Catalogue


The nautical chart /
Arturo Pérez-Reverte ; translated from the Spanish by Margaret Sayers Peden.
edition
1st U.S. ed.
imprint
New York : Harcourt, c2001.
description
466 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0151005346
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
uniform title
imprint
New York : Harcourt, c2001.
isbn
0151005346
general note
"A novel of suspense"--Cover.
catalogue key
4589201
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Internationally acclaimed author Arturo Perez-Reverte was born in 1951 in Spain, where he lives. His bestselling books have been translated into nineteen languages in thirty countries
First Chapter
Lot 307

I have swum through oceans and sailed through libraries.

-Herman Melville, Moby Dick

We could call him Ishmael, but in truth his name is Coy. I met him in the next-to-last act of this story, when he was on the verge of becoming just one more shipwrecked sailor floating on his coffin as the whaler Rachel looked for lost sons. By then he had already been drifting some, including the afternoon when he came to the Claymore auction gallery in Barcelona with the intention of killing time. He had a small sum of money in his pocket and, in a room in a boardinghouse near the Ramblas, a few books, a sextant, and a pilot's license that four months earlier the head office of the Merchant Marine had suspended for two years, after the Isla Negra, a forty-thousand-ton container ship, had run aground in the Indian Ocean at 04:20 hours...on his watch.

Coy liked auctions of naval objects, although in his present situation he was in no position to bid. But Claymore's, located on a first floor on calle Consell de Cent, was air-conditioned and served drinks at the end of the auction, and besides, the young woman at the reception desk had long legs and a pretty smile. As for the items to be sold, he enjoyed looking at them and imagining the stranded sailors who had been carrying them here and there until they were washed up on this final beach. All through the session, sitting with his hands in the pockets of his dark-blue wool jacket, he kept track of the buyers who carried off his favorites. Often this pastime was disillusioning. A magnificent diving suit, whose dented and gloriously scarred copper helmet made him think of shipwrecks, banks of sponges and Negulesco's films with giant squid and Sophia Loren emerging from the water with her wet blouse plastered to her body, was acquired by an antique dealer whose pulse never missed a beat as he raised his numbered paddle. And a very old Browne & Son handheld compass, in good condition and in its original box, for which Coy would have given his soul during his days as an apprentice, was awarded, without any change in the opening price, to an individual who looked as if he knew absolutely nothing about the sea; that piece would sell for ten times its value if it were displayed in the window of any maritime sporting-goods shop.

The fact is, that afternoon the auctioneer hammered down lot 306-a Ulysse Nardin chronometer used in the Italian Regia Marina-at the opening price, consulting his notes as he pushed up his glasses with his index finger. He was suave, and was wearing a salmon-colored shirt and a rather dashing necktie. Between bids he took small sips of a glass of water.

"Next lot: Atlas Martimo de las Costas de Espaa, the work of Urrutia Salcedo. Number three oh seven."

He accompanied the announcement with a discreet smile saved for pieces whose importance he meant to highlight. An eighteenth-century jewel of cartography, he added after a significant pause, emphasizing the word "jewel" as if it pained him to release it. His assistant, a young man in a blue smock, held up the large folio volume so it could be seen from the floor, and Coy looked at it with a stab of sadness. According to the Claymore catalogue, it was rare to find this edition for sale, since most of the copies were in libraries and museums. This one was in perfect condition. Most likely it had never been on a ship, where humidity, penciled notations, and natural wear and tear left their irreparable traces on navigational charts.

The auctioneer was opening the bidding at a price that would have allowed Coy to live for a year in relative comfort. A man with broad shoulders, a clear brow, and long gray hair pulled back into a ponytail, who was sitting in the first row and whose cell phone had rung three times, to the irritation of others in the room, held up his paddle, number 11. Other hands went up as the auctioneer, small wooden gavel in hand, turned his attention from one to another, his modulated voice repeating each offer and suggesting the next with professional monotony. The opening price was about to be doubled, and prospective buyers of lot 307 began dropping by the wayside. Joining the corpulent individual with the gray ponytail in the battle was another man, lean and bearded, a woman-of whom Coy could see only the back of a head of short blond hair and the hand raising her paddle-and a very well-dressed bald man. When the woman doubled the initial price, gray ponytail half-turned to send a miffed glance in her direction, and Coy glimpsed green eyes, an aggressive profile, a large nose, and an arrogant expression. The hand holding his paddle bore several gold rings. The man gave the appearance of not being accustomed to competition, and he turned to his right brusquely, where a dark-haired, heavily made-up young woman who had been murmuring into the phone every time it rang was now suffering the consequences of his bad humor. He rebuked her harshly in a low voice.

"Do I hear a bid?"

Gray ponytail raised his hand, and the blonde woman immediately counterattacked, lifting her paddle, number 74. That caused a stir in the room. The lean bearded man decided to withdraw, and after two new raises the bald, well-dressed man began to waver. Gray ponytail raised the bidding, and caused new frowns in his vicinity when his phone rang once again. He took it from the hand of his secretary and clamped it between his shoulder and his ear; at the same time his free hand shot up to respond to the bid the blonde had just made. At this point in the contest, the entire room was clearly on the side of the blonde, hoping that ponytail would run out of either money or phone batteries. The Urrutia was now at triple the opening price, and Coy exchanged an amused glance with the man in the next seat, a small dark-haired man with a thick mustache and hair slicked back with gel. His neighbor returned the look with a courteous smile, placidly crossing his hands in his lap and twirling his thumbs. He was small and fastidious, almost prissy, and had melancholy, appealing, slightly bulging eyes, like frogs in fairy tales. He wore a red polka-dot bow tie and a hybrid, half Prince of Wales, half Scots tartan jacket that gave him the outlandishly British air of a Turk dressed by Burberry.

"Do I have a higher bid?"

The auctioneer held his gavel high, his inquisitive eyes focused on gray ponytail, who had handed the cell phone back to his secretary and was staring at him with annoyance. His latest bid, exactly three times the original price, had been covered by the blonde, whose face Coy, more and more curious, could not see no matter how hard he tried to peer between the heads in front of him. It was difficult to guess whether it was the bump in the bidding that was perturbing ponytail or the woman's brassy competitiveness.

"Ladies and gentlemen, is this the last bid?" asked the auctioneer, with great equanimity.

He was looking at ponytail, without eliciting a response. Everyone in the room was looking expectantly in the same direction. Including Coy.

"Then at the current price, going once....At this price, going twice...."

Gray ponytail thrust up his paddle in a violent gesture, as if he were brandishing a weapon. As a murmur spread through the room, Coy again looked to the blonde. Her paddle was already up, topping his bid. Once again the tension built, and for the next two minutes everyone in the room followed the rapid duel's intense pace as if watching a fight to the death. Paddle number 11 was no sooner down than 74 was up. Not even the auctioneer could keep up; he had to pause a couple of times to sip from the glass of water sitting on the lectern.

"Do I have a further bid?"

Urrutia's Atlas was at five times its opening price when number 11 committed an error. Perhaps his nerve faltered, although the error might have been his secretary's; her phone rang insistently and she passed it to him at a critical moment, just as the auctioneer was holding the gavel high in expectation of a new bid, and gray ponytail hesitated as if reconsidering. The error, if that is what it was, might also have been the fault of the auctioneer, who may have interpreted the sudden movement, the turn toward the secretary, as a capitulation and an end to the bidding. Or perhaps there was no error at all, because auctioneers, like other human beings, have their hang-ups and their phobias, and this one might have been inclined to favor ponytail's opponent. Whatever the case, three seconds were all that were needed for the gavel to bang down on the lectern. Urrutia's Atlas was awarded to the blonde woman whose face Coy still hadn't seen.

2000, Arturo Prez-Reverte
English translation copyright 2001 by Margaret Sayers Peden

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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2001-09-01:
Spanish master Perez-Reverte has a streamlined approach to novel writing: he takes a recherch? subject say, fencing or rare books and uses it to construct a story rich in suspense, detail, and character study. The territory he covers in his latest work (after The Fencing Master) is in fact the deep blue sea. Coy, a sailor suspended for two years from the Merchant Marine, becomes infatuated with a mysterious woman named T nger Soto he encounters at an auction. There she has successfully bid on an old maritime atlas that will guide her to the Dei Gloria, a Jesuit ship downed in the Mediterranean in the 18th century. Soon T nger has drawn Coy into her scheme, which pits them against a thug named Palermo and his sidekick dwarf. All the elements are here for another literate thriller from Perez-Reverte, but this work is surprisingly less effective than its predecessors. The set-up is intriguing and the ending persuasively suspenseful, but in the middle stretches a long, becalmed section that dwells tediously on maritime detail and on Coy's endless seesawing as he considers whether to trust the obviously treacherous T nger. Perhaps those with a taste for the sea will be more drawn in; otherwise, this should work primarily for larger thriller collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/01.] Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal" (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2001-08-13:
Popular Spanish novelist P?rez-Reverte (The Fencing Master; The Club Dumas) is known as "the master of the intellectual thriller." But his customarily skillful blend of pop erudition and conscious borrowing of literary precedents threatens to capsize this tale of a race to retrieve a fortune in emeralds that sank off the Mediterranean coast of Spain in 1767. Manuel Coy is now in the Conrad phase of his life, having previously lived a Stevenson period and a Melville period. He is a "sailor exiled from the sea," his pilot's license suspended for two years after he ran a merchant ship onto an uncharted rock in the Indian Ocean. Attending an auction of nautical relics in Barcelona (in his "Lord Jim jacket"), Coy watches a beautiful young blonde woman outmaneuver a menacing ponytailed man to purchase a 17th-century nautical chart of the Spanish coast by Urrutia Salcedo. The woman is T nger Soto, of Madrid's Museo Naval; the ponytailed man is a famed pirate of sea salvage, Nino Palermo. Coy comes to T nger's defense when he sees her being threatened outside the auction house by Palermo thus putting himself in the service of a woman he is sure will eventually betray him. The characters are only too aware of the affinities of their story with The Maltese Falcon, and with a whole library of sea literature. P?rez-Reverte is too accomplished a novelist to write a truly dull book, and the underwater sequences that climax the story are masterfully done. But any sea adventure that is more than half over before it makes it to the sea has to be in some kind of trouble. (Oct.) Forecast: This may not be P?rez-Reverte at his best, but his second-best will be more than good enough for most readers. A first printing of 125,000 copies and a five-city author tour are in the works. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
Review Quotes
PRAISE FOR THE NAUTICAL CHART A work whose intentional, delicious, and old-fashioned blurring of the distinction between high literature and pop entertainment entitles it to a space of its own in that library-and in yours. -NEW YORK MAGAZINE
PRAISE FOR THE NAUTICAL CHART "Engrossing and beautiful . . . Exceptional." -- New York Magazine "What a lovely, well-rounded and distinctive novel to lure us from troubled shores." -- Los Angeles Times Book Review "Arturo Prez-Reverte has established himself as the master of the intellectual thriller, a reputation again confirmed with The Nautical Chart." -- Chicago Tribune PRAISE FOR THE FENCING MASTER "[Prez-Reverte] has a deft way with a sword fight, and there are duels here as swashbuckling as anything in The Mask of Zorro ."-- The New York Times Book Review "A smart, literate novel with suspense and a great puzzle, this is hard to beat."-- The Globe and Mail (Toronto) PRAISE FOR THE SEVILLE COMMUNION "One of those infrequent whodunits that transcend the genre . . . Page-turning pace and vivid characters."-- Time "Spain's bestselling author weaves an indelible tale of love, faith and greed that will keep readers shouting ol!"-- People
PRAISE FOR THE NAUTICAL CHART "A work whose intentional, delicious, and old-fashioned blurring of the distinction between high literature and pop entertainment entitles it to a space of its own in that libraryand in yours." NEW YORK MAGAZINE
PRAISE FOR THE FENCING MASTER "[Prez-Reverte] has a deft way with a sword fight, and there are duels here as swashbuckling as anything in The Mask of Zorro." -- The New York Times Book Review "A smart, literate novel with suspense and a great puzzle, this is hard to beat." -- The Globe and Mail (Toronto) PRAISE FOR THE SEVILLE COMMUNION "One of those infrequent whodunits that transcend the genre . . . Page-turning pace and vivid characters." -- Time "Spain's bestselling author weaves an indelible tale of love, faith and greed that will keep readers shouting ol!" -- People "Dramatic extravagance . . . Prez-Reverte writes with narrative economy, a sharp eye for telling detail and a feel for history. . . . Good fun." -- The New York Times Book Review PRAISE FOR THE FLANDERS PANEL "Prez-Reverte is a master storyteller. His story within a story is fascinating in its detail. His characters become so lifelike that they feel like old friends. And the plot is refreshingly creative." -- San Francisco Examiner
PRAISE FOR THE FENCING MASTER "[PÁrez-Reverte] has a deft way with a sword fight, and there are duels here as swashbuckling as anything in The Mask of Zorro." --The New York Times Book Review "A smart, literate novel with suspense and a great puzzle, this is hard to beat." --The Globe and Mail(Toronto) PRAISE FOR THE SEVILLE COMMUNION "One of those infrequent whodunits that transcend the genre . . . Page-turning pace and vivid characters." --Time "Spain's bestselling author weaves an indelible tale of love, faith and greed that will keep readers shouting olÉ!" --People "Dramatic extravagance . . . PÁrez-Reverte writes with narrative economy, a sharp eye for telling detail and a feel for history. . . . Good fun." --The New York Times Book Review PRAISE FOR THE FLANDERS PANEL "PÁrez-Reverte is a master storyteller. His story within a story is fascinating in its detail. His characters become so lifelike that they feel like old friends. And the plot is refreshingly creative." --San Francisco Examiner
PRAISE FOR THE FENCING MASTER "[Párez-Reverte] has a deft way with a sword fight, and there are duels here as swashbuckling as anything in The Mask of Zorro." -- The New York Times Book Review "A smart, literate novel with suspense and a great puzzle, this is hard to beat." -- The Globe and Mail (Toronto) PRAISE FOR THE SEVILLE COMMUNION "One of those infrequent whodunits that transcend the genre . . . Page-turning pace and vivid characters." -- Time "Spain's bestselling author weaves an indelible tale of love, faith and greed that will keep readers shouting olé!" -- People "Dramatic extravagance . . . Párez-Reverte writes with narrative economy, a sharp eye for telling detail and a feel for history. . . . Good fun." -- The New York Times Book Review PRAISE FOR THE FLANDERS PANEL "Párez-Reverte is a master storyteller. His story within a story is fascinating in its detail. His characters become so lifelike that they feel like old friends. And the plot is refreshingly creative." -- San Francisco Examiner
PRAISE FOR THE FENCING MASTER "[P rez-Reverte] has a deft way with a sword fight, and there are duels here as swashbuckling as anything in The Mask of Zorro." -- The New York Times Book Review "A smart, literate novel with suspense and a great puzzle, this is hard to beat." -- The Globe and Mail (Toronto) PRAISE FOR THE SEVILLE COMMUNION "One of those infrequent whodunits that transcend the genre . . . Page-turning pace and vivid characters." -- Time "Spain's bestselling author weaves an indelible tale of love, faith and greed that will keep readers shouting ol !" -- People "Dramatic extravagance . . . P rez-Reverte writes with narrative economy, a sharp eye for telling detail and a feel for history. . . . Good fun." -- The New York Times Book Review PRAISE FOR THE FLANDERS PANEL "P rez-Reverte is a master storyteller. His story within a story is fascinating in its detail. His characters become so lifelike that they feel like old friends. And the plot is refreshingly creative." -- San Francisco Examiner
This item was reviewed in:
School Library Journal, June 2001
Booklist, July 2001
Kirkus Reviews, July 2001
Publishers Weekly, August 2001
Library Journal, September 2001
Chicago Tribune, October 2001
New York Times Book Review, October 2001
Washington Post, October 2001
Los Angeles Times, January 2002
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Unpaid Annotation
Coy is a suspended sailor with time on his hands, a mariner without a ship. While attending a maritime auction in Barcelona, he meets a beautiful woman who immediately captures his imagination. Tanger Soto, who works for the Naval Museum in Madrid, is obsessed with the Dei Gloria, a Jesuit ship sunk by pirates in the seventeenth century, and now-she hopes-resting on the bottom of the sea off the southern coast of Spain. Tanger uses her considerable manipulative skills with men and her expertise with documents, atlases, and nautical maps to chart the search for lost treasure. Coy is quickly drawn into the search, and before long finds himself falling in love. Along with El Piloto, the world-wise old man of the sea whose sailboat will carry this adventurous crew, they seek their fortune together. Or do they? As these lively characters follow the course of past sailors, their own journey becomes perilous. Are there secrets dwelling in the depths of the sea? And what of the depths of the heart? This highly intelligent and meticulously plotted novel combines the richness of atmosphere we have come to expect from Perez-Reverte with the romance and mystery of the sea found in the novels of Melville, Conrad, and O'Brian. An unforgettable adventure. "The master of the intellectual thriller."--"San Francisco Chronicle"
Main Description
Coy is a suspended sailor with time on his hands, a mariner without a ship. While attending a maritime auction in Barcelona, he meets a beautiful woman who immediately captures his imagination. Tnger Soto, who works for the Naval Museum in Madrid, is obsessed with the Dei Gloria, a Jesuit ship sunk by pirates in the seventeenth century, and now-she hopes-resting on the bottom of the sea off the southern coast of Spain. Tnger uses her considerable manipulative skills with men and her expertise with documents, atlases, and nautical maps to chart the search for lost treasure. Coy is quickly drawn into the search, and before long finds himself falling in love. Along with El Piloto, the world-wise old man of the sea whose sailboat will carry this adventurous crew, they seek their fortune together. Or do they?As these lively characters follow the course of past sailors, their own journey becomes perilous. Are there secrets dwelling in the depths of the sea? And what of the depths of the heart? This highly intelligent and meticulously plotted novel combines the richness of atmosphere we have come to expect from Prez-Reverte with the romance and mystery of the sea found in the novels of Melville, Conrad, and O'Brian. An unforgettable adventure."The master of the intellectual thriller."--San Francisco Chronicle
Main Description
Coy is a suspended sailor with time on his hands, a mariner without a ship. While attending a maritime auction in Barcelona, he meets a beautiful woman who immediately captures his imagination. Tánger Soto, who works for the Naval Museum in Madrid, is obsessed with the Dei Gloria, a Jesuit ship sunk by pirates in the seventeenth century, and now-she hopes-resting on the bottom of the sea off the southern coast of Spain. Tánger uses her considerable manipulative skills with men and her expertise with documents, atlases, and nautical maps to chart the search for lost treasure. Coy is quickly drawn into the search, and before long finds himself falling in love. Along with El Piloto, the world-wise old man of the sea whose sailboat will carry this adventurous crew, they seek their fortune together. Or do they? As these lively characters follow the course of past sailors, their own journey becomes perilous. Are there secrets dwelling in the depths of the sea? And what of the depths of the heart? This highly intelligent and meticulously plotted novel combines the richness of atmosphere we have come to expect from Pérez-Reverte with the romance and mystery of the sea found in the novels of Melville, Conrad, and O'Brian. An unforgettable adventure. "The master of the intellectual thriller."-- San Francisco Chronicle
Main Description
Coy is a suspended sailor with time on his hands, a mariner without a ship. While attending a maritime auction in Barcelona, he meets a beautiful woman who immediately captures his imagination. T nger Soto, who works for the Naval Museum in Madrid, is obsessed with the Dei Gloria, a Jesuit ship sunk by pirates in the seventeenth century, and now-she hopes-resting on the bottom of the sea off the southern coast of Spain. T nger uses her considerable manipulative skills with men and her expertise with documents, atlases, and nautical maps to chart the search for lost treasure. Coy is quickly drawn into the search, and before long finds himself falling in love. Along with El Piloto, the world-wise old man of the sea whose sailboat will carry this adventurous crew, they seek their fortune together. Or do they? As these lively characters follow the course of past sailors, their own journey becomes perilous. Are there secrets dwelling in the depths of the sea? And what of the depths of the heart? This highly intelligent and meticulously plotted novel combines the richness of atmosphere we have come to expect from P rez-Reverte with the romance and mystery of the sea found in the novels of Melville, Conrad, and O'Brian. An unforgettable adventure. "The master of the intellectual thriller."-- San Francisco Chronicle
Main Description
Coy is a suspended sailor with time on his hands, a mariner without a ship. While attending a maritime auction in Barcelona, he meets a beautiful woman who immediately captures his imagination. TÁnger Soto, who works for the Naval Museum in Madrid, is obsessed with the Dei Gloria, a Jesuit ship sunk by pirates in the seventeenth century, and now-she hopes-resting on the bottom of the sea off the southern coast of Spain. TÁnger uses her considerable manipulative skills with men and her expertise with documents, atlases, and nautical maps to chart the search for lost treasure. Coy is quickly drawn into the search, and before long finds himself falling in love. Along with El Piloto, the world-wise old man of the sea whose sailboat will carry this adventurous crew, they seek their fortune together. Or do they? As these lively characters follow the course of past sailors, their own journey becomes perilous. Are there secrets dwelling in the depths of the sea? And what of the depths of the heart? This highly intelligent and meticulously plotted novel combines the richness of atmosphere we have come to expect from PÉrez-Reverte with the romance and mystery of the sea found in the novels of Melville, Conrad, and O'Brian. An unforgettable adventure. "The master of the intellectual thriller."--San Francisco Chronicle
Main Description
Coy is a suspended sailor without a ship. At an auction in Barcelona, he meets a beautiful woman obsessed with the Dei Gloria , a Jesuit ship sunk by pirates in the seventeenth century. Tnger uses her considerable skills with men and her expertise with atlases and nautical maps to search for the ship's rumored lost treasure. Coy is quickly drawn into the search, and finds himself falling in love as they seek their fortune together. Or do they? Their journey becomes dangerous. Does the treasure really exist? Are there secrets dwelling in the depths of the sea? And what of the depths of the heart? This suspensefully plotted novel combines the richness of atmosphere we have come to expect from Arturo Prez-Reverte with the addictive romance and mystery of the sea. A riveting read, it is an unforgettable adventure.
Main Description
Coy is a sailor without a ship.Tá nger Soto is a woman with an obsession to find the Dei Gloria, a ship sunk during the seventeenth century, and El Piloto is an old man with the sailboat on which all three set out to seek their fortune together. Or do they?
Main Description
Coy is a sailor without a ship.Tánger Soto is a woman with an obsession to find the Dei Gloria, a ship sunk during the seventeenth century, and El Piloto is an old man with the sailboat on which all three set out to seek their fortune together. Or do they?
Main Description
Coy is a sailor without a ship.Tnger Soto is a woman with an obsession to find the Dei Gloria, a ship sunk during the seventeenth century, and El Piloto is an old man with the sailboat on which all three set out to seek their fortune together. Or do they?
Table of Contents
Lot 307p. 3
The Trafalgar Showcasep. 33
The Lost Shipp. 56
Latitude and Longitudep. 84
Zero Meridianp. 119
Of Knights and Knavesp. 150
Ahab's Doubloonp. 179
The Reckoning Pointp. 204
Forecastle Womenp. 236
The Coast of the Corsairsp. 264
The Sargasso Seap. 293
Southwest Quarter to Southp. 326
The Master Cartographerp. 358
The Mystery of the Green Lobstersp. 389
The Devil's Irisesp. 415
The Graveyard of Ships With No Namep. 438
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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