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The American by Martin Booth
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The American

Previously Published as A Very Private Gentleman

$17.96 USD

Retail price (USD): $19.95

Discount: 10%

This title is not eligible for purchase with membership credits. Why?

Narrator Geoffrey Howard
Length 10 hours 1 minutes
Language English
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The locals in the southern Italian town where he lives call him Signor Farfalla—Mr. Butterfly—for he is a discreet gentleman who paints rare butterflies. His life is inconspicuous—mornings spent brushing at a canvas, afternoons idling in the cafes, and evenings talking with his friend, the town priest, over a glass of brandy.

Yet there are other sides to this gentleman’s life: Clara, the young student who moonlights in the town bordello, and another woman, who arrives with one hundred thousand dollars and a commission—but not for a painting of butterflies.

With this assignment returns the dark fear that has dogged Signor Farfalla’s mysterious life. Almost instantly, he senses a deadly circle closing in on him, one which he may or may not elude.

Part thriller, part character study, part drama of deceit and self-betrayal, The American shows Martin Booth at the very height of his powers.

Martin Booth (1944–2004) was a critically acclaimed novelist and a documentary and feature-film writer. He wrote thirteen novels including Islands of Silence, Hiroshima Joe, and The Industry of Souls. His most recent nonfiction books include Opium: A History and The Doctor and the Detective: A Biography of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Geoffrey Howard (a.k.a. Ralph Cosham) (1936–2014) was a British journalist who changed careers to become a narrator and screen and stage actor. He performed in more than one hundred professional theatrical roles. His audiobook narrations were named “Audio Best of the Year” by Publishers Weekly, and he won seven AudioFile Earphones Awards, and in 2013 he won the coveted Audie Award for Best Mystery Narration for his reading of Louise Penny’s The Beautiful Mystery.

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Reviews

“Booth’s prose exhibits such a nicely clarity that it would be all too easy to devour this beguiling story and to take for granted its artful construction, its sparkle, its vivid conjuring of character and landscape.”

 “The work of a remarkable writer…A novel of power and fascination.”

“A psychological suspense thriller invested with life-and-death gravitas.”

“With Farfalla, Booth has created a rich, conflicted antihero whose clever rationalizations mask a soul weary with self-doubt…making us question our own moral values, our sense of right and wrong—and where exactly to draw the line.”

“[A] brilliantly creepy psychological suspense novel…The lazy, languid setting is an eerily effective backdrop for the fresh and beguiling murder intrigue…With first-rate characters and a gradual buildup of suspense, Booth constructs his most focused, tightly written novel to date, reminiscent of William Trevor’s classic Felicia’s Journey and the late Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley novels.”

“Haunting, shocking, and tense, Booth’s story is a charismatic blend of psychological thriller, vivid drama, searing morality tale, and profound psychological study. His writing is crisp yet lyrical, simple yet intelligent. Readers looking for thought-provoking literary fiction can’t do any better than this.”

“Beautifully detailed…Exquisite.”

“There are echoes of Nabokov in this tense and poetic mystery.”

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