso, is an antiquarian book dealer and an investigator known for doing whatever it takes to meet the demands of his privileged clientele. He is approached by a wealthy client asking him to authenticate a manuscript which is supposedly a rare original document by Alexandre Dumas. Corso's investigation leads him on a path to find a legendary occultist book, which supposedly contains instructions for how to summon Satan. Corso deduces that there are actually three copies of the book. Much of the plot centers on Corso locating these copies and studying their subtle differences to determine which is real and which are fake. The author does a great job incorporating art into the novel, using images of nine plates contained in the book (see example below) and explaining the subtle differences between the authentic and forged versions. The study of these slight differences leads Corso to an unexpected conclusion regarding the person who has hired him. This story is a lot of fun, and Lucas Corso is a compelling main character. He is equal parts book scholar, philosopher, hardboiled detective, and James Bond-style superspy, but with morally gray overtones. I won't give away any more of the plot, which is filled with action involving antiquarian book lovers, femme fatales, and Satanists. The ending of the book has a twist so big that it left me in complete disbelief, questioning everything I had read up to that point. This is the type of book that will make you think while also keeping you entertained throughout. Highly recommended.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    6.0 stars. Another book on my list of "All Time Favorite" novels. This is a book that I started reading with very high expectations and, lo and behold, those expectations were actually met if not exceeded. This book had so many aspects to it that were right in my wheelhouse. First, it is set in the world of rare book collectors with endless references to rare editions to excite the book nerd in us all. Second, there are two related subplots involving (i) an original manuscript of The Three Muske 6.0 stars. Another book on my list of "All Time Favorite" novels. This is a book that I started reading with very high expectations and, lo and behold, those expectations were actually met if not exceeded. This book had so many aspects to it that were right in my wheelhouse. First, it is set in the world of rare book collectors with endless references to rare editions to excite the book nerd in us all. Second, there are two related subplots involving (i) an original manuscript of The Three Musketeers that tracks the life of Alexandre Dumas and explores many of his works and (ii) a rare book written in 1666 and reputed to have been written in partial collaboration with Satan himself that contain puzzles that need to be solved in order to [???....no spoilers]. Third, you have a superb main character in Lucas Corso, a cynical, amoral book detective (played very well by Johnny Depp in the film version known as The Ninth Gate). Fourth, Fifth, Sixth etc.. you have secret societies, satanic rituals, exotic locals, femme fatales, quirky and memorable supporting characters, supernatural guardians and pacing that moves along very quickly. Add all of that up and you have what the front of the book accurately describes as "a beach read for intellectuals." I loved it and I give it my HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!! Nominee: World Fantasy Award for Best Novel.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Fabian

    "A beachbook for intellectuals" (NY Times) indeed! Its brilliance is subtle, the prose is accessible, the themes are grand. How hard, really, is the creation of a postmodern "beachbook"? Very. And to wrangle with the conventions without overstepping unto dreaded cliche... And to keep the characters charismatic & vivid... & to keep a labyrinthine mystery going... etc. Very difficult, and this novel does not quite cross into the inanity of Jasper Fforde's terrain nor into the uber-popular, comical "A beachbook for intellectuals" (NY Times) indeed! Its brilliance is subtle, the prose is accessible, the themes are grand. How hard, really, is the creation of a postmodern "beachbook"? Very. And to wrangle with the conventions without overstepping unto dreaded cliche... And to keep the characters charismatic & vivid... & to keep a labyrinthine mystery going... etc. Very difficult, and this novel does not quite cross into the inanity of Jasper Fforde's terrain nor into the uber-popular, comical turf of Mr. Dan Brown. It is original and entertaining in equal measure. It is, perhaps, one of the sole post-modern neonoir contenders to be forged unto the Must 1001 List. I watched the Roman Polanski/Johnny Depp film, "The Ninth Gate" a while back and I still remember just how searing reviews had been. I know now why: the book is a minor gem whereas the film is a major flop. Did you know that only half (almost, precisely) of the book exists in that cinematic format? It is because the screenplay destroyed the marvelous effect constructed o-so masterfully by Perez-Reverte, only grabbing one strand of plot (the demonic one) & doing with it what it wanted, that we don't have a good version of a book that, frankly, MUST be read (not heard, or watched). "The Club Dumas" is at its most basic good solid fun.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kiersten

    After reading Jeri's review, I don't really have a lot to add. I thought the premise was interesting, but the climax was disappointing, the characters were one-dimensional (this might have been purposeful, as he was trying to draw parallels to Dumas' book, but didn't really work for me), and the was protagonist off-putting. I wasn't bothered by the details about bookbinding and famous books as much; those, in my opinion, were more interesting than the plot itself. I think one of the problems wit After reading Jeri's review, I don't really have a lot to add. I thought the premise was interesting, but the climax was disappointing, the characters were one-dimensional (this might have been purposeful, as he was trying to draw parallels to Dumas' book, but didn't really work for me), and the was protagonist off-putting. I wasn't bothered by the details about bookbinding and famous books as much; those, in my opinion, were more interesting than the plot itself. I think one of the problems with the book was that the author took two plots that could have been very interesting if fleshed out on their own (the devil book story and the Anjou wine story) and tried to mash them together. The result: neither was really fully developed. Each plot line just seemed to get in the way of the other. Also, I really thought that if Corso talked about the girl's light green eyes or the way she smelled like "youth and fever" one more time, I was going to have to flush the thing down the toilet.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Algernon (Darth Anyan)

    A decent thriller built around a well developed Literary Detective - hard edged, cynical, gin swilling Lucas Corso. Arturo Perez Reverte joins with his debut novel a club of writers for book lovers who built their stories around rare books, dusty libraries, obscure texts or frequent references to popular novels. I'm talking about Umberto Eco, who gets a nod in the Club Dumas and may have inspired the author, and of the likes of Jasper Fforde and Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I've considered and discarded D A decent thriller built around a well developed Literary Detective - hard edged, cynical, gin swilling Lucas Corso. Arturo Perez Reverte joins with his debut novel a club of writers for book lovers who built their stories around rare books, dusty libraries, obscure texts or frequent references to popular novels. I'm talking about Umberto Eco, who gets a nod in the Club Dumas and may have inspired the author, and of the likes of Jasper Fforde and Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I've considered and discarded Dan Brown from this lists, as he seemed more interested in conspiracy theories and cheap tricks than in ancient manuscripts and the people who wrote them. The story in Club Dumas has two major components that weave around one another and drive the mystery forward: the popular authors of adventure serials in 19th Century France and the esoteric / cabalistic researchers of 17th Century Toledo, Prague or Venice. Lucas Corso is on a mission to find the connection between the loose pages of the original handwritten draft of a chapter from The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas and the Devil summoning tome of a Venetian printer burned by the Inquisition in the year 1666. I didn't give 5 stars because, although I enjoyed the story, this is one of the books where the journey is more important than the destination. It is also apparent for me that this is a debut novel, and the author is still searching for his particular style. The lovingly chosen quotes from Dumas, Zevaco, Sabatini, Poe, Melville or Doyle give flavour and illuminate some of the story points, but in other places the extensive research done on the above mentioned subjects feel like infodumps. Some other passages where Reverte uses dark streets , stormy nights and mysterious shadows to create the desired mood feel like exercises in imitating his favourite authors. Conclusion: a good starting point for Arturo Perez-Reverte showing a lot of promise for his later work, and a well of information about Dumas and his fellow adventure writers

  7. 4 out of 5

    mark monday

    the protagonist Corso is a lot of fun. a shady, efficient, highly intelligent, deeply contemptuous, globe-trotting purveyor of literature from antiquity - the gumshoe transformed into book detective. he is perhaps the most enjoyable part of the novel and it is a pleasure (although a familiar one) to be seeing events through his eyes. in a way, he saves The Club Dumas from being completely forgettable. the narrative is shaped as a fast-paced mystery, perhaps along the lines of The DaVinci Code (a the protagonist Corso is a lot of fun. a shady, efficient, highly intelligent, deeply contemptuous, globe-trotting purveyor of literature from antiquity - the gumshoe transformed into book detective. he is perhaps the most enjoyable part of the novel and it is a pleasure (although a familiar one) to be seeing events through his eyes. in a way, he saves The Club Dumas from being completely forgettable. the narrative is shaped as a fast-paced mystery, perhaps along the lines of The DaVinci Code (a book i never finished). it is, unfortunately, a very shallow mystery. well, actually, two mysteries and two pieces of literature at the heart of these mysteries: one an unpublished chapter by alexandre dumas and another a diabolical tome of which only three exist and whose publisher was burned at the stake. the mysteries are - perhaps - entwined. unfortunately, the mysteries are rather standard and the identities of the two villains (one per mystery!) are grindingly obvious. was this intended? i certainly hope so, because otherwise including a quote from a very relevant agatha christie novel as one of the chapter sub-headings was an amateurish move. why show your cards that way, unless it is intentional? nevertheless, this is a quick and rather agreeable read. highly disposable and annoyingly repetitious at times (about a zillion descriptions of Corso looking rabbity and his companion's wise face and constantly bare feet - wtf?)...but the tight plotting, witty dialogue, and the obvious erudition of the author make it all easy to swallow. i just wish there was more to it all. sigh.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    I normally wouldn’t pick up something like this, but it was given to me as a gift, so I cracked it. It took me until about half-way through before I realized that it was the basis for the Johnny Depp/Roman Polanski flop “The Ninth Gate.” (Which I've yet to see). The Club Dumas was probably only the second detective novel I’ve read in the past five years, the other being Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn. While the novels have very little in common, I couldn’t help but notice the formulaic sim I normally wouldn’t pick up something like this, but it was given to me as a gift, so I cracked it. It took me until about half-way through before I realized that it was the basis for the Johnny Depp/Roman Polanski flop “The Ninth Gate.” (Which I've yet to see). The Club Dumas was probably only the second detective novel I’ve read in the past five years, the other being Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn. While the novels have very little in common, I couldn’t help but notice the formulaic similarities, and though one is about a rare book collector in Spain and the other about a Tourette’s-inflicted driver in New York, neither seems able to avoid (or resist?) the clichés of the genre: •Both begin with the death of an older patron of the protagonist. •Our bumbling protagonist is then hesitantly lured into investigating the crime. •The protagonist is met with resistance by the dead man’s “sultry widow with a murky past” who tries to seduce him, but doesn't. (It is later revealed that the widow is sleeping with the protagonist’s presumed only ally(s).) •A beautiful younger woman (both described as being between 18 and 20 with short, black hair) comes out of nowhere and becomes instantly infatuated with our admittedly unattractive protagonist for reasons never stated. •A shadowy, violent figure stalks, then attacks our protagonist. He is rescued by the younger woman. •Clues lead him to a city up the coast where the main events of the plot are revealed to be the machinations of a clandestine, conspiratorial organization. Unfortunately, the strikingly familiar formula makes the only original and interesting aspects of each – Lionel’s battle with Tourette’s befuddling his efforts to solve the crime, or The Club Dumas’ references to esoterica and arcane literature which are clearly designed to appeal to pretentious literati (okay, so it worked ;P) – seem like little more than window dressing, leaving the core of the novel a warmed-over re-run. Hell, even the DaVinci Code contained most of the above formula. Motherless Brooklyn, with its exploration of small-time crime syndicates and short, sporadic sub-chapters (some no more than a few sentences long) which parallel the main character's own tourettic outbursts, was clearly the better written of the two. The Club Dumas’ constant dwelling upon “clues” which have all the subtlety of an out-of-control Sherman tank, results in the reader knowing exactly what is going to happen before they're even half-way through.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Scurra

    This book is a confidence trick. I mean that in the most complimentary way possible however; Perez-Reverte takes a perverse delight in not just yanking the rug out from under you but practically rebuilding the house around you while you are reading, without you noticing until it is almost too late! Put simply, this is a Quest novel. The protagonist (Corso) takes the Hero's Journey and all the archetypes are present and correct - indeed, one of them may be more of an archetype than even Corso (or This book is a confidence trick. I mean that in the most complimentary way possible however; Perez-Reverte takes a perverse delight in not just yanking the rug out from under you but practically rebuilding the house around you while you are reading, without you noticing until it is almost too late! Put simply, this is a Quest novel. The protagonist (Corso) takes the Hero's Journey and all the archetypes are present and correct - indeed, one of them may be more of an archetype than even Corso (or the reader) suspects - and yet neither Corso nor the reader are truly aware of what quest they are actually on. It also falls into that group of novels that require other reference points to properly appreciate. Just like a whole layer of Bridget Jones' Diary is lost if the reader is not well acquainted with Pride and Prejudice, so too The Dumas Club is much better if you've read the d'Artganan books (notably The Three Musketeers.) And the clever intertwining plotlines that keep the reader as baffled as Corso, whilst allowing you to remain just that half-a-step ahead is a fine juggling act that only really loses its way right at the end (indeed The Ninth Gate - the film version - manages to improve on the ending of the book, although it should be observed that it only does so by abandoning one whole half of the plot!) And this hook also belongs in that small group of novels in which the illustrations form an essential part of the plot (I can only think of Jasper Fforde's First Among Sequels that uses illustrations as an integral part of the story in a similar way.) So, despite the small flaw in the ending (which doesn't truly diminish the book, but is disappointing), this is a genuine classic.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Paul Ataua

    Lucas Corso is a book detective hired to authenticate a fragment of Alexander Dumas’s ‘Three Musketeers’ and is suddenly drawn into the world of the occult. It’s the novel that gave birth to the movie ‘The Ninth Gate’. To be honest, I felt the book was too clever by half. What is good in it, and there is quite a lot of good in it, is submerged in a sea of the superfluous, and I felt the book could have been at least a hundred to a hundred and fifty pages shorter and better for it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    This book is an homage to the swashbuckling adventure story, particularly the Three Musketeers like stories of Alexandre Dumas, pere. But I recommend it to anyone with a deep love for books (... which I would assume would be anyone who has taken the time to join this site in the first place...). I think that you'll recognize yourself in some of the characters, even in their most ridiculous adventures. I found myself variously giggling aloud, gasping in shock, and turning pages faster and faster This book is an homage to the swashbuckling adventure story, particularly the Three Musketeers like stories of Alexandre Dumas, pere. But I recommend it to anyone with a deep love for books (... which I would assume would be anyone who has taken the time to join this site in the first place...). I think that you'll recognize yourself in some of the characters, even in their most ridiculous adventures. I found myself variously giggling aloud, gasping in shock, and turning pages faster and faster like a fiend. Which is /exactly/ what a book of the swashbuckling adventure genre should do. Except that this book isn't about that most of the time. It is about wandering scholars, crazed professors, and eccentric, obsessed bibliophiles. My favorite book of Perez-Reverte's remains "The Flanders Panel," but this book is still very high on those that I love. And it has a higher action/creepout factor for those who like a little more "swash" in their swashbuckling homages. I highly recommend it. It's a great, absorbing read. One note: I suggest reading some Dumas, or you lose about half of the fun and cleverness of the novel. The end reveal couldn't possibly be as good without that background, I don't think. As a final note: I heard there was a movie made of this. I chose not to see it, and I heard I chose correctly. Don't judge it by that! This book is absolutely fantastic, and I'm sure the plot was mangled to make it more exciting for Hollywood audiences. Don't base your opinion of it on that.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Vonia

    I would be very interested in reading another work by this author, because his writing is remarkable. I feel, however, that it is not used to its potential sometimes. For example, on page 263, a sexual scene is described, but the extreme use of figurative language, especially the references in the similes and/or metaphors, are completely out of place with the tone of the rest of the chapter; the rest of the novel, actually. "Like the Titanic. Straight to the bottom", "Wellington... in a remote B I would be very interested in reading another work by this author, because his writing is remarkable. I feel, however, that it is not used to its potential sometimes. For example, on page 263, a sexual scene is described, but the extreme use of figurative language, especially the references in the similes and/or metaphors, are completely out of place with the tone of the rest of the chapter; the rest of the novel, actually. "Like the Titanic. Straight to the bottom", "Wellington... in a remote Belgian village...", "The Old Guard, or what remained of it, was glancing desperately", "... Chasing Prussians miles from the battlefield." Yes, Perez-Reverte is referring to Corso's penis and him becoming flaccid. Sometimes it works, but in scenes like this, it is awkwardly obvious that he is trying too hard. To utilize as many literary, historical, intelligent-seeming references as possible. To seem erudite. I say, to be pretentious. So when does it work? In many of his descriptions of individuals, from the physical traits to personality mannerisms, Perez-Reverte has a proficiency with using the right words. He often takes a page to introduce a character, but, amazingly, it never seems too long. A difficult thing to achieve. It is a rare occasion that I feel I know the character so well by the end of a story, let alone after the introductions. Literary references. Obviously, Alexandre Dumas is the most prevalent. Perez-Reverte dedicates two pages (87-88) to listing all of Dumas's novels. The entire series of events resembles exact scenes in The Three Musketeers; characters such as Athos Porthos, Aramis, D'Artagnan, Milady de Winter, Cardinal Richelieu, The Marquis (The Chevalier de la Maison Rouge) are featured. Even from Dumas's real life, like collaborator Auguste Maquet. The prologue, the very first murder, is in regards to Dumas's serial story, "The Anjou Wine". The protagonist is unraveling the mystery behind The Nine Doors. In short, there are three copies in three different collections in the world. Lucas Corso is hired by one of the owners, Varo Borja, to compare these copies. He is confident that his is a forgery. Corso is also told to acquire the other two, by "whatever means necessary". The differences are all in the engravings and the printer's marks. The title page and nine engravings and/or illustrations are actually included for the reader's visual references, along with diagrams Lucas Corso drew to aid his investigations, and a few illustrations directly from The Three Musketeers. As if all this is not enough, classic films from Casablanca to Goldfinger to Roman Holiday are also somehow given appearances. Now, I am the first to love a reference to other titles, be it authors, films, historical figures, etcetera, but it has to actually work with the story. Not forced. I always love when adult titles feature relevant illustrations. Other things are mentioned to make this a classic book lover's paradise, from woodcuttings to first editions to typesets. Definitely a noir, dark feel; black magic, numerous mentions of angels, fallen angels, Lucifer, Faust, The Brothers Karamozov, Dante. Latin manuscripts, tarot cards, philosophers, The Middle Ages, labyrinths. His "guardian angel" has the alias Irene Adler from Sherlock Holmes. She lives on Baker Street, of course. He met his close friend Flavio La Ponte through their mutual affinity for Melville (The Brotherhood of Nantucket Harpooners). My personal favorite is Corso's old lover, named Nikon. A photographer, of course. So, my point? There are many references. Too many. Some may find it the right number, maybe even not enough. Maybe I would agree, was I acquainted with all of the titles. Unfortunately, my favorite Dumas title is The Count of Monte Cristo (sparingly mentioned), I have not read many of these other classics (not my choice genre), and noir/gothic/mythology is not my forte. It thus seemed quite excessive, as if Perez-Reverte was trying to put everything he possibly could, provide cameo opportunities for all the things he loved, in this one novel. Including the typical, cliche detective story template. As for the thread of our novel regarding The Ninth Door, I honestly could not care less. For most of the story, Corso erroneously saw them as indubitably connected. But I never wanted them to be. The occult, black magic, gothic, religious material was trivial at best. I felt Perez-Reverte should have chosen one path there. (I recommend Susanna Clarke for an illuminating black magic/gothic novel done right). Again, more is not always better.... (view spoiler)[ As for the ending, although I can see why it was unsatisfactory for some, I felt it was creative enough. At least I admired the idea for The Club Dumas. Yes, as Balkan notes in the text, it is a dream. A dream come true. That would be highly unlikely in reality. Although, maybe not? Maybe I am not elite enough to receive such an invite to such an exclusive literary circle. Maybe I have, but, alas, would be unable to; am unable to reveal my membership? Would you believe me? The annual gathering of such prominent individuals, representing our childhoods; before me all became cynical. Giving in to the unadulterated love of adventure, reading, drama, stories. Innocence. How I wish to return to such times. Being adults is overrated. In my opinion, there are few such noble causes. (hide spoiler)] In all, an informative, suspenseful, enlightening read at best, but pretentious, unoriginal, and excessive at its worse. I wanted more from what I could see was great writing. More originality. More creativity. Less cliche. Less focus on referencing other stories. More of his story. The story I am confident his writing has the potential for. But lovers of classic Alexandre Dumas, especially The Three Musketeers, may be far more forgiving.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Paula W

    I liked this. I really, really liked this. Give me some modern day people figuring out hidden meanings in classical literature, and I’m all over it. Thank you, Sean Gibson, for suggesting this to me. It was PERFECT. I liked this. I really, really liked this. Give me some modern day people figuring out hidden meanings in classical literature, and I’m all over it. Thank you, Sean Gibson, for suggesting this to me. It was PERFECT.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    HUH? was my reaction to the end of this book and that is not a good reaction to have. I had such high hopes for this book - the premise seemed so entertaining - set in the world of rare book collecting, a mystery involving both Satan and Dumas. Talk about a let down! The main character, Corso, is so dull, I could care less what happens to him. His one friend - so irritating and their friendship is never explained. And don't get me started on the beautiful young girl who inexplicably falls for Co HUH? was my reaction to the end of this book and that is not a good reaction to have. I had such high hopes for this book - the premise seemed so entertaining - set in the world of rare book collecting, a mystery involving both Satan and Dumas. Talk about a let down! The main character, Corso, is so dull, I could care less what happens to him. His one friend - so irritating and their friendship is never explained. And don't get me started on the beautiful young girl who inexplicably falls for Corso. If I had to read one more time about her stunning green eyes & long, sexy tan legs....talk about a middle aged man's fantasy. Oh please. Same with every other character - a big fat who cares. The mystery is no better. Turns out there are two and neither are resolved very satisfactorily. The Dumas plotline peters out into a no big deal & the Satan plot is just abruptly dropped - hence my "huh" moment. Ok, maybe I'm an idiot who just didn't get it. SPOILERS:......................................... What the hell happened at the end? Did Corso kill Borja? Did Borja kill himself? Did the devil show up and take Borja to hell? Did Corso just leave Borja on the floor, acting crazy? And please please please tell me that the young girl was not a fallen angel? Oh, good grief. I am sad that I wasted part of my life reading this book. Do not make my mistake! I warn you!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Bea

    “One is never alone with a book nearby, don't you agree? Every page reminds us of a day that has passed and makes us relive the emotions that filled it. Happy hours underlined in red pencil, dark ones in black...” I almost never re-read books but I will be reading this one again... Once I get myself a copy :) This book is like the epitome of everything I like... dark, mysterious, a bit thrilling, literary and nerdy, devilish, and of course the occult. I didn't want it to end! I love Corso, but Ire “One is never alone with a book nearby, don't you agree? Every page reminds us of a day that has passed and makes us relive the emotions that filled it. Happy hours underlined in red pencil, dark ones in black...” I almost never re-read books but I will be reading this one again... Once I get myself a copy :) This book is like the epitome of everything I like... dark, mysterious, a bit thrilling, literary and nerdy, devilish, and of course the occult. I didn't want it to end! I love Corso, but Irene is the real HBIC. EDIT: It's my lucky day. walked to Book Off and found a hardcover for only five bucks!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Nothing like a mystery involving books, the rare book trade, bibliophiles involved in various unscrupulous and barely legal dealings, and then, of course, murder. This book has many parts and once it gets going it becomes an addictive read. Enjoy. I call it a cerebral mystery as there is quite a plot to follow. If following the works of Dumas and tracing the back story on some 17th century occult texts sounds interesting (and believe me it is), give this a try.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Maryam

    One of those books that get better as they progress. A very surprising ending. Recommended if you're into books about books and thrillers. One of those books that get better as they progress. A very surprising ending. Recommended if you're into books about books and thrillers.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    This book was recommended to me by a friend some time ago and I thought I would give it another go. I have to say that it took me a while to get in to the style and storyline but in the end I realised I had more fun reading it than I was expecting. The reason for this was that not only was the storyline entertaining and fresh (although in retrospect I realised I can think of a couple of other books that use the same plot device) but also it had the secondary enjoyment of spotting references to o This book was recommended to me by a friend some time ago and I thought I would give it another go. I have to say that it took me a while to get in to the style and storyline but in the end I realised I had more fun reading it than I was expecting. The reason for this was that not only was the storyline entertaining and fresh (although in retrospect I realised I can think of a couple of other books that use the same plot device) but also it had the secondary enjoyment of spotting references to other books. Now without giving away any of the plot there are a number of references to books - some of them are fictitious while others are most certainly are not - for me it was fun trying to work out which was which and in the case of one title even further investigation to see how they were able to incorporate it in to this storyline. So yes a clever book which did not fall in to that all too common trap - where the author is trying to demonstrate how clever they are (or who well read they are).

  19. 4 out of 5

    Willow

    I actually read The Club Dumas because I was frustrated with the ending of The Ninth Gate. Roman Polanski made his film like a noir mystery, but never really provided the explanation at the end that you expect from this kind of movie. Grrrr I’m glad though that it made me check out this book. I so rarely read contemporary, I would have missed this. The Club Dumas is much different. Unlike the movie there are two books and two stories that run parallel to each other. I love how Arturo pulls you in I actually read The Club Dumas because I was frustrated with the ending of The Ninth Gate. Roman Polanski made his film like a noir mystery, but never really provided the explanation at the end that you expect from this kind of movie. Grrrr I’m glad though that it made me check out this book. I so rarely read contemporary, I would have missed this. The Club Dumas is much different. Unlike the movie there are two books and two stories that run parallel to each other. I love how Arturo pulls you into this musty, closeted society of book dealers and bibliophiles. And he takes the reader all over Europe. To be honest, I would never have imagined Johnny Depp as Lucas Corso if I had read the book first. Corso is described so fully, with nuance and personality. He’s not really evil, but he has some immoral proclivities which set him up. I rather liked his laid back style. There is society in this book that loves The Three Musketeers (which is my favorite book) and the characters discuss the novel at length. I found it quite fascinating and it made me come away appreciating Dumas even more. And finally, yes the ending was much more satisfying in the book then in the movie. Everything is explained so much more, and it fits the tone of the story so much better. I want to read another book Arturo Pérez-Reverte. I’m thinking The Flanders Panel or The Fencing Master. I’m not sure which though.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lady Selene Mayfair

    A rainbow is the bridge between Heaven and Hell. It will shatter at the end of the world, once the Devil has crossed it on horseback. FORTUNA NON OMNIBUS AEQUE. - Fate is not the same for all.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Grace Tjan

    "...when it comes to books, conventional morality doesn't exist." The Club Dumas is ostensibly a mystery, but the real mystery here is the depth of our obsession with books, not just for what is contained therein, but also for their physical selves: the luxurious vellum or shagreen bindings, the fading gilt letters on their spines, the linen papers that would stay fresh for three hundred years, the rare first editions and complete serials that cost a small fortune. And what is written inside can "...when it comes to books, conventional morality doesn't exist." The Club Dumas is ostensibly a mystery, but the real mystery here is the depth of our obsession with books, not just for what is contained therein, but also for their physical selves: the luxurious vellum or shagreen bindings, the fading gilt letters on their spines, the linen papers that would stay fresh for three hundred years, the rare first editions and complete serials that cost a small fortune. And what is written inside can change our lives, influences our perception of reality and even drives us mad with forbidden knowledge. The other mystery inherent in all narratives is the narrator. How faithful is he to the reality of his subject? How much embellishment does he add to the bare bones of the story? Is he telling us the unvarnished truth or instead coddles us with beautiful lies? Did Borja ever meet the devil? Who really killed Enrique Taillefer? Was the girl who called herself Irene Adler really the devil incarnate? How reliable is Boris Balkan, the 'nearly omniscient' narrator? A page-turner of a mystery with some loose ends. The conclusion is either briliant or a cop-out, depending on your taste.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mirko Gustic

    Everyone has devil he deserves. Perez-Reverte is as good as Eco. (La Repubblica) Perez-Reverte better than Eco. (Sorry for not being sorry, but it's true.) (Mirko Gustic) I want you to picture this situation. There is this incredibly smart and educated DEVOTEE of Alexandre Dumas, who luckily enough isn't a teacher (who by needs you to prove worthy before obtaining information) as certain somebody(who still deserves a lot of respect) is. Let's call him Arturo. And Arturo decides to cook a delicious Everyone has devil he deserves. Perez-Reverte is as good as Eco. (La Repubblica) Perez-Reverte better than Eco. (Sorry for not being sorry, but it's true.) (Mirko Gustic) I want you to picture this situation. There is this incredibly smart and educated DEVOTEE of Alexandre Dumas, who luckily enough isn't a teacher (who by needs you to prove worthy before obtaining information) as certain somebody(who still deserves a lot of respect) is. Let's call him Arturo. And Arturo decides to cook a delicious mixture of Dumas's life, with big fat slice of his books, spiced just enough with some of other books you most certainly love. And he's playful. And he's provides some invaluable wisdom nuggets if you feel like having some. Result, obviously, is a book even great Johnny Depp nor Roman Polanski won't mind being associated with;).(Although please don't get me started on that.) And, would you be to angry if I take a minute to praise Goodreads while I have your attention? Couple months ago, I was quite out of inspiration on what to read next and felt like most of the best books I've read. (And that's sad perspective even at age 95 for a bookworm.) Then found couple of great GREAT lists and I feel all set. (Probably til age 95). Enough of this sentimental breakdown. Back to work!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Glen

    A jaded book detective is hired to authenticate a portion of the original Three Musketeers. A number of book collectors want it, including at least one who will kill for it. The detective travels around, seemingly re-living part of the manuscript, while chasing and being chased by the killer. A bit odd, but still very good.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    I realized as I got 1/4 into this book that I've read it before. It's sort of a confusing tale - I was pretty sure I had read this years ago when I read The Flanders Panel and The Seville Communion. The book I thought it was started with a man in the library of a home that is burning down, but the summary on the back cover wasn't ringing any bells, so I thought that maybe I was wrong about reading it before. I was right that I'd read it before, but it wasn't the book with the man in the fire. It I realized as I got 1/4 into this book that I've read it before. It's sort of a confusing tale - I was pretty sure I had read this years ago when I read The Flanders Panel and The Seville Communion. The book I thought it was started with a man in the library of a home that is burning down, but the summary on the back cover wasn't ringing any bells, so I thought that maybe I was wrong about reading it before. I was right that I'd read it before, but it wasn't the book with the man in the fire. It's difficult to give much information plot-wise about The Club Dumas without spoiling anything, so I'll just say that it involves rare book collectors, The Three Musketeers, books that are portals to the Devil, and five bajillion book references. It's a thriller and mystery for bibliophiles, one of my favorite types of books. Its only weakness is the ending, something I've found in all of Pérez-Reverte's books. I remember getting to the end of The Flanders Panel and saying, eh? what? He does such a fantastic job weaving a mysterious tale that just pulls you along, and then the endings sort of throw out a solution that isn't wholly satisfying. I think my main issue is that I never really understand the motivations of the villains. I always wonder if something was lost in translation, if Pérez-Reverte just isn't very good at ending things, or if I'm just obtuse. Despite that, I still think Pérez-Reverte is a magnificent author and I didn't mind reading this again. I would certainly recommend reading The Three Musketeers first to fully enjoy the pervasive references -- if you haven't read it, you need to run, not walk, to your library or bookstore ASAP because there's just no excuse for that! As a side note, I'd appreciate any recommendations that are in a similar vein (books about books, especially mysteries or thrillers), and if anyone knows what book I was referring to in my first paragraph with the guy in the burning library (it also featured collectors of occult books), I'd love it if you refreshed my memory about its title.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    A lot of fun for this Dumas fan! This book is somewhat similar to what I imagine you would get if you crossed The Name of the Rose with Angels and Demons; lots of demonology, antiquarian books and Dumas in a thriller. My only regret is that I didn't read it last year once I had completed the entire d'Artagnan series. At least my memory of the characters and events was relatively fresh. A lot of fun for this Dumas fan! This book is somewhat similar to what I imagine you would get if you crossed The Name of the Rose with Angels and Demons; lots of demonology, antiquarian books and Dumas in a thriller. My only regret is that I didn't read it last year once I had completed the entire d'Artagnan series. At least my memory of the characters and events was relatively fresh.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Vasilis

    This book was everything I was hoping for! It had suspense, a marvellous plot and for someone like myself, who enjoys classic literature, the links to classics made the story even more interesting. The story is very much linked to The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas and Dumas has always been one of my favourite writers. Reading “The Club Dumas”, I have learned a lot about Dumas, his life and his books. I would happily give 5/5 stars to this book, if only it wasn’t for the rather disappointing This book was everything I was hoping for! It had suspense, a marvellous plot and for someone like myself, who enjoys classic literature, the links to classics made the story even more interesting. The story is very much linked to The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas and Dumas has always been one of my favourite writers. Reading “The Club Dumas”, I have learned a lot about Dumas, his life and his books. I would happily give 5/5 stars to this book, if only it wasn’t for the rather disappointing ending. The ending feels rushed, rather expected , but at the same time leaves unanswered questions in relation to the plot, But, other than the ending itself, the book is super!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joy D

    Set in Spain, Portugal, and France, antiquarian book dealer Lucas Corso is hired to research the authenticity of a rare manuscript purportedly written by Alexander Dumas. He is provided a copy of another book, The Nine Doors, that is rumored to contain information on how to summon Satan, and asked to investigate the two remaining copies, which may be forgeries. During these two investigations he meets people who resemble characters in Dumas’ The Three Musketeers. This is a book for lovers of bo Set in Spain, Portugal, and France, antiquarian book dealer Lucas Corso is hired to research the authenticity of a rare manuscript purportedly written by Alexander Dumas. He is provided a copy of another book, The Nine Doors, that is rumored to contain information on how to summon Satan, and asked to investigate the two remaining copies, which may be forgeries. During these two investigations he meets people who resemble characters in Dumas’ The Three Musketeers. This is a book for lovers of books. It contains a mystery within a mystery. It contains a plethora of literary references, past book printing and binding techniques, historical information about the life of Alexander Dumas, and an in-depth examination of the characters in The Three Musketeers. This book requires active engagement by the reader and is not a quick read. It is an elaborate puzzle, and the reader will need to pay close attention to details, especially early in the story, as these come into play later on. Though the author provides context, to get the most out of this book, it is helpful to have somewhat recently read The Three Musketeers. I enjoyed the portions about Corso traveling around Europe to immerse himself in ancient book collections. Once it gets to the possible connections to the occult, it gets a little outlandish. Do not be surprised if it is difficult, if not impossible, to solve the mystery before being provided a large amount of information near the end. 3.5

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mohammed Sheikh

    Visit the blog---https://Mohammed's review.wordpress.com The club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte Lucas Corso an antique book dealer from Spain gets a piece of Alexander Dumas's The three musketeers draft written by Dumas himself. Later Corso summoned by Varo Borja, a wealthy book collector from Toledo, Spain. He also insist him to find the falsification of the legendary book " The nine doors of the kingdom of Shadows" that he owns and he believes there is only one copy of this,when actually there i Visit the blog---https://Mohammed's review.wordpress.com The club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte Lucas Corso an antique book dealer from Spain gets a piece of Alexander Dumas's The three musketeers draft written by Dumas himself. Later Corso summoned by Varo Borja, a wealthy book collector from Toledo, Spain. He also insist him to find the falsification of the legendary book " The nine doors of the kingdom of Shadows" that he owns and he believes there is only one copy of this,when actually there is three copies. Corso is now on the move reaching to different countries to find the truth. Disappointing stuff to be honest, didn't enjoyed any beat of this thriller. Of course there is lot to learn, many information available in this book but somehow everything didn't come to a point. Rating: 1/5

  29. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    This was a very odd book unlike anything I've ever read. Fortunately, it was a very intriguing odd book, but also a book that required a vast literary background to really understand. Every other word seemed to be an allusion to some famous classic. Besides the fact that you MUST have read The 3 Musketeers before this book, other recommended titles include: The Count of Monte Cristo, Twenty Years After, Paradise Lost, Dante's Inferno, Mutiny on the Bounty, Notre Dame de Paris, Cyrano de Bergerac This was a very odd book unlike anything I've ever read. Fortunately, it was a very intriguing odd book, but also a book that required a vast literary background to really understand. Every other word seemed to be an allusion to some famous classic. Besides the fact that you MUST have read The 3 Musketeers before this book, other recommended titles include: The Count of Monte Cristo, Twenty Years After, Paradise Lost, Dante's Inferno, Mutiny on the Bounty, Notre Dame de Paris, Cyrano de Bergerac, etc. etc... The story line--I suppose it sort of existed--went something like this: Lucius Corso is a cynical old bibliophile wrapped up in a mess involving two ancient manuscripts and murder. Lots of it. You'll enjoy this book if you've done some classical reading, and if you don't mind learning a bit (a lot!) as you go along...about about ancient book binding and printing, how the 3 Musketeers was written, and of Dumas himself. I also found Corso's sneaking suspicion that he might himself be a character in a novel to be entertaining, especially when he wanted to "kick the head of whoever was writing this ridiculous script." However, the ending was confusing, especially if you didn't stop to think about what was happening...but the last line was very fitting: "and everyone gets the devil he deserves".

  30. 5 out of 5

    Fred Klein

    An incredible reading experience for those who love books, especially readers of the D'Artagnan Romances and Sherlock Holmes stories. The main character tracks down and investigates antique books for wealthy clients, and he is involved in a confusing investigation concerning an original manuscript of a chapter from "The Three Musketeers" and books that are supposed to help one summon the Devil. He is being hounded by what appears to be a live character from "The Three Musketeers" and aided by a An incredible reading experience for those who love books, especially readers of the D'Artagnan Romances and Sherlock Holmes stories. The main character tracks down and investigates antique books for wealthy clients, and he is involved in a confusing investigation concerning an original manuscript of a chapter from "The Three Musketeers" and books that are supposed to help one summon the Devil. He is being hounded by what appears to be a live character from "The Three Musketeers" and aided by a woman who goes by the name "Irene Adler" of Sherlock Holmes fame. It's a fascinating and wild ride -- much better than the Roman Polanski film "The Ninth Gate", which cut out the parts of the plot that bibilophiles will love most. April 8, 2021: I just read this book again, and, interestingly, this time I was not blown away as I was the first time. Instead I found it confusing and pedantic, with the author trying to impress us with how well-read he is. It’s amazing how one may have different reactions to the same book at different times.

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