April 27, 2009

from the ghost that guards her grave

Posted in books tagged , at 1:02 am by placeinthestars

I just finished The Nautical Chart by Arturo Perez-Reverte (trans. Margaret Sayers Peden). I didn’t dislike this book, but I felt the narrative strategy was gimmicky when it was revealed, and there was also a lot of claptrap about how women are mysterious and unknowable etc. etc. which made me roll my eyes a lot. And I get that it was probably more the narrator than Coy having all those ruminations, but they kind of got annoying after a while, especially since I was already expecting Tanger to betray him at the end, though I admit that having her team up with the melancholy dwarf was a surprise, especially since he’d killed her dog.

There was a lot of lovely stuff about the sea and the men who sail it, but it was very much about how that is the province of men, and women wait on land for them to come back. I liked Coy and El Piloto, and I wanted to like Tanger, but she didn’t feel like a real person; instead, she felt like a composite of a femme fatale from a bunch of different detective novels.

~*~

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