“character” in The Club Dumas by Arturo Perer-Reverte

Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 16, 2007

·     characterization of Lucas Corsobrilliantly presented over a long period of time  a mercenary of the book world … talking fast … getting his hands dirty … a prodigious memory … canvas bag on shoulder (a recurring image) … steel rimmed glasses … untidy fringe of slightly graying hair … facial expressions of a rabbit (never got this … who knows what a rabbit’s facial expressions are like?) … THINGS NOT TOLD IN INITIAL DESCRIPTION: tall or short, lean or heavy, handsome or not.  …  bottomless pocket sof his coat … appears fragile yet solid as a concrete block … features are sharp and precise, full of angles … alert eyes … ready to express an innocence dangerous for anyone who was taken in by it … seemed slower and clumsier than he really was … looked vulnerable and defenseless … later, when you realized what had happened, it was too late to catch him … an oblique, distant laugh, with a hint of insolence … a laugh that lingers in the air after it stops …  attractive to women. … (Corso would) say something casually, as if he had no opinion on the matter, slyly goading you to react … (getting you) to give out more information (than you had intended). NOTE: the adverbs are the key words. Who says don’t use adverbs?  thin and hard like an emaciated wolf (ie, he is a hungry hunter) … a well-trained, patient wolf.  ·    but then, Corso’s actions not consistent with character. Corso has been beautifully presented as dangerous both mentally and physically, someone who is not what others see him to be. This is excellent, but I’m not sure the author has then had Corso act in a way consistent with these characteristics. He acts weak and unsure, he is as often manipulated as he is the manipulator.  ·     glasses and canvass bag as props. Corso often takes his glasses off. his vision is then limited to vague outlines. He is inseparable from his canvas bag. I found myself wondering what he would do if he were ever disconnected from either, and this does happen, on the bridge in Paris. However, the green-eyed girl retrieves both objects for him before too much damage is done. I think more could have been done with that, given all the build up. As with the resolution of major plot details, Perez-Reverte does not finish what he has started. Why?


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