The story of an artist's passion and the history of the art world were entertaining and engaging. Sadly, there really wasn't enough character development for me to care all that much about what happened to the people in the story. The two leads don't seem to have much in common and Claire comes across as emotionally stunted. The slow, breathy, whiney narration does NOT help with this.
The various dimensions of the story and the many pieces of the puzzle from different time periods.
The resolution to the puzzle and the surprise of the relationship twister in the end.
She has a great command of the various languages and characters.
No, but it held my attention and kept me wanting more in the end.
The story line is excellent and original - but I mostly napped or fast-forwarded through the Part 1, and the action doesn't really start until Part 2. I usually yawn through interludes where old correspondence is read when such letter-reading interludes are employed merely to add texture. In this case, I became tired of listening to Ms. Gardner's shopping escapades and travels with brand name artists and art critics and I didn't think it mattered to hear about the details of Degas life as seen by someone who knew him. Other readers might love this, so it's just one of my proclivities, or negativities, as the case may be.
There are some sexual diversions, which are brief and succinct, thankfully, because this is not chic-fic, but there are also some passages which are outright pollyanna-ish - there could have been a better way to expand on the moments that the protagonist is finally becoming successful, instead of having her sound like Dorothy clicking her heels, "not in Kansas" any more.
I also think that including sex and romance with the "deal with the devil" is predictable and overdone, but perhaps that helps sell books and to fund the ongoing flow of audiobooks for our consumption and enjoyment, who can figure, except editors and marketing gurus.
The writer masters the true-crime parts of the story effectively, mixing the facts of the actual art heist smoothly with fictional inventions and story arc.
I generally like Xe Sands as a narrator - but for this book I thought she sounded too girlish and neither ironic nor "noir" enough for this story. Her voice occasionally gives an innocence, sensuality and enthusiasm which I didn't think worked with the plot line.
I am giving this a 4 instead of a 5 because of the disconnect between story and reader. I wish I could give it a 4.5, because said disconnect is not a huge factor and only occasionally affected my listening groove.
I loved the descriptions of the art process. It really made a visual presentation for me.
It was a combination of successes and failures, much like life.
Very flowing without being overdone.
The moment that the paintings arrive at the apartment of the forger. I really got a sense of how awe inspired she was of the originals.
I didn't agree from the sample that I heard that the reader was "nasal" but eventually I did decide that she was irritatingly breathy in her speech. Still, overall it was not a bad experience. The story was interesting enough although I found the conclusion a little rushed and anticlimactic. I would consider it very light listening.
The Art Forger tells the story of the recovery of a painting (perhaps) from the famous Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist. The main character - the art forger - is well drawn. Shapiro did a good job creating a character who is nice, though a bit simpering, but is able to tamp down her morals for money. Usually characters who do this are drawn to be sinister so we do not like them. This was a pretty realistic depiction of the choices perfectly nice people make when weighing options. The story itself I found to be just average. An interesting companion is the non-fiction book Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures which is written by the FBI agent who worked on the Gardner Heist.
I am so tired of glorification of criminals. This is a boring story about boring criminals. Not much information or mystery or story and character development.
An overall entertaining story, that was rich with details about the art world and processes of oil painting. I knew nothing about this subject prior to reading the book, so I can't say if it's accurate, but the level of detail makes me think that it is. I learned something. The story seems a bit contrived at the end, but kept me listening!
The combination of the distracting narrator and the overly detailed writing caused me to stop listening to this book before I was half finished.
The story might be okay, though the protagonist, Claire, comes across as enormously whiny and self-centered, I might have listened to it till the end, had the narrator not be so awful. She does all the voices in the same snooty-sounding, bored drone, as if she is stoned or half asleep. I don't like to criticize, but it just is not a voice I personally found very pleasant. I just couldn't care about the characters because they were so bland and self-obsessed, it seemed to me.Maybe I would have liked the print version better, because the premise of the story has a lot of potential, but in the audiobook, I was very disappointed.