Thursday, January 04, 2007

Link du Jour: Arturo Pérez-Reverte

I didn't waste a lot of time getting to the theater to see The Ninth Gate. I mean, the main character was a "book detective," someone who hunted down rare and unique volumes. Combining detective-work with a love of books was a sure-fire way of getting my attention. Especially with Johnny "The Coolest Man in the Universe" Depp playing the detective.

Too bad the movie blew.

It was great up until the overly fantastical ending that came out of nowhere and left me scratching my head, partly over trying to figure out what had just happened exactly, but mostly over what the heck the screenwriters must've been on when they wrote it. It ruined the rest of the film for me (the biggest crime of all), but I thought that it was so weirdly different from the rest of the movie that maybe the book it was based on, The Club Dumas, ended another way. Someone had already recommended The Club Dumas to me, so I decided that I had to figure this out. Even if the book and movie ended the same way, maybe it would make more sense in the book.

I'm not gonna ruin the book, because it's now one of my favorite novels of all time, so I'll just say that it's much more satisfying than the movie and leave it at that. It's got everything the movie has: the mystery, the suspence, the intrigue, the love of books, the danger; but it's also got an ending that works, and it has much closer ties to The Three Musketeers (another all-time favorite of mine) than are obvious in the film.

I haven't yet dug into the rest of author Arturo Pérez-Reverte's work, but it's obvious that he enjoys the same kinds of stories that I do: adventurous -- almost swashbuckling -- mysteries that even when they're set in the present have some kind of historical angle to them. I've got a couple on my reading pile right now, and I can't wait to get to them.

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