New York Times review
Times Online review
Yay! The second installment in Arturo Perez-Reverte's Captain Alastriste series is out in the bookstores. Go get it! ;)
Why is it there's always someone who will stare in disbelief (and an occasion bit of scorn) when I make it known I have a penchant for swashbuckling "pulp-fiction" like these? The last time I picked up Isabel Allende's Zorro, Ms F's response was an incredulous "Why?".
Why cannot? And why is reading George R. R. Martin's A Storm of Swords unbecoming for me? An ex-classmate actually asked if I bought the book for someone else.
"Wah, read modern high fantasy meh? So low-class," says he.
Get a clue, lah. I read whatever I want to. Don't tell me it's "so not you!" I AM reading it, and it's me. What it is not - your erroneous assumption of my taste.
But why Arturo Perez-Reverte? I like his characters, where the men are masculine and heroic in a world-wearied way. They stand like forgotten knights on a high plateau, standing on a line, between two lights. (I am para-quoting Perez-Reverte here.)
And his women. They are dark, beautiful and inscrutable. They lead men to bad ends. In The Seville Communion, one such dark lady lights her cigarette, waits for the lighter to cool a little before tucking it under her bra-strap. A simple chain of small gestures, but charged with a noirish eroticism.
I like. ;p