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The Art Forger Audiobook

The Art Forger

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Publisher's Summary

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 19th century may be the only evidence that can now save her life.

©2012 Barbara Shapiro (P)2012 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

"A clever, twisty novel about art, authenticity, love, and betrayal. B. A. Shapiro knows about Degas, and she knows about art theft and forgery, and she also knows how to tell a gripping story." (Tom Perrotta)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1834 )
5 star
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Overall
4.1 (1622 )
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Story
4.1 (1626 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    james Hamm 01-15-15
    james Hamm 01-15-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Compelling Mystery"
    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Art Forger?

    The Art Forger is a creative, well paced mystery. I found myself listening at every free moment to hear the next turn in the story. The listener is kept on their toes with twists and turns that build anticipation.


    Which character – as performed by Xe Sands – was your favorite?

    The narration is great. The reader gives a compelling performance, riding the wave of emotion the story embodies. Character narration is differentiated nicely with subtle changes in tone and cadence rather than oddly performed caricatured voices as in some audio books.


    Any additional comments?

    Overall this is a great book for the mystery lover. I'd recommend it to friends...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tara 12-30-14
    Tara 12-30-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Great fiction for painter and art history lovers!"
    What did you love best about The Art Forger?

    Very well researched both in terms of art history and of the technique/skill of oil painting. I have always been a huge fan of Edgar Degas. In fact, seeing his show at the metropolitan museum of art in the late 80's was for me a life changing for a girl of 15 which is how old I was at the time. Besides being a terrific book with a great plot, the skill in which the writer describes Degas's work, and Claire's experience in re-producing the masters painting, is not only well researched but very moving, especially of you understand painting.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Claire, of course! A true heroine, with enough humility and honesty about herself and the art world to understand that beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, and that in the world of high end fine art, the world only sees what it wants to see.


    Have you listened to any of Xe Sands’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. Sometimes I felt the reader sounded a bit too "weepy" or too emotional. Overall, she is a very good performer.


    If you could take any character from The Art Forger out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Isabella Stewart Gardner. Of course!!!M oh to know what she knew...


    Any additional comments?

    If you love intelligent thrillers & mysteries AND art, this is your book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah HOUSTON, TX, United States 12-24-14
    Deborah HOUSTON, TX, United States 12-24-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Hard to finish"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Learning about the "art" of art forgery and the commercial side of the art world was interesting, but the story was based on an "idiot plot" : no reasonable thinking person would have gotten him/herself in such a situation! I know that art forgers do exist and have their reasons, but I do not find them to be sympathetic. I continued listening to learn how the author would tie up the loose ends and vindicate her protagonist, which I knew she would do. The main character seemed likeable, but for a supposedly smart and strong-willed woman, was easily manipulated by men and lied too easily for her own good. By the end of the novel, I didn't understand how she had any friends or supporters. The story was so implausible, I ended up feeling cheated of my 10 hours.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Learning about art forgery, and the mystery of the fake Degas.


    What three words best describe Xe Sands’s voice?

    Men were irritating. She did well with the main (female) character's voice, but the men all were depicted in a deep-throated husky voice.


    Was The Art Forger worth the listening time?

    Yes and no. I could have spent more time in the world of the art world, less in the head of the main character, who was meant to be a heroine, but was really an unsympathetic character to anyone who cares about art and authenticity.


    Any additional comments?

    Dialogue was thin. Supposedly smart creative people should be much wittier.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ashbychick 12-11-14
    Ashbychick 12-11-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Really enjoyed this one"
    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed this book. It took me awhile to figure out the mystery and it had a satisfying conclusion. It did drag a bit in the middle and I felt like some things were just filler. The narrator was excellent. A very enjoyable experience!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 08-19-14
    Jennifer 08-19-14 Member Since 2013
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    "A Piece of Art Lost to History..."

    A piece of art lost to history is sought by an artist hired to copy it.
    A very different kind of mystery from my usual. Three different timelines reveal their stories bit by bit, keeping me on the hook especially about the goings-on at the end of the 19th century storyline, though the author predominantly focused the story on modern day plot - the stolen Degas and the painter who spotted it as a forgery, sparking her own investigation into its history. An appreciation of art would be a plus (I happen to love Degas), but not necessary, especially if you're just as interested in the theft and mystery itself. Kept me on edge as developments grew in suspense and gravity. Cynical commentary on the art world and media. The tragedy of the main character's past haunts much of her present actions, which was a little overly included, even harped on; I think you could have deleted a few instances without losing the message of its significance, but it did impact her whole outlook and course of action so not irrelevant. She also seemed a bit too naive and trusting going into this endeavor for having been through what she has (but maybe its more illustrative of my reading habits and being on the lookout for deceivers and solving the whodunit before the end, rather than about her...) After all, I figured it out the same moment her own thoughts lead her to her final conclusion. It was a fascinating story of a painting.

    The narrator was wonderful at the tones of the women, but seemed to have only one, maybe two distinct male voices, which confused me once or twice.

    Overall a good read, couldn't put it down near the end- the moment i had the chance i listened to the last 3 hours straight through. Makes me want to go view some impressionist masterpieces.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johni Draper, UT, United States 08-08-14
    Johni Draper, UT, United States 08-08-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Couldn't Get Past the Horrible Narration"

    The book rated one star across the board because I couldn't write this brief review without rating each category. I can't rate the story because the narration was so bad. Probably won't buy the paper or kindle versions--my book "reading" takes place in the car.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie United States 07-22-14
    Debbie United States 07-22-14 Member Since 2016

    Well researched thrillers Chriton-esque. Nonfiction: Science, medical, biography, "self-help" meta cognitive sub-genre, memoir, philosophy..

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Much-enjoyed!"
    If you could sum up The Art Forger in three words, what would they be?

    03 words: I wish the painting have been there Vermeer. The plot draws upon an intriguing story in real art history. The characters are very well done. It's not overly thrilling, overly scary… It's just not over the top. However it was eminently listenable. And my immediate reaction upon concluding the book was to see if the author had another available on audible.com.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    The plot kept me going in no small part due to the characters and their relationships. Yet this is an easy book to have going on while doing other things around the house.


    Which character – as performed by Xe Sands – was your favorite?

    The main character. I think the narrator did a poor job with male voices and it took some real getting used to. Plus all the male voices were the same to my ear.


    Any additional comments?

    In many ways this book was just exactly what I wanted and needed. I wish I had more of them. Not too heavy. Not too twisty. Not too dark. Yet grounded and not out floating around somewhere in the universe of lost threads. I like the insight into the main character and thought that was very well written. That character was humanized. Artist or not, it could've been so many of us.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edie 07-20-14
    Edie 07-20-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "ENGAGING"
    Where does The Art Forger rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    At an eight out of ten. good story overall


    Would you be willing to try another book from B. A. Shapiro? Why or why not?

    Yes


    Which scene was your favorite?

    the stages of painting the artwork was the most interesting


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    Its a good story. A bit too much is given away as you hear letters from Bel Gardner but the end twists enough to keep it interesting. Wish the main character was stronger but...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allyson Bellaire, TX, United States 07-19-14
    Allyson Bellaire, TX, United States 07-19-14 Member Since 2016
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    3
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    "Narrator takes a little getting used to"
    What three words best describe Xe Sands’s voice?

    In the end, I enjoyed this narrator, but the breathy overly sexual interpretation of the men's voices, I found off-putting. Either I got used to it or it was less obvious a few chapters in and I enjoyed the narrator.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kris 06-16-14
    kris 06-16-14

    Avid reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Horrid male voices"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. I didn't like the narrator and the story was dragged out. Not able to care I read only for protagonist.


    What three words best describe Xe Sands’s voice?

    Ok for female but males voices unappealing and they all sounded the same. Cadence was off and each male exactly the same sound.


    Do you think The Art Forger needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Not for me. It's a done deal. Enough of the protagonist that I had no feeling for in one book, let alone another.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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