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The Painter of Battles

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  2,811 Ratings  ·  321 Reviews
The internationally bestselling author of The Club Dumas and The Queen of the South delivers his most ambitious and profoundly affecting novel to date--a tale that, more than ever, confirms his ability as a writer of extraordinary literary power.
Hardcover, 211 pages
Published January 8th 2008 by Random House (first published 2006)
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Jim Fonseca
Jun 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: spanish-authors
An internationally-known war photographer has hung up his camera and retired as a hermit to an abandoned structure near Barcelona. He is painting the entire interior of his lighthouse-type structure with a battle scene. It is a battle scene that transcends time, partly re-creating famous battle paintings from ancient ones to more modern ones like Guernica.

description

The painter's work is interrupted by a visitor, a former soldier that the photographer captured on film in Croatia and made famous. The soldi
...more
Biogeek
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A novel that may have been better as a short story. The premise, and some of the dialog in the first and last 50 pages, were intriguing. A retired and reclusive war photographer is visited by a Croat he once photographed retreating from a battle. That one photo, an award-winning one, had unexpected, and tragic, repercussions in the subject's life, and now he wants to kill the photographer. But not before the two engage in pages and pages of discussions about art, war, cruelty, death, love, respo ...more
Louize
Aug 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Originally written here.


SYMMETRY

After Isaac Newton laid his 3rd law of motion, almost every branch of science agreed with him. I suppose, even religion does. “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” It is the fundamental symmetry of the universe. Our every action draws an imaginary path, an effect. Sometimes even a small change may result to a large difference.

Andrés Faulques, a war photographer by profession, decided to leave his famous life and secluded himself in a towe
...more
Sandie
Jul 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary-lit
The Painter of Battles is a beautifully written word picture encompassing everything from "the Butterfly effect", to art history lessons, to a morality homily on the futility of war and the evil that man bestows on his fellow man.

Perez-Reverte draws you into the story as he meticulously recounts (probably from his own experiences as a war journalist) example after example of the insanity of war and examines the cruelty and finality of its outcome. In essence, Perez-Reverte gives us and in depth
...more
Kitty-Wu
Este libro me ha gustado en cierta manera y me ha cansado en otra. Se reconoce bastante al autor en el personaje de Faulques, y me parece interesante la introspección del personaje sobre el tema de la guerra y los horrores de la condición humana, especialmente en la confrontación con Ivo... pero Reverte me parece penosamente pedante en otros momentos, pretendiendo tener la verdad absoluta sobre el mundo y los hilos ocultos que lo mueven... no niego que seguramente, tanto el personaje como el aut ...more
Brooke
Aug 10, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2009, general-fiction
I was wary coming into this one after having given up on the last Pérez-Reverte book I tried. This wariness was a little uncalled for, since I had immensely enjoyed three others he wrote, but in the end it was justified. I went back and forth between being intrigued and downright bored, and quite truthfully only the slim 200-page count convinced me to see it through.

The main character, Faulques, is a former war photographer who has retired to an old tower to paint a mural of battles, an attempt
...more
Stefanos Vlasakakis
Περίμενα αρκετά περισσότερα. Σχετικά απογοητεύτηκα. Παρά τις πολλές εικόνες που υπήρχαν σε περιγραφές η ιστορία ήταν στατική. Ανούσιοι διάλογοι και στοιχεία που τράβηξαν σε μάκρος χωρίς λόγο. Όχι κάτι το ιδιαίτερο.
Παύλος
Ειναι το δεύτερο βιβλιο του Ρεβερτε που διάβασα. Το πρώτο ήταν η λέσχη Δούμας ή η σκιά του Ρισελιέ το οποίο με είχε εντυπωσιάσει τόσο πολυ που εδώ και τρία χρονια το μισό αριστερό μου χέρι έχει ζωγραφιστεί με πίνακες του βιβλιου.

Δυστυχώς δε με ενθουσίασε τόσο ο ζωγράφος των μαχών. Καλή και έξυπνη ιστορία με πολλές προεκτάσεις αλλά με αρκετή φλυαρία. Η βασική ιδέα συνοψίζεται στα εκεί ακόλουθα:

Ο Φοουλκες ειναι ένας 50αρης πρώην φωτογράφος και νυν ζωγράφος απομονωμένος σε ένα Πύργο στη Μεσόγειο
...more
Ally Armistead
Aug 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four out of five stars for "The Painter of Battles"--dark, beautiful, dense, intellectual. The story follows the odd final days of a retired war photographer, who has retreated into a watchtower in Italy to paint a ghastly war-themed mural and is encountered by a Croatian soldier he photographed years before.

Angry and grief-stricken at the loss of his wife and child, the Croatian solider--who holds the photographer's portrait of him accountable for their deaths--intends to kill him, exact reven
...more
John
Sep 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Arturo Perez-Reverte’s The Painter of Battles is a compelling story of self-reflection, loss and suspense overlaid with a well-researched discussion of the history of images. If I were not already an art historian, this book may have inspired me to become one with its offering of romanticism and sentimentality that such a thought would once have entailed for me in my youth. But, of course, if I were not an art historian its many art historical references may have been too opaque to illuminate th ...more
Desislava Filipova
"Художникът на битки" от Артуро-Перес Реверте жесток и навеждащ на размиси роман, проследяващ в ретроспекция историята на един военен фотограф, който се оттегля от света в своята кула, за да нарисува спомените си; и историята на един случаен човек, озовал се от другата страна на обектива.
Чрез своята картина художникът се опитва да осмисли миналото, цялата жестокост и деструктувност, на които е станал свидетел, това което човекът е съградил с години, може да бъде разрушено за секунди, с един курш
...more
Irina
Sep 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Красиво написана книга с прекрасни картини, описани по впечатляващ начин. Не съм си представяла, че сцените от войните могат да бъдат превърнати в изкуство. Не съм се замисляла, че във всеки кадър има толкова много история. Запомняща се творба, макар и леко трудна за четене с всичките имена на художници и картини, неизвестни за читатели, които не са запознати с детайлите на рисуването или фотографията.
Isabel Keats
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hacía tiempo que no leía a Reverte y la verdad es que me gustó mucho el reencuentro. Me surgió una duda al final respecto a uno de los personajes, pero gracias a un internauta muy fan del libro conseguí aclararla. Recomendable.
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
One of the many reasons why I love Perez-Reverte's books is that they follow no set formula or pattern except that they are all off-beat in their own way. But this one pushes the envelope, I think and in the end, after recovering from what is a very, very dark view of human nature, I think it is among his best, if not the best.[return][return]Perez-Reverte, before he took up writing full-time, was a war journalist; the list of those he covered includes Bosnia, Croatia, El Salvador, Lebanon, and ...more
Tony
Aug 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Perez-Reverte, Arturo. THE PAINTER OF BATTLES. (2006; Eng. trans. 2008). ****.
This is an author that must be read. His early novels, including “The Club Dumas,” “The Flanders Panel,” and “The Seville Communion” were historical crime novels (if they can be classified at all) that were unexcelled in their plotting and execution. This novel is very different from his earlier works. It is the story of Sr. Faulques who was a war photographer who retired in order to paint. During his career, he saw a
...more
Disha Bose O'Shea
Dec 03, 2015 rated it liked it
A war photographer has retired to an isolated island off Costa Brava, where he spends his days painting a large mural on the insides of the walls of an old deserted watch tower. The painting is a summation of his experiences, his beliefs, his view of the world and war and art. He has lost the woman he loved and he is no longer a passive artist on battlefields, capturing a moment. Until, a man he had photographed in the past arrives on the island - to kill him.

The plot is fantastic, the writing
...more
Natalie  Foster
Aug 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: liberals, conservatives, pacificsts, war-mongers, painters, photographers, tour guides
Recommended to Natalie by: other books by the same author
Commenting on a book one has read in translation is a bit dicey. Whose language am I praising? Even in translation, however, it is clear Perez-Reverte is a gifted teller-of-tales and creator of character, of mood, and of story. "The Flanders Panel" was the first of his books I read and I have been hooked ever since. If you haven't read that, run -- do not walk -- to your favorite independent bookseller and hope they have it on the shelf as well as this one. Now -- to "The Painter of Battles." Wa ...more
Jose Luis (Liantener)
La obra más intima, profunda e impactante del autor español, que se aleja de las novelas de misterio y suspenso anteriores, pero que resulta muy agradable.

Por lo regular evito las descripciones de contraportada, pero en esta ocasión, no hay mejor manera de definir la trama que lo que dice la contraportada del libro, así que la transcribiré tal cuál: En una torre junto al mediterráneo, en busca de la foto que nunca pudo hacer, un antiguo fotógrafo pinta un gran fresco circular en la pared: el pai
...more
Kirstie
Aug 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: RORY.
If I could give half ratings, this book would score a 4 1/2 stars...it has it's flaws but quite a few passages are quite brilliant.

The basic premise is the life story, looking towards the past, of a famous war photographer. He's isolated and painting a huge battle to rival anything he's seen in real life throughout all of the countries and people he's photographing at war.


But very soon within the first part of the book, he's confronted by a man who was the subject of one of his photos...the man
...more
Dariana
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"The Painter of Battles" is the most discouraging, harsh and sad novel that Arturo Perez-Reverte wrote. But it's definitely the most lucid and ambitious.

A four days journey, full of stories about love, death, guilt and violence, with an unexpected end.

In the South of Spain, in a tower on the Mediterranean shore, a former photographer paints an enormous circular fresco: a battle landscape, where he wants to cover all the images he could not capture on his film. To accomplish his goal, he will be
...more
Liz
Apr 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An intense novel for people interested in art. Prize-winner war photographer Faulques retires from his profession to a tower in Spain, where he decides painting a battle mural will be the culmination of his life's work. He believes that painting can be real in ways photography has failed him: in conveying the brutality yet inevitability of human aggression. His plan is disrupted when one of his subjects, a Serbian soldier, shows up unexpectedly to settle a score. The interchange between the two- ...more
Christan
Mar 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perez-Reverte is one of my favorite contemporary authors. This book has moments of brilliant and beautifully insightful writing. Mirroring the main character's obsession with a painting depicting the horrors of warfare, Perez-Reverte uses his words and images to give brushstrokes of meaning. The overall effect leaves the reader somewhat haunted by the seeming meaninglessness of human existence. This was a difficult and interesting book of ideas that struck the same note many times in slightly di ...more
Olethros
-Los fantasmas de unos son las musas de otros, y viceversa.-

Género. Novela.

Lo que nos cuenta. Un antiguo fotógrafo de guerra retirado llamado Faulques se dedica a pintar un gran mural bélico en una apartada zona junto al mar. Una persona con la que se cruzó dos instantes durante sus tiempos en la Croacia arrasada por la guerra vuelve a su vida y sus pretensiones hacen que Faulques recuerde su pasado (que en realidad jamás ha olvidado).

¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite:

http://
...more
Caitlin
This book is like a one act play in which the main character, previously a war photographer in the Balkans, gives up his career to live in seclusion and paint the inside of the lighthouse in which he lives. However, a man whose life he affected by doing nothing but shooting photographs of the suffering, has decided he will camp out at the painter's home and eventually kill him, to the painter's knowledge. While he is there, he tries to make the painter gain emotional attachments. The book provid ...more
Erica
Jul 03, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2008
Whew. This was a well-written book but man was it depressing. I don't think I cracked a smile from beginning to end. I'd like to read more of this author though; I hear his other books are more action packed. This was good despite a minimal plot. It was more philosophical and tended to get very deep at times.
Francisco
Otra "novela de aventuras" de Pérez Reverte. Volvemos a sus personajes descreídos, a su experiencia como reportero bélico... Pero nos cambia el fondo (y no me refiero a la ubicación de la narración): no se trata de buscar ningún tesoro, sino de emprender de la mejor manera otro viaje. Muy buena y sólida (como siempre).
Jan
May 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Brilliantly tightly composed thriller and philosophical treatise in one. War, photography, painting, love all in one intricate concentrated volume that inspires the reader to immediately re-read and study.
Rowena
Jul 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A war photographer retires to a tower on the coast of Spain, where he begins a mural of battles past and present, when he is interrupted by a stranger who wants to kill him. This is a novel of philosophy and art, and an exploration of love .
Randy
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Although this is one of my favorite authors, I slogged through this one.
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The Painter of Battles: A Novel, by Arturo Pérez-Reverte 1 11 Jan 13, 2014 07:43PM  
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Spanish novelist and ex-journalist. He worked as a war reporter for twenty-one years (1973 - 1994). He started his journalistic career writing for the now-defunct newspaper Pueblo. Then, he jumped to news reporter for TVE, Spanish national channel. As a war journalist he traveled to several countries, covering many conflicts. He put this experience into his book 'Territorio Comanche', focusing on ...more
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“Nadie debería irse sin dejar una Troya ardiendo a sus espaldas.” 18 likes
“En un mundo donde el horror se vende como arte, donde el arte nace ya con la pretensión de ser fotografiado, donde convivir con las imágenes del sufrimiento no tiene relación con la conciencia ni con la compasión, las fotos de guerra no sirven para nada.” 7 likes
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