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
"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)
Ok, this is nothing at all like the art world that actually exists. This book is really over the top silly, which would be fine if it wasn't also just bad. The ethical positions that the character takes over and over again are not just questionable, but wrong. The storyline is extremely scattered and there are a lot of pointless subplots that peter out with no resolution.
Poor lady. The character was so annoying that I don't think any narrator could have made her likeable, but Sands has a nasal inflection to her voice that really underscored the character's flaws.
I really enjoyed this work of fiction based on the famous robbery of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The plot twist and turns were fun, the main character was compelling and I learned a lot about the science behind art forgery. I look forward to listening to more works both by the author and by the narrator.
A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others as a beach or cozy couch read. I give it three stars because it's good, not great, and creates a confusion between fact and fiction.
Claire, an up-and-coming Boston artist who makes a living copying famous works of art for a reproduction company, is asked by an art dealer to make a copy of a painting, a painting that turns out to be one of the works of art stolen from the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum in 1992. Fact: there was a major art heist there. Fiction: this particular piece of art by Degas.
As Claire wrestles with the ethics of what she is doing she relives the angst of her relationship with a married man, who sold a piece of art she did to MoMA, passing it off as his own. Of course nothing good comes of that relationship, and it seems Claire is doomed in relationships and in the art world forever...or is she?
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.
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 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.
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