Home » Book Reviews » A Very Private Gentleman Book Review

Anyone who has seen The American with George Clooney will not recognize this book. The opposite is also true. They are very different. The book is literate the movie is entertaining unless you like car crashes and piles of bodies dripping gore in which case you will be bored .

I have to say after watching The American I wanted to read this book. Half way through there were a few high spots but I am not going to lie I was bored. The book is basically a biography told by the character examines where he lives how he lives and what he does to survive.

The main character and occupation are revealed in bits and pieces, slowly, almost like creating a mosaic or jigsaw, although, as he repeatedly states, much of it may be untrue in order to hide his location and identity.

That way the story tells the characters history even though technically “nothing” happens in the book we find out about his love for butterflies and his let’s say, morally-questionable career. The novel is a beautifully-written insight into his philosophy and thinking, and, indeed, his whole way of life.

The novel is one man looking back on his life but also the story of a man falling in love with this part of Italy, as much as the young woman he meets there.

I found the main character tiresome, especially all the nonsense about how he cannot divulge anything personal because then we could find him. At points I was

“Ok Mr. Butterfly. You are a dangerous, careful man, with many secrets. You’re kind of cool. But let’s move it along, shall we? Enough with the melodrama about your importance to history & the scenic tours of rural Italy. “

I found the book rather dull, and that is a shame. This is the first Martin Booth novel that I’ve read but it certainly won’t be the last one. I don’t think he is a bad writer I just don’t think this book was for me I would give it 2 stars on a scale of 5.

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