- Hardcover: 624 pages
- Publisher: Random House (November 4, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1400069688
- ISBN-13: 978-1400069682
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #465,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Siege: A Novel Hardcover – November 4, 2014
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Praise for The Siege
“A genre-bending literary thriller . . . Pirates; serial killings; steamy, unrequited love: [Arturo] Pérez-Reverte imbues the sensational with significance. . . . His descriptions of the town and people of Cádiz capture colors, smells and personalities, making the page come to life, and he balances these sensory passages with dense observations about history, metaphysics, science, and human nature.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Bold . . . [Pérez-Reverte’s] best yet . . . an ambitious intellectual thriller peopled with colorful rogues and antiheroes, meticulous in its historical detail, with a plot that rattles along to its unexpected finale. It’s hard to think of a contemporary author who so effortlessly marries popular and literary fiction as enjoyably as this.”—The Observer
“Pérez-Reverte has long been Spain’s most popular, inventive writer of historical fiction. . . . This is a big and bold novel, rich in character and incident.”—The Sunday Times
Acclaim for Arturo Pérez-Reverte
“John le Carré meets Gabriel García Márquez . . . Pérez-Reverte has a huge following . . . and it’s spreading.”—The Wall Street Journal
“The Da Vinci Code and The Rule of Four . . . pale in comparison with Pérez-Reverte’s novels.”—Time Out New York
“It’s a rare novelist who can create a literary page-turner. Arturo Pérez-Reverte . . . is one of those rarities.”—The Denver Post
“Few contemporary writers conjure up derring-do as well as Arturo Pérez-Reverte.”—The Christian Science Monitor
About the Author
Arturo Pérez-Reverte is the author of many critically acclaimed novels, including The Club Dumas, The Flanders Panel, and the Captain Alatriste series. A retired war journalist, he lives in Madrid and is a member of the Royal Spanish Academy.
Top Customer Reviews
By 1811, the French controlled a good chunk of Iberia, with the Spanish loyalists and their British allies holding on to a few coastal cities and isolated inland areas. Cadiz, at the extreme southwest corner of Spain was the most notable holdout against the French and hosted the Spanish government-in-exile. In the year 1811, while the ancient city was besieged by the French on land and sea, a series of gruesome murders begins, and the crimes increasingly appear to be connected to the placement of the French shelling of Cadiz's neighborhoods.
On the trail of the serial killer, is the city's chief of police--ruthless in his policing methods and angered by his inability of stop the murders. While the killings continue, Cadiz's role as a maritime center continues and the story recounts some skillfully told sea battles--another of author Perez-Reverte's fortes.
While there is enormous detail about artillery, metaphysics and 19th Century commerce crammed into this novel, it is the rich stew of history, compelling characters and policing that allows this book to live up to this writer's well-earned reputation as one of the most original storytellers in historic fiction and mystery genres currently active.
Arturo Perez Reverte is one of my favorite historical novelists. I enjoyed The Club Dumas, The Fencing Master, The Flanders Panel, the Captain Alatriste series, The Seville Communion and his non-historical novel The Painter of Battles. The Seige, however, was not a favorite.
The history and narration are sound. We get a strong sense of the city of Cadiz, the tense atmosphere of the siege, the politics of the time, day to day life, the operation of pirates, and the limitations and proper usage of artillery. The story has battles, raids, romance, a murder mystery, and well drawn characters. What it doesn’t have, in my opinion, is pacing. The novel moves along at a leisurely pace, gradually advancing the various story lines in small increments, and overwhelms the reader with data. I was frustrated when at over 300 pages into the novel, nothing much had happened.
I found the extended sections on politics and culture to eventually be tedious. I remember a college professor that said when you are reading Don Quixote and he meets a peasant, merchant, or traveler and they start talking politics, then skip to the end of that chapter. I felt like that.
Also, in a book this length, I think that a writer should stage exciting events (mini-climaxes) along the way to keep the reader moving along.
One the other hand, if you are a history buff and know this period or want to learn about it, then you will most likely enjoy the novel. Mr. Reverte certainly knows what he is writing about and he is a very skilled writer. For me, I liked his other novels better.
Typically, I read for about 30 minutes before going to bed, as a way to relax and banish the sounds of my often bickering children before dreamtime. To say that I suffered my way through this novel as though it were some sort of punishment meted out by an angry god is an understatement. I actually began to dread having to read it. Normally, I would have quit and moved on to something better -- life is too short to read bad books, in my opinion -- but something compelled me to trudge forward every night, hoping that it would improve. My thinking went something like this:
The first 100 pages: "Well, maybe it started slowly and gets better. Sometimes that happens. I'll give it another 100 pages."
After 200 pages: "He has to be getting to a point where these story lines intersect. I'll give it another 100 pages."
After 300 pages. "Sh**. I'm halfway through this book. Should I stop or forge ahead? He wrote 'Queen of the South' though -- it's GOT to get better."
After 400 pages. "This is not getting better."
After 500 pages. "I'm glad I have the hard cover version of this book so I can beat myself over the head with it for having wasted my life on it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm conflicted about how many stars to give this book. As a piece of historical fiction I think it's very good and would rate 4 to 5 stars. Read morePublished 10 days ago by KarenL
This is definitely a good read, and a realistic and historical compendium. It is well-written as is usual for a Perez-Reverte book. I have already started on my next read by him. Read morePublished 2 months ago by john koegel
This is one of my top five writers of all genres. His intricate and descriptive prose is incredibly rare in literature of today. Read morePublished 2 months ago by David H.
Can't lose with Revert - maybe a bit long but a super writer and better story teller.Published 2 months ago by jerry sorrow
When I'm in the mood for very "heady" read, Arturo P-R is the author extraordinaire. He can also cause "death by details",although the history is marvelous and I... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Elly Barbour
I dearly love Arturo Perez-Reverte's books, I have read almost all of his work that is published in English. This, however, is my least favorite. Read morePublished 4 months ago by THP
It really hurts to write a bad review of an author whose work I generally love, but this book is a painful grind. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Dorn
You must enjoy accurate historical writing with excellent character development to truly appreciate this book. It is not a breakneck thriller. Read morePublished 5 months ago by james c moore