|Born||Arturo Pérez-Reverte Gutiérrez
25 November 1951
Cartagena, Murcia, Spain
|Notable work(s)||The adventures of Captain Alatriste|
Arturo Pérez-Reverte Gutiérrez (born 25 November 1951 in Cartagena) is a Spanish novelist and journalist. He worked as a war correspondent for RTVE and was a war correspondent for twenty one years (1973–1994). His first novel, El húsar, set in the Napoleonic Wars, was released in 1986. He is well known outside Spain for his "Alatriste" series of novels. He is now a member of the Royal Spanish Academy, a position he has held since 12 June 2003.
Pérez-Reverte's novels are usually centered on one strongly defined character, and his plots move along swiftly, often featuring a narrator who is part of the story but apart from it. Most of his novels take place in Spain or around the Mediterranean, and often draw on numerous references to Spanish history, colonial past, art and culture, ancient treasures and the sea. The novels frequently deal with some of the major issues of modern Spain such as drug trafficking or the relationship of religion and politics.
Often, Pérez-Reverte's novels have two plots running in parallel with very little connection between them except for shared characters. For example, in The Club Dumas, the protagonist is searching the world for a lost book and keeps meeting people who parallel figures from Dumas novels; the movie made from it, The Ninth Gate, did not feature the Dumas connection with no loss of narrative momentum. In The Flanders Panel, a contemporary serial killer is juxtaposed with the mystery of a 500 year old assassination.
In his columns and his main characters, Pérez-Reverte usually displays a pessimism about human behaviour, shaped by his wartime experiences in places like El Salvador, Croatia or Bosnia and his research for crime shows.
Throughout his career, and especially in its latter half, he has been notorious for cultivating his now trademark maverick, non-partisan and at times abrasive persona. This has occasionally been a source of conflict with more sectarian journalists and writers. He originally refused to have his novels translated from the original Spanish to any language other than French. However, English translations were eventually made available for some of his works, and most of his work is also available in Portuguese.
In May 2011 the Audiencia Provincial of Madrid ordered Pérez-Reverte and Manuel Palacios, director y coauthor of the film Gitano to pay 80,000 Euros to the film maker Antonio González-Vigil who had sued them for alleged plagiarism of the film's script, a decision Pérez-Reverte described as "a clear ambush" and a "clear manoeuvre to extort money." The ruling contradicted two previous criminal rulings and one from a merchant judiciary which had supported Pérez-Reverte and Palacios. In July 2013 the Audiencia Provincial of Madrid ordered Pérez-Reverte to pay 200,000 euros to González-Vigil for plagiarism.
Pérez-Reverte started his journalistic career writing for the now-defunct newspaper Pueblo and then for Televisión Española (the Spanish state-owned television), often as a war correspondent. Becoming weary of the internal affairs at TVE, he resigned as a journalist and decided to work full-time as a writer.
His teenage daughter Carlota was billed as a co-author of his first Alatriste novel. He lives between La Navata (near Madrid) and his native Cartagena, from where he enjoys sailing solo in the Mediterranean. He is a friend of Javier Marías, who presented Pérez-Reverte with the title of Duke of Corso of the Kingdom of Redonda micronation.
Captain Alatriste novels
- El capitán Alatriste (1996; tr: Captain Alatriste), presenting the character of a swordsman in the Spanish Golden Century.
- Limpieza de sangre (1997; tr: Purity of Blood), about the "purity of blood" demanded from Conversos.
- El sol de Breda (1998; tr: The Sun over Breda), about the war in the Spanish Netherlands - specifically, the Siege of Breda (1624).
- El oro del rey (2000; tr: The King's Gold), about the Spanish treasure fleet.
- El caballero del jubón amarillo (2003; tr: The Man in the Yellow Doublet). Alatriste clashes with king Philip IV of Spain.
- Corsarios de Levante (2006; tr. Pirates of the Levant). Alatriste fights Barbary pirates.
- El puente de los Asesinos (2011; tr. The Bridge of the Assassins). Alatriste tries to kill the Doge of Venice.
- El húsar (1986). Set in the Napoleonic age.
- El maestro de esgrima (1988; tr: The Fencing Master). A lady requests lessons from a fencing master.
- La tabla de Flandes (1990; tr: The Flanders Panel). About a mysterious Flemish painting.
- El club Dumas or La sombra de Richelieu (1993; tr: The Club Dumas). A Cult of followers of the novels of Alexandre Dumas.
- La sombra del águila (1993). Set in the Napoleonic age.
- Territorio comanche (1994). A novelization of his Balkan war experience.
- La piel del tambor (1995; tr: The Seville Communion)
- Un asunto de honor (1995)
- La carta esférica (2000; tr: The Nautical Chart).
- La Reina del Sur (2002; tr: The Queen of the South). Story of a Mexican woman who becomes a leader of a drug trafficking gang in the south of Spain.
- Cabo Trafalgar (2004; tr: Cape Trafalgar), about the battle of Trafalgar.
- El pintor de batallas (2006; tr: The Painter of Battles). A retired war photographer confronts his past.
- Un día de cólera (2007). 2 May 1808. The battle in Madrid against the French army for independence, hour to hour.
- Ojos azules (2009). Spanish soldiers flee the Aztecs.
- El Asedio (2010; tr The Siege by Frank Wynne). Set in 1811, during the siege of Cádiz.
- El tango de la guardia vieja (2012). Romance.
- El francotirador paciente (2013). A graffiti painter.
- Obra breve (1995)
- Patente de corso (1998). Collection of press columns.
- Con ánimo de ofender (2001). Further columns.
- No me cogeréis vivo (2005)
- Cuando éramos honrados mercenarios (2009)
Films based on novels by Pérez-Reverte
- El maestro de esgrima (1992) (based on The Fencing Master)
- Uncovered (1994) (based on The Flanders Panel)
- Cachito (1995) (based on Un Asunto de Honor)
- Territorio Comanche (1997)
- The Ninth Gate, by Roman Polanski (1999) (very loosely based on El club Dumas)
- The Road to Santiago (1999), Spanish television miniseries (story)
- Alatriste (2006) (based on the series Captain Alatriste)
- The Nautical Chart (2007) (based on La Carta Esférica and starring Aitana Sánchez-Gijón)
- Quart: El Hombre de Roma (2007), Spanish television miniseries based on The Seville Communion
- La Reina Del Sur (2011), Spanish Novela (Soap Opera) airing on Telemundo
- His weekly column for 10 June 2007 explains why he avoids reminiscing about the Bosnian War
- El escritor Arturo Pérez-Reverte, condenado a pagar 80.000 euros por plagio, note from EFE, reproduced in El País digital 06.05.2011, accessed 22.10.2011
- El Correo Arturo Pérez-Reverte paga más de 200.000 euros por el plagio de un guión 16 July, 2013
- El capitán Alatriste; Arturo y Carlota Pérez-Reverte
- Twitter Page
- Official Website (in Spanish)
- iCorso (in Spanish)
- La WEB de Filemón sobre Arturo Pérez-Reverte (in Spanish)
- capitan-alatriste.com, fan site with an English language section
- Unofficial Website (very outdated)