Martin Booth - A Very Private Gentleman

2 consumer reviews
Share This!
  Ask friends for feedback

A Modern Day James Bond

May 8, 2012
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Wonderfully written, detailed descriptions, and had a nice blend of styles

Cons:Slow paced, hard to get into, lack of chapters

The Bottom Line: If you like spy novels, but don't like a lot of action, then I can't recommend you read this book enough.


The book, A Very Private Gentleman, tells the tale of a man who has lived his life in the shadows, taking various jobs, and never truly settling down.  We know of him as “Signor Farfalla” (Mr. Butterfly), as the job he depicts to the world is a painter of butterflies, either to be displayed in art galleries or sold as stamps.  Later, it is revealed that his occupation is a gunsmith, one of the best in the world, and this current commission happens to be his last work.  The story takes place in a small village in modern day Italy, where the man, assumed to be English, is currently working on customizing his last gun before he retires.  He has only two friends: a priest he sometimes drinks and debates with, and a prostitute, who is working her way through college, and an attraction develops between the two that turns into love.  This attraction, coupled with the peacefulness of the village, causes the man to wish to retire there, but unfortunate circumstances could make this impossible.  There is a shadow that could complicate the man’s wishes, and the result is, I must say, truly heartbreaking.

One of the best parts of this book has to be the writing style.  The style of this book is that of some sort of a confessional; the character narrates himself and his journey on his last job.  There are all sorts of descriptions and sections that give off the peaceful feelings that the character experienced, and is written in such a way as to make it seem like the character is actually writing this down himself.  There are no chapters which, personally, I found kind of annoying as it makes it seem less organized, but the book is broken into sections that help make the story flow.  Some of the sections are not even about the specific story.  Instead, they describe certain aspects of the setting, the characters, instances from his past life, and many philosophical observations, especially on religion.  In this way, the book kind of reminds me ofThe Grapes of Wrath, as that book contains chapters that are not necessarily about the main story, but are companion chapters that describe events that are similar to the events that are going on in the main story.  

If one were looking for a book with a lot of action, you won’t find it in this one.  There is some, granted, but for the most part, this book is more about the descriptions and the commentaries on certain aspects of life rather than fighting and action.  One can get easily bored by the breaks from the actual story, but it fits with the style of the book.  The lack of many characters and dialogue may also make this book tedious.  However, when there is dialogue, it is very meaningful, and can be quite humorous, especially when the man and the priest are arguing about this and that.  

Most importantly, when reading this book, one has to realize right away that there is going to be a lot of discussions and descriptions, some of which are not necessarily involved in the actual plot, but do contribute to the character of the primary protagonist.  Many will be turned off by this kind of writing style, and I can sympathize with that.  Personally, I found this book to be a very enjoyable read.


Recommend this product? Yes

Read all comments (2)

Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!


Related Deals You Might Like...

Martin D15M Mahogany Acoustic Guitar with Case  - Natural

Martin D15M Mahogany Acoustic Guitar with Case - Natural

The Martin D15M acoustic guitar is the most affordable solid wood guitar of the D15 series plus it is the most visually distinctive and innovative. ...
American Musical Supply

$1199.00

FREE Shipping
Martin D-45s Authentic 1936 Brazilian Rosewood

Martin D-45s Authentic 1936 Brazilian Rosewood

Martin D-45The first D-45 was custom built for legendary cowboy star Gene Autry in 1931. Today, the D-45 still holds the distinction of being the most...
eBay

$47999.00

FREE Shipping
Martin D-15M (Dread 15-Series Acous Mahog)

Martin D-15M (Dread 15-Series Acous Mahog)

Acoustic Guitars - The Martin D-15M acoustic guitar is a throwback to Martin's Style 15 models, which had their heyday back in the 1940s. A departure ...
Sweetwater

$1199.00

FREE Shipping
Martin Om28v Acoustic Guitar With Martin Hard Shell Case

Martin Om28v Acoustic Guitar With Martin Hard Shell Case

Martin OM-28V Orchestra ModelEveryone from Eric Clapton to Sting to Johnny Lang has played a Martin guitar, and professionals and amateurs alike know ...
eBay

$3299.00

FREE Shipping
0 Martin OM-28V

0 Martin OM-28V

Loud and punchy acoustic tones are easy to play with the Martin OM-28V. Whether you're strumming, fingerstyle playing, or pick-style playing, the Mart...
Reverb.com

$3299.00

FREE Shipping
Martin M180 12-String 80/20 Strings

Martin M180 12-String 80/20 Strings

Martin Strings are high quality strings for daily use. Core and wrap wires must meet strict requirements in order to make the grade. Martin Strings ar...
zZounds.com

$6.49

+$2.99 shipping
Martin C1K (C1K Koa Uke)

Martin C1K (C1K Koa Uke)

Acoustic Guitars - Martin quality, in a beauty of a Ukulele! The C1K Uke sounds fantastic, plays great, and has the looks to match! This concert ukule...
Sweetwater

$469.00

FREE Shipping
Martin LX Little Martin Travel Acoustic Guitar with Gig Bag - Black

Martin LX Little Martin Travel Acoustic Guitar with Gig Bag - Black

The Martin LX Little Martin Acoustic Guitar is small enough to travel and big enough to Entertain a Crowd! The Little Martin is built with the same ...
American Musical Supply

$289.00

FREE Shipping
Martin X Series Lxm Little Martin Compact Acoustic Guitar With Padded Gig Bag

Martin X Series Lxm Little Martin Compact Acoustic Guitar With Padded Gig Bag

Small, modified 0-14 Martin body features a mahogany-pattern HPL top with '1 style Sitka spruce bracing, Micarta fretboard and bridge, 23 scale, Strat...
eBay

$289.00

FREE Shipping
Martin D-15M Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

Martin D-15M Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

The Martin D15M acoustic guitar is the most affordable solid wood guitar of the D15 series plus it is the most visually distinctive and innovative. Ma...
zZounds.com

$1199.00

FREE Shipping