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The Painter of Battles: A Novel Audiobook, by Arturo Pérez-Reverte Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Arturo Pérez-Reverte Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2008 ISBN: 9780739358719
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,226 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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Acclaimed author Arturo Pérez-Reverte has earned a distinguished reputation as a master of the literary thriller. Now, he gives us his most accomplished novel to date.

Andrés Faulques, a world-renowned war photographer, has retired to a life of solitude on the Spanish coast. He spends his days painting a huge mural that pays homage to history’s classic works of war art and that incorporates a lifetime of disturbing images.

One night, an unexpected visitor arrives at Faulques’ door and challenges the painter to remember him. As Faulques struggles to recall the face, the man explains that he was the subject of an iconic photo taken by Faulques in a war zone years ago. “And why have you come looking for me?” asks Faulques. The stranger answers, “Because I’m going to kill you.”

This story transports Faulques to the time when he crossed continents to capture conflicts on film with his lover, Olvido, at his side. Until she walked into his life, Faulques muses, he had believed he would survive both war and women.

As the tense dialogue between Faulques and his visitor continues, the stakes grow ever higher. What they are grappling with quickly proves to be not just Faulques’ fate but the very nature of human love and cruelty itself, in this stunning composition on morality. Superb and tautly written, The Painter of Battles is a deeply affecting audiobook about life and art. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • A gripping story of war, cruelty, testimony, and the past . . . Arturo Pérez-Reverte is the great European storyteller of the 21st century. Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Young Stalin
  • Reminds American readers of the sublime rhetoric of Faulkner and how such passages in the hands of a master can add to the momentum of the story. San Francisco Chronicle
  • A tour de force [that] explores the great themes of human existence. The Australian
  • Arturo Pérez-Reverte has established himself as the master of the intellectual thriller. Chicago Tribune
  • [A] taut literary thriller [with] meticulous detail and dark, brooding tone. Publishers Weekly
  • [Pérez-Reverte’s] best book yet . . . a game of mental chess, an excursion into art, history and imagination. The Times (London)
  • A remarkable achievement. Not only does the clash of ideas and emotions echo after you have turned the last page–this novel will change what you see in images from datelines around the world. Scott Simon, author of Pretty Birds

Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jaci | 2/14/2014

    " One of his best...love and morality intepreted by art. Extremely moving. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brent | 2/1/2014

    " This was a different kind of story, not one I think I'd recommend... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robert | 1/28/2014

    " Well-written but a disappointing ending spoils the tension. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ginny | 1/23/2014

    " Very provocative and compelling writing, but the plot is not as involving as some of his other books. Examines the connection between human nature, violence, and war as it is filtered through art. Asks whether war journalism is mere voyeurism. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Stuart | 1/22/2014

    " Perez-Reverte, for all his pulpy excesses, nearly always comes through with a great central character and an intriguing milieu for his stories. In this case he misses that mark, with a who'd-ever-believe-it tale of a retired combat photographer being stalked by a mad Croat soldier, the subject of one of his award-winning photos. Puh-leaze. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matus | 1/20/2014

    " starts a bit chaotic, but then the concept sets in nicely... flashbacks are carefully building a mosaic and the philosophy blends in with the plot very well... what gives this 5 stars instead of only 4 is the character of Olvido - truly nostalgic but rational, she creates a whole world around herself "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phil | 1/18/2014

    " Obviously I did not read or listen to this book in Spanish. This is the only option I could bring up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carola | 1/15/2014

    " Not a terribly long book, but one requiring the reader's full attention to appreciate all the nuances. Very moving. Possibly Perez-Reverte's best book to date. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ian | 5/2/2013

    " Gorgeous. The details are somehow written in a dauntingly expansive way, yet are still fascinating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurie | 8/3/2012

    " A haunting novel that deals with war, echoes of love and the depth of human cruelty. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jaza | 11/19/2011

    " I found this book sublime... the way it's written, the story, the characters, everything. I recommend it specially to photographers, painters and artists of any kind. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 pati | 8/1/2010

    " "empece a comprendelo anoche, cuando me abrazabas como si estuvieramos a punto de morir..." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mara | 6/23/2010

    " Di sicuro lo devo rileggere : certe parti sono bellissime, altre le ho trovate noiose e tirate via. E' un libro che mi ha lascita perplessa; in realta' non so bene come giudicarlo. L'ho rileggero' . Tre stelle come valore medio "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marilee | 12/9/2008

    " Read this book first in Spanish, then recently in the English translation. Beautiful prose -- sometimes grisly subject. Will make you stop and think. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jean-françois | 3/16/2008

    " just started ... currentlu reading chapter one "

About the Author

Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s bestselling books, including The Club Dumas, The Flanders Panel, The Seville Communion, and the Captain Alatriste series, have been translated into thirty-four languages in fifty countries and have sold millions of copies. Pérez-Reverte was born in 1951 in Cartagena, Spain, and now lives in Madrid, where he was recently elected to the Spanish Royal Academy. A retired war journalist, he covered conflicts in Angola, Bosnia, Croatia, El Salvador, Lebanon, Libya, Nicaragua, Romania, the Persian Gulf, and Sudan, among others. He now writes fiction full time.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and narrator. He has earned more than fifty Earphones Awards and won the prestigious Audie Award for best narration thirteen times. He was named Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008 and has been named an AudioFile Golden Voice as well as an AudioFile Best Voice of 2009. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London. He is also an actor who has appeared on both stage and television.