The American: Previously published as A Very Private Gentleman

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Martin Booth

Narrated By: Ralph Cosham

Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks

Date: August 2010

Duration: 10 hours 4 minutes


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 cafés, 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.

"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."—Publishers Weekly


  • Disappointed Moviegoer

    My husband and I watched the movie with George Clooney before I listened to the book. I almost didn't bother after sitting through the most boring, actionless, confused waste of film ever to win an Oscar...or whatever it was the movie supposedly won. I don't see how unless the critics didn't watch it. Anyway, I relunctantly started listening to the book the other night and I was expecting some differences but I was amazed at all the details that suddenly made the whole plot make sense. I was also very surprised by the ending which is TOTALLY different from the movie. All-in-all, I enjoyed the book and just goes to further prove my personal theory that if there is a movie based on a the book.

American: Previously published as A Very Private Gentleman

by Martin Booth

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American: Previously published as A Very Private Gentleman, Martin Booth