Der Club Dumas

ISBN: 3442721938
ISBN 13: 9783442721931
By: Arturo Pérez-Reverte Claudia Schmitt

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About this book

Lucas Corso sucht im Auftrag von Händlern und Sammlern nach seltenen Erstausgaben und prachtvollen Wiegendrucken. Zwei bibliophile Kostbarkeiten werden dem Bücherjäger zum Verhängnis: ein wertvoller okkulter Band, dessen Drucker vor Jahrhunderten auf dem Scheiterhaufen endete, und das Kapitel eines Originalmanuskripts von Alexandre Dumas. Manche Bücherschätze entzünden offensichtlich Leidenschaften, die geradewegs in den Wahnsinn führen...

Reader's Thoughts

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 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.

Aditya Hadi

What an amazing books !!If you really like books, you must like this book. Arturo Perez-Reverte brought us to a story where a novel plots become real. Corso is a book dealer who will do any job regarding books. His friends, La Porte, brought him a manuscript of a chapter of The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. Its previous owner was hung himself to death. La Porte than ask Corso to check the manuscript's authenticity. Not a long time after that, a rich book maniac gave him an extraordinary job, to check the authenticity of a satanic book by compare it with its other copy.This is where the weirdness began. The entire person in The Three Musketeers came alive, at least in Corso's mind. There are Rochefort, Cardinal Richelieu, and aven Milady de Winter. Some important person regarding to the satanic books died. Rochefort tried to catch him like The Novel's Rochefort deal with D'Artagnan. Corso also met a suspicious girl in a lot of occasion that finally help him solve the mystery.I like the way Reverte told the story with a lot of points of view, even with the villain view. I never see it in other books before. We will get important information regarding the history of the creation of The Three Musketeers, and how its fans deal with it right now. Once again, what a great book in literary fiction.Why I'm not give 5 stars? I don't like the way Reverte use some kind of imagination that was used by Salman Rushdie in Midnight's Children and Satanic Verses. It made an uncomfortable mix of the story in my mind.What I remember most of the book? It said : The way readers react to a story is a sum up of the books that they read, movies that they watched, and music that they listened before. They are so not objective. Thus, we have to try a different view to get a true purpose of the book's author.


Traído por los pelosQué decepcionante esta novela que empecé a leer con mucha expectativa por el tema fascinante y original de los libros raros y las pasiones que despiertan. El enigma del libro de magia negra prometió mucho suspenso y quizás « Dumas con su genio enorme y su talento habría insuflado vida en aquella materia prima, conviertiendola en obra maestra » pero Arturo Pérez-Reverte seguramente no lo logra. La tensión se pierde en escenas a menudo irrelevantes y demasiado largas y detalles supérfluos. El autor hace decir a Boris Balkan que « hay que asumir la trama y los personajes para disfrutar la historia » y aquí exactamente reside el problema.Como vamos a asumir una trama tan confusa y traída por los pelos que gira alrededor de un supuesto nexo oscuro entre « Los Tres Mosqueteros » y el libro satánico. En vez de entusiasmar al lector con una solución del enigma sorprendente y satisfactoria, todo termina en un final débil y forzado que ya no interesa a nadie.Ni hablar de los personajes que nunca cobran vida y los pésimos diálogos. Me cansé de las innumerables referencias a las muecas de conejo/lobo, la gabardina arrugada y los lentes con marco de metal de Corso, los ojos verdes, la tez tostada y el cuello desnudo de la chica (personaje totalmente supérfluo y sin sentido), las caderas anchas, la carne blanca y las uñas lacadas en rojo sangre de Liana de Taillefer, etc. etc. Lucas Corso es un tal « pescado frío » que quién se va a creer su historia de amor eterno con « Nikon » ? Me imagino que las escenas de sexo entre él y Liana y él y la chica (ridícula además) fueron incluidas para convencernos de que Corso es una persona de carne y hueso y con pasiones. Pero resultaron poco convincentes y el protagonista siempre quedó pura figura de cartón piedra.Esta novela ha sido comparada con « El Nombre de la Rosa » pero Arturo Pérez-Reverte está muy, pero muy lejos de llegar a la altura de Umberto Eco.


This book was as fantastic as I expected it to be. I recently read all three of Dumas's books about the musketeers: The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After and The Vicomte de Bragelonne. While this is not necessary to fully appreciate The Club Dumas, I was glad I had the background. Knowledge of the story of The Three Musketeers would certainly enhance your reading experience. At any rate, this book is a book nerd's dream. I was ecstatic that within a couple chapters both The Vicomte de Bragelonne and Scaramouche (by Rafael Sabatini) had been quoted. Corso is a very endearing character, despite his seeming lack of compassion for those who get in the way of his work. I was enthralled with this story from the very beginning right through to the end. I definitely recommend it!

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 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.


Well, this one is a good one. For those who like puzzles this book is a great option. It runs through three lines: Corso, the main character is hired to do some research about an ancient book, of which every copy was burned in Italy in the 16th century, due to charges of witchcraft and satanism. On the other side, it runs along some of the hand written texts the Dumas novel The Three Musketeers and the Count of Montecristo. It also has as an intertext the topic of the Devil in love.Pérez-Reverte places this novel in Europe, and especially one of the characters turns out to be, in the end, a great acomplishment in narrative terms. Keeps you in with the typical stress of thrillers, but in the background lies a great canvas of literary history and theory that makes this piece a delight for lovers of challenging readings.Perhaps it is easier to appreciate it if you read it in it's original spanish and not prejudiced by the film version on Roman Polanski, The Ninth Gate.


I saw "Ninth Gate" in the theater in Denton, TX. At the end, a redneck stood up and said, "That's bullshit." I agreed and was disappointed in the quick wrap-up.The book, however, shows another storyline that was completely ignored by the movie. The ending was good and not bullshit.I love charts in novels and this one has them. It also has the engravings from the book that the novel is based on.I hope to find a novel based on Event Horizon.Other good novels with a movie brother: Jaws, The Postman.Novel I had to put down because the movie followed it too well: PerfumeNovel based on the movie that follows the movie well: Raiders of the Lost Ark


Perché leggere Zafòn quando si può leggere Pérez-Reverte?La vita è retta dal caso e ben poco viene a collimare, ma quando troviamo lo stesso schema in letteratura ci sentiamo presi un po’ in giro.Lucas Corso è un mercenario bibliofilo senza scrupoli: compra e vende con metodi poco ortodossi, indaga sulla storia dei libri, giudica vecchi incunaboli, si prostituisce al migliore offerente eseguendo per lui il lavoro sporco, e non esitando ad affidare ad altri quello ancora più sporco. Corso è privo di emozioni, quando non strettamente attinenti alla sfera dei libri antichi, e bravo a fingere come il migliore dei manipolatori; ha un unico amico –se di amicizia si può parlare-, il libraio dongiovanni Flavio La Ponte (italiano, inutile chiederlo: pare che i nostri uomini all’estero abbiano questa fama), nessuna compagna, nessun legame. La storia, narrata da un personaggio interno onnisciente -Boris Balkan- inizia prima che Corso compaia in scena, e precisamente con la morte per impiccagione (suicidio od omicidio, difficile stabilirlo) di Enrique Taillefer, influente collezionista di libri antichi. Poco prima di morire, il riccone commissiona a Flavio La Ponte la vendita di un capitolo manoscritto dei Tre moschettieri, “Il vino d’Angiò”, ed è qui che Corso viene incaricato delle indagini dall’amico Flavio. Questo, tuttavia, non è l’unico filo conduttore del romanzo: poco dopo, Corso viene convocato da Varo Borja, collezionista senza scrupoli di libri sul diavolo, che lo ingaggia per provare l’autenticità del suo Le nove porte del regno delle ombre, volume in latino stampato nel XVII secolo e di cui esistono solo tre copie certificate. Aristide Torchia, lo stampatore, fu bruciato dall’Inquisizione insieme alle sue opere per aver dichiarato di essere stato ispirato dal Diavolo in persona. In fondo al volume, nove incisioni che richiamano i Tarocchi e la simbologia esoterica.Tocca a Corso recarsi a Lisbona ad esaminare il volume della collezione Fargas –appartenente a un nobile in disgrazia- e poi a Parigi per giudicare quello della vedova Ungern, appassionata anch’essa del Diavolo e scrittrice di libri esoterici. Sulle sue tracce, tuttavia, c’è un misterioso figuro dai baffi neri con la faccia sfigurata da una cicatrice, che Corso soprannomina prontamente Rochefort per la sua somiglianza fisica con il mortale nemico di D’Artagnan. E sembra che il feuilleton di Dumas prenda vita, quando anche Milady fa la sua comparsa nella persona di Liana Lausauca, la vedova Taillefer, intenzionata a riprendersi “Il vino d’Angiò” a ogni costo.L’intreccio, dunque, è già notevolmente complicato: Corso intuisce una connessione tra Dumas e le Nove Porte, e inizia a indagare in quella direzione. Il cardinale Richelieu, infatti, sembrava non essere esattamente estraneo al mondo esoterico. Ulteriori omicidi, inoltre, rischiano di coinvolgere il mercenario nella storia del libro del Diavolo più di quanto non gli aggradi. I personaggi, i luoghi e gli eventi dei Tre Moschettieri sembrano essersi materializzati nella realtà. Lo studio delle incisioni dei tre esemplari delle Nove Porte rivela risultati inaspettati. A complicare il tutto, una strana ragazza dai capelli biondi e corti sembra incrociare troppo spesso la strada di Corso, presentandosi con il nome di Irene Adler, la donna che beffò Sherlock Holmes in uno dei racconti di Conan Doyle.Arturo Pérez-Reverte non si accontenta di intrecciare tutti i fili della narrazione in uno: ed ecco che il finale del libro non è scontato, nemmeno per chi ha visto il film.Per farla breve, è apprezzabile il tentativo di Pérez-Reverte di tentare un intreccio così macchinoso e contorto: l’autore, però, non ha tenuto conto del fatto che, quando si carica in questo modo il lettore di aspettative, qualunque sia la risoluzione prescelta quasi certamente non risulterà soddisfacente. Il club Dumas resta in bilico tra il thriller e il gotico, senza sbilanciarsi con troppa convinzione verso quest’ultimo nonostante lo promettesse fin dalle prime pagine, e accelerando inutilmente la narrazione nel finale.Molto accurato, invece, lo stile dell’autore: superiore a molti suoi connazionali contemporanei, mi viene da suggerire malignamente che il romanzo non abbia venduto quanto L’ombra del vento perché troppo ostico per il lettore medio da spiaggia. Il paragone con quel romanzo in particolare risulta spontaneo, essendo in sostanza entrambi gialli che si muovono nel mondo dei libri. Al contrario di quella di Zafòn, asettica ed elementare, la prosa di Pérez-Reverte è ricca e i periodi sono ragionevolmente lunghi: indugia molto sulla terminologia specifica che riguarda manoscritti e incunaboli. Per di più, il romanzo è accompagnato dalle incisioni delle Nove Porte (di tutti e tre gli esemplari del libro) e dalle tabelle compilate dal protagonista durante i suoi studi sul campo. Consigliato agli amanti dei thriller, agli appassionati del genere gotico, a chi apprezza Dumas (abbondano i riferimenti alla sua vita e alle sue opere), o semplicemente a chi adora i libri sui libri.


I just can't get enough of books about books! I actually discovered this book via the Johnny Depp movie The Ninth Gate. The movie changes much of the book's plot, as most film adaptations of novels do. The novel is fuller, with A and B plot strands which interweave throughout; The Anjou Wine vs. The Nine Doors. I really enjoyed this book. I found it to be a nice mix of Chandler-esque hard-boiled detective fiction with a dash of comedy, an ounce of historical Da Vinci Code like intrigue, with a hint of possible supernatural horror. A great combination in my opinion. Being a book collector myself, I relished the descriptions of book shops and antique vellum volumes. The exteded discussions of how to forge an antique book were interesting as well. Great stuff! Probably not for all tastes, as the reviews seem to indicate. Looks like folks either love it or hate it. I would presume that those who love books, who are collectors at heart, will enjoy this. While those who don't will find this reather tedious, perhaps even boring.


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".

Andrea Petrullo

This was a great summer read. The style reminded me of Umberto Eco, though the plot was very fast-paced. The Club Dumas is a mystery whose protagonist is a book detective of sorts, so it was right up my alley. It helped a little that I've read The Three Musketeers, though it wasn't nessesary to understand the plot. I think the best thing about it was that even though it was a fast read, it was beautifuly written and made me feel like I was learning something.


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.


The problem with books about books is that they often come off sounding dry. To be honest, I probably wouldn't have even finished this one if I hadn't already seen the movie. I don't say that often, and the fact that I'm saying it now is very sad, considering that "The Ninth Gate" is only barely based off of this book in the first place.I liked the first person point of view--I don't read many books that feature that, much less pull it off, and the only negative thing I can say about it here is that the narrator isn't present for much of the story. I liked how Lucas was totally ignorant of the connection between his two manuscripts. I also liked how the author found a way to tie together two seemingly unrelated things (Dumas and the Devil).This book didn't quite achieve the level of crazy that The Dante Club managed, and for that I am grateful. It's probably one of the other reasons I kept reading. The characters were much more believable, even the experts, who apparently have Dumas' work and his life memorized.


I adored this book--beautifully written, and a veritable buffet for book lovers--it's twisty and wonderfully strange--the constant literary references were a true delight. I loved the film "The Ninth Gate", regardless of critics reviews and Polanski's commentary on the film made me want to read this even more. Even though it is quite different than the film I loved the differences. I was crazy for the fleshed out version of "the girl" a.k.a. Irene Adler. I was fascinated by the twists and turns and instead of hating the film or hating the book, I enjoyed both for different reasons. I liked the details not found in the film and the deeper literary references. I know many folks who are snotty about someone being inspired to read a book after seeing a film, but frankly I had not heard of this book until I had seen the film despite working professionally as a bookseller for 12 years. I think no matter what inspires someone to read it's a wonderful thing. I would highly recommend this book--it's entertaining, funny, fascinating and well written. I think both history buffs and book buffs would enjoy this one.

Zakariah Johnson

A fun, witty, erudite, and wonderfully arrogant wink within a wink within a wink, The Club Dumas is a post-modern murder mystery starring a mercenary book dealer, Lucas Corso, on the hunt for the authentic incunabulum that will summon the Devil. His course is filled with beautiful descriptions of European cities, very European characters, and a literary heritage worth killing for. Did Alexandre Dumas make a pact with the Devil, and doesn't every writer? If those questions interest you, this novel about novels (and too many great books and writers are involved to name) should entertain you or any reader who has long lost the innocence to read a book solely on one level.

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