I enjoyed The Historian and was waiting for the next Kostova book. I've been stuck in part 1 and am giving up. I just don't care about anyone in this book.
And allow for double the listening time because you will be constantly falling asleep... most especially throughout Treat Williams' readings. I don't place the whole blame on Treat Williams; Anne Heche was shrill (I get it - her character was shrill - but it was still very annoying). Finally, and ultimately, I don't think the greatest narrator could have saved this slow and tedious book.
The Swan thieves was a lovely listen and It held a grand mystery that grips your attention. It truly made you want to follow the story to the end. Its use of different viewpoints and time-periods was fantastic.
That being said, the characters themselves all felt rather selfish and some downright unlikable. Plus after listening to this book for hours and hours and expecting some reward for sitting patiently through hours of well-written if useless exposition the ending was just......blah. There was no end really it just kinda of ...trailed off and decided it was done. I felt cheated.
The book is beautiful but the end falls flat. I still recommend it to anyone who loves a well written book (but be prepared to listen to alot of people talking about painting)
I loved The Historian. Read it twice. Listened once (it is abriged, booo!). In this book I really miss Dracula. The characters are so timid it makes me grind my teeths. They meet in scenes where near to nothing happens and they all keep track of what food they were eating, the color and texture of what clothes they were wearing and what the other perons wore, in those scenes where nothing happened. They are all so educated (to be polite) that they would never call a painting a painting but always a "canvas". Now if only the Prince of Darkness would pop up among them to spice things up - to bring some tension to the story and some urgency to the characters. But - no such luck.
This book held me captive from the first five minutes until the end. This is on of the best works of prose I have ever read. I stayed up to listen and was so pulled in by the writer's use of language to create the sense of longing of each of the characters. The last three books I've listened to cannot even compare to how well written this story is!
It's not awful, but I was disappointed, expecting something as great as "The Historian." I kept waiting for something major to happen and I felt like the story just petered out. I thought the narration was AWFUL- particularly that by Treat Williams. I also found the "French" accents to be overdone and distracting. The whole thing was just ok.
I love to paint and this book inspired me to do more. It was a wonderful story and very well performed. The ending didn't wrap everything up, as others have said, but it was fitting to the story. This one left me thinking about it for a long time. Definitely worth listening to.
This was just as beautifully written (and narrated) as her first book, The Historian. The different voices added so much to my picture of each character. The characters from the past with their French accents truly added a dimension to the story that by reading I doubt I would have appreciated. Ms. Kostova's in depth descriptions of both the physical and emotional are breathtaking at times. She is absolutely one of my favorite contemporary writers. I rather liked the ending, it was mysterious (as in the Historian), and left your mind wondering, your heart a bit empty, almost like a lost love... not knowing...
First, the good news. I found the story to be interesting, I learned a great deal about art, and didn't mind multiple narrators (though I have probably heard enough of Treat Williams). Now the bad - this is a SLOW listen. The story unfolds gradually, and by the end, I was starting to regret not downloading the abridged version. So, just be prepared for a good book, just not a page-turning thriller.