The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro
Publisher: HighBridge (October 2012)
Audio Source: Publisher
Formats Available: Hardcover, Kindle, Audio
Format Read: Audio CD (unabridged version),
Narrated by: Xe Sands
Running Time: 10 hours
Synopsis from Goodreads: On March 18, 1990, thirteen works of art today worth over $500 million were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. It remains the largest unsolved art heist in history, and Claire Roth, a struggling young artist, is about to discover that there’s more to this crime than meets the eye.
Making a living reproducing famous artworks for a popular online retailer and desperate to improve her situation, Claire is lured into a Faustian bargain with Aiden Markel, a powerful gallery owner. She agrees to forge a painting—a Degas masterpiece stolen from the Gardner Museum—in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But when that very same long-missing Degas painting is delivered to Claire’s studio, she begins to suspect that it may itself be a forgery.
Her desperate search for the truth leads Claire into a labyrinth of deceit where secrets hidden since the late nineteenth century may be the only evidence that can now save her life.
My thoughts: I have to admit that at first I was a little intimidated by The Art Forger. As someone who has an under developed appreciation for both art and literary fiction, I was afraid that the book was going to be over my head. I can happily say that it was not.
In the end, The Art Forger turned out to be an unexpected treat for me. It was educational in that it spoke of the art world in a way that I was unfamiliar with. It conveyed information about techniques that various artists used that became their personal style. The Art Forger is full of mystery and intrigue with plot twists that kept me guessing. There was also quite a bit of romance, which was an unexpected but integral part of the story. The story moved along at the perfect pace.
I enjoyed getting to know Claire through her art, her personal tragedies and her triumphs. She was an extremely easy character to relate to. I think this is in part due to the narration by Xe Sands. Sands brought out the subtle nuances in Claire’s character that I don’t think I would have picked up on had I been reading the book in print.
While I enjoyed The Art Forger immensely, I wasn’t as blown away as I know many others were. Perhaps this was due to my own prejudice as to what I think “Literary Fiction” is. I’m certainly glad that I read it and if it is a true representation of Literary Fiction then I believe I’ve been missing out on some great works. Has this ever happened to you? If you’ve read The Art Forger, what are some other works in the same vein that I should pick up?
If you haven’t read The Art Forger yet, do give it a try. I’ll be sharing this book with my friends and family. I know a few people who are going to really enjoy it.
© 2013, Teresa. All rights reserved.