This feat attracts the attention of Werner Krebs, a shady art dealer who becomes Wilmot's friend and patron. Wilmot is suddenly working with a fervor he hasn't felt in years, but without warning, he finds himself reliving moments from his past - not as memories but as if they are happening all over again. Soon, he believes he can travel back to the 17th century where he lived as the Spanish artist Diego Rodriguez de Silva Velazquez. Wilmot begins to fantasize that as Velazquez, he has created a masterpiece and when the painting actually turns up, he doesn't know if he painted it or if he imagined the whole thing.
Little by little, Wilmot enters a secret world of gangsters, greed, and murder, with his mystery patron at the center of it all, either as the mastermind behind a plot to forge a painting worth millions, or as the man who will save Wilmot from obscurity and madness. Miraculously inventive, this book cements Gruber's reputation as one of the most imaginative and gifted writers of our time.
©2008 Michael Gruber; (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers
I'm an artist in the NY area and I loved this book, particularly the spot-on descriptions of the Manhattan art scene. If you're a fan of timetravel stories and have even a passing interest in art, this book is for you. Great characters, well-written, kept me wondering but had a satisfying conclusion, and considering (literally) today's headlines about re-authenticating Velazquwz's portraits of young King Philip at Prada and The Met, quite timely.
After loving "the Book of Air and Shaddows" I rushed to order "The Forgery of Venus" and boy am I glad I did!! The story is a delightful roller coaster of twists and turns with an engaging protagonist (or possible two - does he have a 17th century doppleganger?) and an encyclopedic view of the Great Masters of painting, especially Velasquez. Add halucenogenic drugs, a few ex-wives, a (possibly) evil mastermind, and a lot of fascinating detail abour food, wine, and art forgery, and there you go!! What a ride!!
I liked this narrator a lot. Better than the much more obtrusive voice of the narrator of "Air and Shaddows". He had the job of voicing two people speaking, and he did it clearly but without resorting to accents, manerisms or other bothersome tricks. In voicing the main character, Chaz Wilmet, he was just excellent, with the undertones of frustration, agitation, craziness and philospphical acceptance all perfectly appropriate but so understated i felt like it was my own voice comprehending the words in my head.
Hey Audiblre - Why are two of this author's books available only in abridgement????????????
work as an artist and art restorer. read at least 48 books a year, because I can listen while I work.
a real treat for artists, and a spellbinding thriller. Thought this was the best Michael Gruber that is available on audible. After reading this, I downloaded the rest of his work, but still think this is the best. the details about art and conservation are spot on with only one exception that any art restorer would know is bogus. However, the story is one to keep you guessing and riveted. loved it.
Having stumbled into "The Good Son" by the same author, I purchased this book. Both books deeply engaged me. Left me wondering....Thought provoking, he describes a familiar world that is transformed into a different reality by various means we may never understand. Is it a mind altering drug or prolonged capture that has the power to transform the characters? Or is it the evanescence of our reality? Are we the captors or the captive? Everything flashes in the light of his prose.
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