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The Art Forger | [B. A. Shapiro]

The Art Forger

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.
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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 (762 )
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4.0 (664 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Taylor Long Beach, CA, United States 10-03-13
    Taylor Long Beach, CA, United States 10-03-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    11
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Weak Protaganist"
    Would you try another book from B. A. Shapiro and/or Xe Sands?

    Not from the author but the narrator did a fine enough job.


    What character would you cut from The Art Forger?

    The protagonist. She was annoying, weak-willed, naive, and her catharsis was next to nothing. I only hope the author intended this. Come to think of it, the protagonist wasn't just naive, she was plain stupid after falling for the same con.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GK 09-17-13
    GK 09-17-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    Story
    "Extremely enjoyable"
    Would you listen to The Art Forger again? Why?

    I don't usually read books twice, some probably won't listen to it again - but I did find myself wishing it would go on, revisiting the story in my head for days after I finished it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was a good story, and well told. I liked the art world setup, the mix of historical detail and contemporary narrative, the plot was very compelling and not too trite or predictable - it was very fun.


    What three words best describe Xe Sands’s performance?

    Breathy; vocal fry


    If you could rename The Art Forger, what would you call it?

    It's a good name


    Any additional comments?

    I did not like the reader. At one point I almost stopped listening because it was getting unbearable (but I pulled through... Glad I did). Somehow she made most conversations sound like sexual situations or over-dramatic exchanges.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn Starkville, MS, United States 09-02-13
    Lynn Starkville, MS, United States 09-02-13 Member Since 2011

    As an entreprenuer, it is hard for me to shut off my brain! It is also hard for me to sit still! I love audibles! I can exercise, work on "chores" , travel and be entertained! Always looking for a good story!

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    "I entered the mind of an artist!"

    Fascinating! I thoroughly enjoyed!!!
    Book ended a little quickly though...almost like the story was finished in a hurry. I would read another book on this topic by this author!!! Refreshing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth MISSOULA, MT, United States 05-01-13
    Ruth MISSOULA, MT, United States 05-01-13 Member Since 2012

    Urth81

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    "Not the best, not the worst."
    Did The Art Forger inspire you to do anything?

    Not really. I enjoyed the basic context of the story, but I found myself more frustrated with the characters than anything else.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tina Novato, CA, United States 04-25-13
    Tina Novato, CA, United States 04-25-13 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    24
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    Story
    "Painting intrigue"

    Highly enjoyable whodunit, howdunit, wasitdun plot, powered by some excellent bits of art history, and the techniques of forgery.

    The romance was a bit flat, but all of the art stuff was fascinating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    El Costa Rica 03-21-13
    El Costa Rica 03-21-13 Member Since 2010

    gallo

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating and Timely"

    The Art Forger is not great literature; however, the subject is facinating and timely. The plot is engrossing. A worthwhile listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bonnie nelson 02-19-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I wanted to finish"
    What made the experience of listening to The Art Forger the most enjoyable?

    The exploration of old and new painting materials and techniques as well as the several plot twists made me sorry to finish


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanne 02-11-13
    Suzanne 02-11-13 Member Since 2011
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    5
    1
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    Story
    "Great read!"
    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes, the plot did keep me on edge -- in a good way.


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

    The lead woman.


    Any additional comments?

    Very interesting details about the art world and how to forge a picture. A good number of plot twists. Really enjoyed the read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol 01-14-13
    Carol 01-14-13 Member Since 2010

    Can't stop listening

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret GUILFORD, CT, United States 01-07-13
    Margaret GUILFORD, CT, United States 01-07-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    "Engrossing, especially for artists--and mysterious"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Art Forger to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version, but it was recommended to me by someone who did--and who happens to be a fine artist who uses many media, but who paints primarily in oils these days. As a retired commercial artist, I'm at least familiar with all the processes used except using old canvases and attempting to fool the experts!


    What did you like best about this story?

    It has twists, turns, and surprises--and solid information about faithful copies which could be forgeries. The whole process was fascinating.


    What about Xe Sands’s performance did you like?

    It was a good, even performance with no confusion about whose voice we were hearing--very pleasant and easy to listen to.


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

    Several--maybe all


    Any additional comments?

    The technical explanations about forgeries were interesting to me and to my fine artist friend, but I think that the author may have gone on a bit long for the average reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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