Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Book Review: "The Painter of Battles"

Arturo Perez-Reverte's The Painter of Battles is quite a different book from his others. It reminded me very much of Iain Pears' The Portrait (my review), in that it's told from rather a strange perspective and deals with the whole issue of an artist's relationship with their subjects.

War photographer-turned-painter Faulques just wishes to be left alone, but when the man from one of his most famous photographs shows up unannounced and declares he's there to kill, things take a meditative turn. There is much discussion of war and death, art and responsibility, power and the impact of events on those involved with them.

What there is not, for the most part, is much of anything happening. If you're looking for a rollicking read, don't look here. But this is a fascinating examination of some heady issues. It is not my favorite Perez-Reverte (I'm a Club Dumas partisan), but the writing is lovely and the book will certainly make you think.

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