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The Swan Thieves Audiobook

The Swan Thieves

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Publisher's Summary

Psychiatrist Andrew Marlowe has a perfectly ordered life--solitary, perhaps, but full of devotion to his profession and the painting hobby he loves. This order is destroyed when renowned painter Robert Oliver attacks a canvas in the National Gallery of Art and becomes his patient. In response, Marlowe finds himself going beyond his own legal and ethical boundaries to understand the secret that torments this genius, a journey that will lead him into the lives of the women closest to Robert Oliver and toward a tragedy at the heart of French Impressionism.

Ranging from American museums to the coast of Normandy, from the late 19th century to the late twentieth, from young love to last love, The Swan Thieves is a story of obsession, the losses of history, and the power of art to preserve human hope.

©2010 Elizabeth Kostova; (P)2010 Hachette

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (905 )
5 star
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Overall
3.8 (345 )
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Story
4.0 (341 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    W.Denis Savannah, GA, United States 01-18-10
    W.Denis Savannah, GA, United States 01-18-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful"

    In every aspect, this is one that rarely comes along and when it does I'd like to talk about it with everybody.

    12 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Gassville, AR, USA 02-11-10
    Sharon Gassville, AR, USA 02-11-10
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    "Loved it!"

    Outstanding story, and I enjoyed listening to it with the actors' accents and dramatic presentation -- a little music here and there. Great! I enjoy reading, and having a book to listen to allows me to make good use of my drive time. I also listen on my iPod while I'm doing housework.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Blackburne 01-21-10 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good, not too heavy listen"

    A good listen and easy to get wrapped up in. You'll like the characters and the pace of the book.
    *MILD SPOILER*
    The resolution is slightly predictable and the major problem resolved a little too quick and clean right at the end, but this does not diminish the hours of the story and the beautiful building of the characters.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Hansen Denmark 01-24-10
    J. Hansen Denmark 01-24-10 Member Since 2016

    iwantit

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "No Dracula!"

    I loved The Historian. Read it twice. Listened once (it is abriged, booo!). In this book I really miss Dracula. The characters are so timid it makes me grind my teeths. They meet in scenes where near to nothing happens and they all keep track of what food they were eating, the color and texture of what clothes they were wearing and what the other perons wore, in those scenes where nothing happened. They are all so educated (to be polite) that they would never call a painting a painting but always a "canvas". Now if only the Prince of Darkness would pop up among them to spice things up - to bring some tension to the story and some urgency to the characters. But - no such luck.

    10 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kasey Portland, OR, USA 01-26-10
    Kasey Portland, OR, USA 01-26-10
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    "God Robert Oliver your such a Dick"

    The Swan thieves was a lovely listen and It held a grand mystery that grips your attention. It truly made you want to follow the story to the end. Its use of different viewpoints and time-periods was fantastic.

    That being said, the characters themselves all felt rather selfish and some downright unlikable. Plus after listening to this book for hours and hours and expecting some reward for sitting patiently through hours of well-written if useless exposition the ending was just......blah. There was no end really it just kinda of ...trailed off and decided it was done. I felt cheated.

    The book is beautiful but the end falls flat. I still recommend it to anyone who loves a well written book (but be prepared to listen to alot of people talking about painting)

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    01-20-10
    01-20-10
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    "The Swan Thieves (unabridged)"

    Beautifully written and of course you can not go wrong with the narrators as they use their expert skills to bring this very well thought out book to life…worth the listen…

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katie Saint Louis, MO, USA 03-01-10
    Katie Saint Louis, MO, USA 03-01-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova"

    Dr. Andrew Marlowe receives a patient recommendation from a friend of his on a painter named Robert Oliver. Oliver was recently arrested for trying to stab a painting entitled The Swan Thieves. Oliver speaks to Marlowe only once, upon his first admittance to the psych hospital where he will be treated and refuses to speak again. Marlowe goes above and beyond, talking to Oliver's ex-wife, ex-lover, ex-colleagues and ex-acquaintances to try to get to the root of his problems. In the meantime, Oliver stays in his room at the hospital, being the perfect patient, painting the same woman over and over and over again. Who is this woman? Why does she have such a profound affect on Robert? And is she what drove him to the attack on the painting? Marlowe goes off in search of all of these answers to help his troubled patient, and the answers are not at all what he expected.

    I listened to the audio version of this. I found the story a little hard to follow. The narrators of the letters from Paris in the late 1800's reminded me so much of Antonio Banderas' voice I would giggle when they came on. The reading was very well done; Treat Williams as the lead Andrew Marlowe. However the narration and performance of one of the characters was so poignant, so strong, and so heartbreaking, that it garnered this review another star. Anne Heche as the voice of Kate Oliver, Robert's ex-wife. Her appearance is fairly brief, but her reading was the icing on the cake for me. I was almost in tears by the end of her section. I think if I would have read the book instead of listening to it I would not have finished it.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brea, CA United States 06-15-10
    Brea, CA United States 06-15-10 Member Since 2007

    tsaller

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Listen"

    I love to paint and this book inspired me to do more. It was a wonderful story and very well performed. The ending didn't wrap everything up, as others have said, but it was fitting to the story. This one left me thinking about it for a long time. Definitely worth listening to.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Woodworth 05-31-10 Member Since 2012
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    "Great read....beautiful"

    I loved this book (as well as her first, The Historian). The narration was so good! Several different people were used to tell this beautiful story. One of my favorite book listening experiences. I purchased the hard copy for a friend and have recommended it to many. If you love art and love romance this is the book for you.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail Johnson 03-31-10 Member Since 2014
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    "Couldn't even get past Chapter 2"

    This was my first Kostova book and I gotta say, if you are not a fan, think again about spending the money on this book. I tried 4, yes 4, times to get past the beginning of this book but found it too painful to proceed further. Most surprisingly, I love Treat Williams but found his narration tedious. He sounded as uninterested in the material as I was.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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