Painter, musician, bibliophile...
This is a great story and I highly recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in art or true crime. There are so many characters, lines of inquiry, and bits of history woven through the story, and a feeling of "being there" in real time. The authors' style and organization in handling such a complex story are admirable. Writing about art in an engaging way is tough, but these two keep the story moving all the way to the end.
The authors portray Myatt with great sympathy. Most of the time, his part in the crimes is downplayed, as if being a good father and going to church were enough to offset the rest. In fact, he willingly participated in the scheme for 8 years before Drewe began acting ever more erratic and Myatt feared he'd end up in jail with him.
Maybe Myatt is just the sort of criminal people love, one who got one over on the establishment. He fell into Dulux emulsion and came up with gold!
Unfortunately, the narrator sounds like a computer speaking the words, with no pacing or character to her voice, and mispronunciations abound. Plus, as this is a story about a couple of British cons and much of the action has to do with London, why not get an English narrator?
A quick check to update the afterword was revealing. In a nutshell, Drewe was sentenced to prison again in 2012 for defrauding an elderly woman of her fortune; Mary Lisa Palmer was thrown under the bus by the Giacometti Foundation; John Myatt continues to sell "real fakes" and make appearances on telly.
Possibly. I usually only listen to each book once.
Great narration. Brings the book to life.
The World's Greatest Confidence Man
Reading about art is almost as enjoyable for me as looking at art. The word "provenance" means a record of ownership of a work of art or an antique. This paperwork is used as a guide to authenticity. This book is a meticulously researched and fascinating recording of one of the greatest cons in the history of art forgery. It took place in the 1980&90's. A huge number of paintings were forged, purchased, auctioned and circulated throughout the world. It is a mystery of sorts, but more of a documentary of events and evidence.
Reader made this terrible. Could have been a very good audio book, it had a very interesting story. But it was painful to listen to.
Yes. With a more exciting reader
What a story.I knew about the events described in the book but truly didn't understand what the motivation for the forger was before. I found the forger a very sympathetic character.
Were they in a hurry or something? This is a great story read way, way to fast. Slow down girl. I need a chance to savor the story. I felt like I was listening to the legal info at the end of an erectile dysfunction commercial.
I enjoyed the insight into the mind of a sociopathic liar and the interesting history and inner workings of the art world. The extent to which humans can deceive others and themselves is fascinating and scary.
Good books and peaceful days...
Artist with two young kids, down on his luck, meets swashbuckling conman who charms the artist into copying less-known works by the masters, for his own personal collection, he says. But not long after, during a visit, the younger artist notices his paintings have disappeared from their prominant place on the conman's walls. It's awhile before this artist fully understands hat his new 'friend' is doing with his paintings, for which he's been given increasingly large(r) sums of cash. And when his wealthy, well-dressed, smooth-talking friend asks him to attend an auction at one of London's most ite art museums, he realizes and is stunned to learn that his friend has donated, as well as sold, many of this young man's forgeries, which have passed the watchful eyes of the art world's elite. An incredible, fast-paced story that explains how the stuffy art world was initially taken for millions, during which its 'provenances' were fabricated to such an extent that many still believe there are fakes out there being mistaken for real. Fortunately, these authors write much better than me. If you like art and a fine story, you won't want to miss this one!
Even a passing interest in the art world would make this book worthy of your time. The only problem I had was with the narrator. I downloaded it quickly and on a recommendation, not looking at who was reading the audio. I had expected an English person, given both the subject and the general ubiquity of British accents in the world of audiobooks. Instead, it turned out to be an American woman...which would be completely fine, if she hadn't totally disregarded the whole "thriller" aspect of the story. The book is nonfiction, but it's plotted like a suspenseful novel. The narrator ran flatly through chapter-endings that were clearly intended to be cliffhangers, and the effect was a little off-putting.
The book is certainly worth a try, though! Might just be a little better in written form.