Stephen Greenblatt tells the story of a treasure hunter of the 1400's who unearths a remarkable manuscript. But there is another story told about the way ideas are disseminated and remembered as well as censored and forgotten. The radical shifts of cosmological views during the Renaissance are also explored through the colorful characters that are touched by the ideas contained in the ancient manuscript. For those who love books, for those who love ideas, and for those who enjoy seeing how the two can change the world, this is a great listen.
The narrator is also wonderful. The right pace and a clear voice.
As usual, Kingsolver brings characters to life in all their flawed beauty and realism. We feel we know them and even better, understand them. Flight Behavior has a point of view, but not exactly what you might expect and not a simple one. Kingsolver often gives us a complex reality dressed in butterfly wings. The story was original and even the characters struggled to make sense of it. But it is a metaphor for all the changes we face, whether personal or global in nature, how we deal with circumstances when they fall outside what we know. Another beauty and another one that sticks with the reader.
My perspective as a former studio painter and art history buff attracted me to this book and created both my favorable and unfavorable views. I started off being skeptical of the artistic license used in both the technical issues and the historic. Focusing on an Impressionist painting seemed so over-done; being a Vermeer fanatic, I would have preferred "The Concert" as subject (a real casualty in the real heist). But I was still pulled in and carried along partly because I could relate to the issues if not buying every detail. Many have commented on enjoying the technicalities of forgery, which I admit, were a fun read. In fact, there is so much more than given but Shapiro avoids tedium and gives us enough to enjoy. Strong female protagonists are always welcome and a glimpse of the art world will satisfy those who have no clue. I thought of DaVinci code (which I loved as a guilty pleasure) so I recommend this unless you know too much about painting to let a little go and enjoy yourself. In my humble opinion, more books about art and craft are needed on the shelves. This is a rich subject.
I heard it was kind of dark, so I scanned reviews to get a better feel for what I was getting myself in to. But surprises and twists are what awaits you in this page-turner of a suspenseful marriage. Don't spoil any of it by knowing too much before it begins. Just enjoy the psychological mind game Gillian plays with you. It would be a GREAT selection for a book group. I promise you, it is hard not to want to discuss this one! Her best novel so far. I hope for many more!
Elizabethan Oxford, sixteenth century, political/religious conflict, and in sweeps the very real and humane Giordano Bruno. I loved his flaws and his ability to navigate in a world that he knows is full of hidden dangers. I thought John Lee was superb with the accents and the tone. Enjoyed this very much. It was not as dense as it sounded and I found it easy to step into and hard to walk away from.
It took awhile to get to know these characters, but once there, it all came together beautifully. It helps to have some perspective of age and an appreciation for the relationship between art and life to fully feel this book's soul. I had serious doubts that a conversation between two people could keep me going for the whole book, but it did, and by the end, I was so pleased to have listened in. Nicely narrated, which was a challenge here.
Lovely premise and written well enough, but I had hoped for more connection in the end of the pleasant ride up through the history of the small town. In the end, it was like anytown, with the ghosts and memories of the past always lingering but it missed a satisfying resolution of some sort. I won't say don't try it, because the stories have character and depth, but I just can't rave on this.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.