cover image La Carta Esferica (the Nautical Chart )

La Carta Esferica (the Nautical Chart )

Arturo Perez-Reverte. Alfaguara, $19.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-84-204-4170-2

With award-winning intellectual thrillers like El club Dumas (The Club Dumas, Suma de Letras, 2000) and La tabla de Flandes (The Flanders Panel, Debolsillo, 2000), former war correspondent Perez-Reverte has emerged as one of Spain's most popular and most translated authors. This new work follows the fortunes of a sailor who meets the enigmatic T nger Soto and is drawn into her obsessive search for the mysterious cargo from the Jesuit ship Dei Gloria, which was lost off the Spanish coast in 1767. While his characters use an antique nautical chart to unlock the secrets held by the sea and by history, Perez-Reverte draws on the metaphorical power of the ocean to chart the essential solitude and longing of the human psyche. This is his most accomplished novel to date. Combining a trademark attention to the historical and technical detail of his subject matter with a perfectly paced narrative, suspenseful twists, memorable characters, and humor, Perez-Reverte crafts an adventure novel in the tradition of the authors admired by his protagonist: Herman Melville, Robert Conrad, and Robert Louis Stevenson. As popular fiction, this book is highly recommended for bookstores and libraries with foreign-language collections. [The English-language translation of this book, The Nautical Chart, is available from Harcourt. Ed.] Wilson Neate, New York City