El Capitán Alatriste
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

El Capitán Alatriste (Adventures of Captain Alatriste #1)

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  5,925 ratings  ·  415 reviews
El capitán Alatriste
Primera edición: Alfaguara, 1996
Páginas: 248
ISBN: 8420483532

"No era el hombre más honesto ni el más piadoso, pero era un hombre valiente"... Con estas palabras empieza El capitán Alatriste, la historia de un soldado veterano de los tercios de Flandes que malvive como espadachín a sueldo en el Madrid del siglo XVII. Sus aventuras peligrosas y apasionante...more
Paperback, 217 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Punto de Lectura (first published 1996)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about El Capitán Alatriste, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about El Capitán Alatriste

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Algernon
Short and elegant : a worthy addition to the panoply of memorable swashbucklers and a promising start of a long historical epic. The plot is simple, and the action scenes relatively few. The strong points are the recreation of the Madrid society around 1620 and the evocative language. The story alternates between first person narration by the young page Inigo Balboa and third person view. I wish I was fluent in Spanish and could read this in the original , especially the poems.

Captain Diego Ala...more
Kelly
Jul 09, 2007 Kelly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: swashbuckling, adventure story fans
Swashbuckling. Seriously. That's all this book is about. If that's not enough of a point for you? Well. You just don't know how to have fun.
Clif Hostetler
The story in this novel takes place in the 17th Century Spain during the reign of Philip IV, the golden age of Spanish power. The plot is based upon an actual historic occurrence in 1623 when the Prince of Wales (Charles Stuart) and George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, traveled incognito to Spain to try to reach agreement on the long-pending match between Charles and Infanta Maria Anna of Spain, the younger sister of King Philip IV. The fictional action of this book starts with its main char...more
Peter
6/7 - 6/8

First off, I can't remember the last time I started and finished a book in one day. Yeesh. Not a lot going on today I guess.

Anyway, I have read and enjoyed several of Perez-Reverte's books and have been looking forward to this series. I was not blown away. The characters were were pretty plain, and I really didn't like the narrator at all; the classic 'I'm old now and I'm gonna tell you some stories from a long time ago' type guy. Also, The profanity he uses throughout the book doesn't...more
Evan
Okay, so I'm teaching the second in a three course sequence on world theatre history, and we've just been covering Spanish Siglo de Oro theatre (Lope de Vega, Calderon de la Barca, Tirso de Molina, etc.). So I was searching around on you-tube for some good recreation footage of a performance in a corral de comedias, and stumbled across a 2006 film called Alatriste with a very charming scene set in such a theatre. (At a certain point, I got a strange inkling of Aragorn rather than Aragon-- sure e...more
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
It is interesting how we come to read certain books - we like the cover, the bumf on the back sounds interesting, people are talking about it... In this case I saw the film - "The Spanish Musketeer". I thought the film was brilliant with one or two moments (especially the battle of Rocroi) which were an epiphany for me. I looked up Arturo Pérez-Reverte and became interested in the fact that he had decided to write the Captain Alatriste series because he was disgusted at the poor level of knowled...more
Darren
I read this last year and just could not--at all--get into it. Put it down and left it there for about a year. I read it again this year and could not say what I found so disagreeable the last time around.

Were there issues with the translation? That is unfortunate and all too common for foreign language works. Even this site doesn't list the translator, because I think most people don't realize what an artform translation is. So I did some checking, and Margaret Sayers Peden is highly acclaimed...more
Jessie
I am a big fan of Arturo Perez-Reverte, but this book was a little bit of a disappoint me for me. As usual, Perez-Reverte's writing style manages to mingle in an amazing amount of fascinating history within an otherwise simple plot. The problem this time was too much history and exposition and too little actual plot. I could tell you the whole "story" in about four sentences.
The narrator in the story is recounting tales from his youth - so it's a little like listening to my grandmother ramble o...more
Lau

Me encantan las historias de aventura y espadachines desde que leí Los Tres Mosqueteros cuando era chica. Algo de ese estilo es lo que esperaba con el Capitán Alatriste, aunque realmente no se qué es lo que esperaba. No conocía al personaje hasta que hace unos años salió la película, y a pesar de que tenía en la cabeza la imagen de Viggo Mortensen, al Diego Alatriste del libro lo imaginé bastante diferente y más jóven.
Lo primero que pensé fue "¡qué español es todo!" y a partir de ahí muchas vece...more
Bruce
Published in 1996, this is the first of a series of novels by Pérez-Reverte, novels set in 17th century Spain and featuring the fictional Captain Diego Alatriste y Tenorio. Iñigo, his squire, narrates the action from his perspective as an old man, although some of the narrative is in the third person. Alatriste is not really a Captain, this title having been taken by him during a brief battle in Flanders when his commanding officer was slain. But he keeps the title in peacetime, during which he...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
This wasn't bad. The problem is, once you've read the likes of Captain Blood other adventure tales pale in comparison.
Ensiform
Translated by Margaret Peden. Set in the 1620s, this historical novel centers on the titular soldier, a melancholy man wounded in Flanders and now haunting Madrid as a sword for hire. Hired by two masked men, who are clearly powerful officials, with the backing of a much-feared Inquisitor, Alatriste is charged with killing two English travelers. Sensing something wrong, he lets them live, only to find out later it is the Duke of Buckingham and Prince Charles, attempting to secure the prince’s we...more
Olly Cooper
My £2 copy of Captain Alatriste puffed "relaxed literary fun" from its back cover. Whether its positioning of itself as a literature lover's guilty pleasure is justified isn't really for me to say; the amount of Biggles books on my shelf disqualifies me from making that judgement I think.

However, having chomped through one and a half Dan Brown thrillers, leavened by Answer to Job by C.G. Jung, I was in dire need of something from the middle ground, and Captain Alatriste very much delivered. The...more
Jmassa
Enjoyable if rather slow and melancholy historical adventure.

Set in Madrid in the 1600s, with Spain still ruler of a world Empire and still in the grip of the Inquisition, but decadent and slowly loosing power. The hero is an out-of-work solider, a war hero who must earn his living as a hired sword.

What action there is centers around interesting political intrigue and exciting sword fights. But what action there is interrupted (alas) by longwinded scenes of men talking in taverns and drunkenly...more
Sarah
Dec 26, 2007 Sarah rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like adventure stories and historical fiction
I have read all of Perez-Reverte's other books and this was the first time I had looked into his Capt. Alatriste series. The books he is most famous are sophisticated, modern thrillers and, it is clear, that these books are meant to be an escape for Perez-Reverte and his readers from too much hard work. They are simple (I don't mean stupid just uncomplicated) adventure stories which take place in 1620's Spain. They are fun and amusing although I have learned that seventeenth century poetry doesn...more
Eric
Las aventuras del capitán Alatriste se limitan a un par de espadazos y una lucha furtiva en medio de la oscuridad. El libro se desgrana lentamente y pierde más tiempo en ponernos al tanto de los personajes de la época y las vicisitudes de los personajes, que entretenernos con la lucha de Diego. Me parece que como primer libro es una buena introducción, pero hubiera agradecido un poco más de acción.

Es un libro que requiere una secuela, por lo que jamás será valioso por si solo. B

uscaré la segun...more
Chuck
Antes que nada, debo decir que creo que la narración de El capitán Alatriste es excelente. De eso no tengo queja.

Pero, por otra parte, puedo concentrar en cuatro las razones por las que quedé insatisfecho con este libro:
1. Lo leí inmediatamente después de terminar la lectura de El Club Dumas, libro que me fascinó y que me emocionó grandemente, y que dejó la vara muy alta. Comparando ambos libros salió perdiendo El capitán Alatriste.

2. Se me hizo que tiene demasiada historia secundaria alrededor
...more
Randy
The first in a series of books featuring the adventures of the good captain, as told by his ward Inigo. The general time period is that of the Three Musketeers, but this book is set in Madrid, not Paris. I only wish I could read the original Spanish, but the translation is wonderful. In addition to being full of intrigue, swordplay, and a tragic anti-hero, the book conveys much about Spanish history and culture, about which I was thoroughly ignorant. Strong recommendation to lovers of the swashb...more
Stacia
I wanted to like this more than I did. It was fine but not quite the swashbuckling adventure I had hoped it would be. Perhaps the storytelling style or the translation didn't do justice to the plot and characters. I'm glad a Goodreads member (Clif Hostetler) wrote about the historical event around which the plot revolves; reading his commentary, plus researching some of the history on my own, made the story much more interesting to me.

Since the story is told in past tense by Captain Alatriste's...more
C. Bennis
Read:El Capitán Alatriste (Vol. I), Limpieza de Sangre (Vol.2),El Sol de Breda (Vol3.)El Oro Del bRey (Vol. 4), Plus El Caballero Del Jubón Amarillo, Cosarios De Levante. All great, exciting reads. Alatriste is a veteran soldier, swordsman i Madrid in XVII. This is a passionate novel of hard times, brutal men and strict codes of honor. If you like swashbuckling swordsmanship, corrupt government, soldiers serving without pay who are hanged if they rob. The Capitan has a young servant, who adds to...more
Commodore Tiberius Q. Handsome
I learned that every single Spanish author is better than every single American one. I am extrapolating my survey of two Spanish authors (this one and Zufon) and applying it to the whole, though. Anyway this splendid novel is a swashbuckler, featuring super-Spaniard and swordsman-for-hire Captain Diego Alatriste y Tenorio, the eponymous hero and adventurer. He spends most of his time in 17th Century Spain being awesome and running his rapier through suckers' guts. TAKE THAT BITCHEZ. Historical a...more
Víctor
Consigue lo que pretende: entretener al lector y rendir homenaje a las novelas de aventuras y espadachines con que en su momento se entretuvo el autor. Nada más.

Permite una lectura bastante ágil, las referencias al contexto -y algunos personajes ilustres- de la época ambientan ligeramente la trama principal y la imitación del lenguaje de la época es correcta.

Aún así, eché en falta más acción para un libro de aventuras y la trama central es demasiado predecible y lineal.
Chagall
La trama è davvero elementare, ma gradevole. A mio avviso, non c’è il giusto equilibrio fra ricostruzione storica e intrattenimento. L'ambientazione, per quanto curatissima, prevale troppo sulla vicenda. Insomma, volendo si sarebbe potuto raccontare tutto in un paio di capitoli. Va detto che il romanzo è il primo di una trilogia, ma preso singolarmente scorre senza infamia né lode. Manca di mordente, che per un libro di cappa e spada è tutto.
Callista
Plenty of interesting details about 17th century Spain, although I found myself wishing that the plot had been more extensive. It’s an old-fashioned storyteller’s technique, but it bothered me that the first person narrator recounted events he did not witness as if he could read the minds of the characters involved. It was quite readable and the pace quick; but I don't feel compelled to read the sequels.
Liviu
I never could read a Perez-Reverte book end to end and I tried 4 or 5 so far - somehow they are too flat, they promise a lot but do not deliver.

Finally I forced myself to finish Alatriste 1 and it was ok, something to read if I have nothing else, but not something exciting so I decided to put the author on the avoid for now list
Elijah Kinch Spector
A little less adventurous and more contemplative than I expected, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I enjoyed it immensely, good to know this genre is still alive. Ripe for an in-depth blog post.
Rick
The first book in the Alatriste series introduces us to the main characters, earns the title character his mortal enemies, and sets the stage for what promises to be a swashbuckling, fun series. Very good.
Mark Lacy
Not bad, but not that great. I'm not too tempted to read the sequels that are scheduled to come out, one per year, starting next month. [2014: I did go on to read and enjoy all the sequels.] To me, there was POV confusion, as the narrator was a young boy, a friend of the protagonist, but certain things were revealed that only an omniscient narrator would know. When and where there was action in the book, it was interesting, but there were many times when there was a lack action. I also didn't fe...more
Penny
ooohhh, Richard Sharpe meets Jack Aubrey in 17th Century Spain....

Swashbucking entertainment with a dark side.
C.W.
The first in this swashbuckling series, featuring the world-weary Alatriste and his confident companion.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Historical Fictio...: Potboilers in the vein of Alatriste? 13 104 Sep 27, 2012 10:35PM  
  • La verdad sobre el caso Savolta
  • La leyenda del ladrón
  • Venganza en Sevilla (Martín Ojo de Plata, #2)
  • Soldados de Salamina
  • Africanus: el hijo del Cónsul (Publio Cornelio Escipión, #1)
  • Historia de la vida del Buscón
  • The Sea-Hawk
  • Réquiem por un campesino español
  • La hija del caníbal
  • Trafalgar
  • La mano de Fátima
  • Eurico, o Presbítero
  • El árbol de la ciencia
  • A Voz dos Deuses
  • Gentleman Captain
  • Plenilunio
  • El camino
  • La colmena
40398
Spanish novelist and journalist. He worked as war reporter for twenty-one years (1973 - 1994). He started his journalistic career writing for the now-defunct newspaper Pueblo.

More about Arturo Pérez-Reverte...
The Club Dumas The Flanders Panel Queen of the South The Fencing Master The Seville Communion

Share This Book

“No era el hombre más honesto ni el más piadoso, pero era un hombre valiente.” 10 likes
“It was one of Diego Alatriste's virtues that he could make friends in Hell.” 4 likes
More quotes…