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Arturo Pérez-Reverte: The Flanders Panel

Discussion in 'Fiction Books' started by Dogmatix, May 26, 2006.

  1. Dogmatix

    Dogmatix New Member

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    Has anyone read this? Would you recommend?

    The Flanders Panel Arturo Perez Reverte



    From Amazon's Website:
    When an art restorer sets out to solve the riddle of a 15th-century masterpiece in this uneven but intriguing, multilayered thriller, she finds that one murder begets another, down through five centuries. Young, beautiful art expert Julia works in Madrid for the Prado as well as for various local galleries and auctioneers. Her painstaking cleaning of The Game of Chess , by Flemish master Pieter Van Huys, uncovers a Latin inscription--painted over by the artist--with the question "Who killed the knight?" Julia explores this mystery with the aid of Cesar, a middle-aged, homosexual antiques dealer who has become something of a surrogate father figure for her; Alvaro, her art professor ex-lover; and Munoz, a mildly antisocial chess master. When Alvaro dies--possibly murdered--Van Huys's riddle becomes relevant not only to the figures and chess pieces represented in his painting but also to Julia and her friends in this rather seamy art community. The author, a TV journalist in Spain, makes interesting use of the chessboard as metaphor for various human interactions, and his characters' sleuthy analysis of the painting's symbols and the details of its frozen chess game is clever and quite suspenseful. But the characters themselves are carelessly drawn cartoons--perhaps distorted in translation--and prone to rather sophomoric pronouncements on aesthetic and philosophical issues. And--highbrow pretensions aside--the whodunit aspect of the narrative is resolved unconvincingly, with disappointing conventionality. Film rights to Filmania.
     
  2. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    I have not read the book, in fact did not know the name of it, but I did see part (most) of a film that must have been based on this book. Actually, although it was a bit immature, for want of a better word, the story itself was interesting.
    Shucks, now that I actually know the name of the book, I have to look......

    :D
     
  3. Dogmatix

    Dogmatix New Member

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    Thanks for the imput. :) I'll report back after I've read it. I enjoyed The Club Dumas and that is why I picked up The Flanders Panel. I hope it dosen't dissapoint. I'll let you know if the book falls short of my expectations or if the movie was just crap.

    Thanks!
     
  4. Kookamoor

    Kookamoor New Member

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    I read this one and really liked it (check out the first sentence, it's a pearler). I must say that I did not like the ending
    it's a tad too Agatha Christie-esque for my liking, in the way that the fellow reveals all and explains his motivations. Perez-Reverte seemed once again to get to the end and want to quickly wrap it up, rather than continue the beauty in the rest of the story. I found the Club Dumas to be of similar flaw.


    That being said, however, I still loved the book, and I thought that it's subject matter was beautiful. It gave me a fresh outlook on the great Masterpieces and made me want to learn more about the painters behind the pieces.
     
  5. dragondrool

    dragondrool New Member

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    I read The Flanders Panel about a month or so ago. I really liked it a lot, actually.
     
  6. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    That settles it for me. I love Agatha Christie! :)
     
  7. Ronny

    Ronny Well-Known Member

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    I finished the Flanders Panel last night and I did like it, not quite as much as I liked the Club Dumas though. That could have a lot to do with my feelings towards Chess, as I have never really cared to learn the game, My hubby will most likely enjoy the book more than I as he is a huge fan of Chess and was very interested in the book when I told him about it. I did think the book was a very classic mystery, it had that feel as Kook mentioned of an Agatha Christie and for fans of the genre it is a good read. I'll definitely read more by him, I have Queen of the South already.
     
  8. Dogmatix

    Dogmatix New Member

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    Well I did eventually buy the book after all your recommendations. Of course now it's in the TBR pile which means I should be getting to it before I die :eek:
     
  9. venusunfolding

    venusunfolding New Member

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    This was the 2nd of his books that I read, and I really enjoyed it. After working my way through all but 2 of his books I have to say that The Flanders Panel is one of his best.
     
  10. Ronny

    Ronny Well-Known Member

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    Which of his books did you like best? I plan to read them all if I have a chance.
     
  11. Dogmatix

    Dogmatix New Member

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    Well that just moved it nearer to the top of the TBR. :) I have only read The Club Dumas myself but thoroughly enjoyed it.
     

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