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Arturo Pérez-Reverte
Pérez-Reverte in 2016
Pérez-Reverte in 2016
Born Arturo Pérez-Reverte Gutiérrez
(1951-11-25) 25 November 1951 (age 72)
Cartagena, Murcia, Spain
Occupation Journalist, novelist
Language Spanish
Nationality Spanish
Genre Historical novel
Notable works The Adventures of Captain Alatriste
Seat T of the Real Academia Española
Assumed office
12 June 2003
Preceded by Manuel Alvar

Arturo Pérez-Reverte Gutiérrez (born 25 November 1951) is a Spanish novelist and journalist. He worked as a war correspondent for RTVE for 21 years (1973–1994). His first novel, El húsar, set in the Napoleonic Wars, was released in 1986.

He is well known outside Spain for his "Alatriste" series of novels, which have been translated into multiple languages. Since 2003 he has been a member of the Royal Spanish Academy.


Pérez-Reverte's novels are usually centered on one strongly defined character, and his plots move along swiftly, often featuring a narrator who is part of the story but apart from it. Most of his novels take place in Spain or around the Mediterranean. They often draw on numerous references to Spanish history, colonial past, art and culture, ancient treasures and the sea. .....

Often, Pérez-Reverte's novels have two plots running in parallel with little connection between them except for shared characters. .....

In his often polemical newspaper columns and the main characters of his novels, Pérez-Reverte frequently expresses pessimism about human behaviour, shaped by his wartime experiences in such places as El Salvador, Croatia or Bosnia. His views have also been shaped by his research for crime shows.

Throughout his career, and especially in its latter half, he has been noted for cultivating his trademark maverick, non-partisan and at times abrasive persona. This has occasionally been a source of conflict with other journalists and writers. He originally refused to have his novels translated from the original Spanish to any language other than French. However, English translations were eventually published for some of his works, and most of his work is also available in Portuguese and Polish.

Pérez-Reverte was elected to seat T of the Real Academia Española on 23 January 2003; he took up his seat on 12 June the same year.

Themes such as the hero's tiredness, adventure, friendship, the journey as danger, death as the last journey, and culture and memory as the only salvation that allows understanding reality, enduring pain and knowing the identity of the person and the world are frequent in his novels. The writer's view of existence in general is bleak. He hates Christian humanism and believes that pagan philosophy has a more accurate view of the world. Typical Revertian characters are the weary hero in hostile territory with a dark past and the femme fatal. Among the traits of the characters, the moral ambiguity stands out.

In the articles he publishes every Sunday in XLSemanal magazine, he harshly criticizes postmodernity, political correctness, gender ideology, neoliberalism, neoconservatism, the critical pedagogy, the European Union, the inclusive language and the woke thought. These articles were published in the following books: Patente de corso (1993-1998), Con ánimo de ofender (1998-2001), No me cogeréis vivo (2001-2005) and When we were honorable mercenaries (2005-2009). He regrets that society is conditioned by the "whim of minorities" and that Europe, "the moral reference of the West", copies the values of society in the United States, considered by him as "sick and hypocritical" .

An active user on Twitter, he has already created numerous controversies. In a controversial article he compared the European refugee crisis with the barbarian invasions that led to the fall of the Roman Empire. However, he was awarded the "Premio Don Quijote" of journalism.

In 1998 he published a very harsh article against global capitalism that prophesied the world 2007–2008 financial crisis. This article was very successful on the internet when the crisis happened in Spain.

Awards and recognition

  • The Painter of Battles was the winner of the 2008 Premio Gregor von Rezzori award for foreign fiction translated into Italian.
  • In 2016 Pérez-Reverte was named as one of the 10 most important writers of the year by the Spanish national newspaper ABC, alongside novelists including Eduardo Mendoza and Andrés Pascual.

Personal life

Sherry barrel signed by Pérez-Reverte

Pérez-Reverte started his journalistic career writing for the now-defunct newspaper Pueblo and then for Televisión Española (the Spanish state-owned television broadcaster), often as a war correspondent. Becoming weary of the internal affairs at TVE, he resigned as a journalist and decided to work full-time as a writer.

His teenage daughter Carlota was billed as a co-author of his first Alatriste novel. He lives between La Navata (near Madrid) and his native Cartagena, from where he enjoys sailing solo in the Mediterranean. He is a friend of Javier Marías, who presented Pérez-Reverte with the title of Duke of Corso of the Kingdom of Redonda micro nation.

His nephew Arturo Juan Pérez-Reverte is a professional footballer playing for FC Cartagena.

Perez-Reverte owns a library which has an estimated of 32,000 books.

Films and television series based on novels by Arturo Pérez-Reverte

  • The Fencing Master (1992) (based on his novel The Fencing Master, also co-screenwriter)
  • Uncovered (1994) (based on The Flanders Panel)
  • Cachito (1995) (based on Un Asunto de Honor)
  • Comanche Territory (1997) (based on Comanche Territory, also co-screenwriter)
  • The Ninth Gate, by Roman Polanski (1999) (very loosely based on The Club Dumas)
  • The Road to Santiago (1999), Spanish television miniseries (story)
  • Alatriste (2006) (based on the series Captain Alatriste)
  • The Nautical Chart (2007) (based on The Nautical Chart and starring Aitana Sánchez-Gijón)
  • Quart: El Hombre de Roma (2007), Spanish television miniseries based on The Seville Communion
  • La Reina Del Sur (2011), telenovela airing on Telemundo based on The Queen of the South
  • The Man from Rome (2022), based on La piel del tambor.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Arturo Pérez-Reverte para niños

  • Captain Alatriste (the books)
  • Alatriste (the film)
  • Café Gijón (Madrid)
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