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Download The American: Previously Published as A Very Private Gentleman Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The American: Previously Published as A Very Private Gentleman, by Martin Booth Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (574 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Martin Booth Narrator: Ralph Cosham Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The locals in the southern Italian town where he lives call him Signor Farfalla—Mr. Butterfly—for he is a discreet gentleman who paints rare butterflies. His life is inconspicuous—mornings spent brushing at a canvas, afternoons idling in the cafes, and evenings talking with his friend, the town priest, over a glass of brandy.

Yet there are other sides to this gentleman’s life: Clara, the young student who moonlights in the town bordello, and another woman, who arrives with one hundred thousand dollars and a commission—but not for a painting of butterflies.

With this assignment returns the dark fear that has dogged Signor Farfalla’s mysterious life. Almost instantly, he senses a deadly circle closing in on him, one which he may or may not elude.

Part thriller, part character study, part drama of deceit and self-betrayal, The American shows Martin Booth at the very height of his powers.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Booth’s prose exhibits such a nicely clarity that it would be all too easy to devour this beguiling story and to take for granted its artful construction, its sparkle, its vivid conjuring of character and landscape.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  •  “The work of a remarkable writer…A novel of power and fascination.”

    London Evening Standard

  • “A psychological suspense thriller invested with life-and-death gravitas.”

    Seattle Times

  • “With Farfalla, Booth has created a rich, conflicted antihero whose clever rationalizations mask a soul weary with self-doubt…making us question our own moral values, our sense of right and wrong—and where exactly to draw the line.”

    Boston Globe

  • “[A] brilliantly creepy psychological suspense novel…The lazy, languid setting is an eerily effective backdrop for the fresh and beguiling murder intrigue…With first-rate characters and a gradual buildup of suspense, Booth constructs his most focused, tightly written novel to date, reminiscent of William Trevor’s classic Felicia’s Journey and the late Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley novels.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Haunting, shocking, and tense, Booth’s story is a charismatic blend of psychological thriller, vivid drama, searing morality tale, and profound psychological study. His writing is crisp yet lyrical, simple yet intelligent. Readers looking for thought-provoking literary fiction can’t do any better than this.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Beautifully detailed…Exquisite.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “There are echoes of Nabokov in this tense and poetic mystery.”

    Today (UK)

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Robert | 2/15/2014

    " A slow paced (until the last few pages) study in alienation from modern society (based on a cynical, yet somewhat compelling view of human kind and our polity or lack thereof), the solitary pleasures of the Italian mountains and mountain towns and the man's capacity to re-connect with others --a priest and a student/prostitute. The writing is compelling. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Tom | 2/11/2014

    " VERY DISAPPOINTING. This would have made a good short story. If you take out the actual plot, which could have been done in 20-30 pages, half of the rest read like a not-very-interesting travel brochure written by a bored travel writer forced to tour Italy with in-laws and the other half was filled with bland generalizations on life that pretended to be deep insights but were actaully the immature babblings of drunken college sophomores during a late-night dormroom bull session. Very little action. This is one rare case where you should skip the book and go to the movie. If you want a well-written thriller, read Charles Cumming or Henry Porter. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Lisa | 1/20/2014

    " This was okay. A bit boring but okay. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Michael Smith | 1/13/2014

    " This book uses first-person to tell the happenings of everyday life and the past memories of a gunsmith. But, not just any gunsmith. This gunsmith specializes in the tools of assasination. It is an interesting read into the mind of one how takes up this very odd and rare profession. I liked it. Martin Booth spins a good yarn in a way that is both unique and compelling. It definitely keeps you turning pages. Mr. Booth is an author I am going to have to revisit again. p.s. For the movie buffs, this the the book that inspired "The American". "

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