Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Marriage Artist: A Novel” as Want to Read:
The Marriage Artist: A Novel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Marriage Artist: A Novel

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  348 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
When the wife of renowned art critic Daniel Lichtmann plunges to her death, she is not alone. Lying next to her is Benjamin Wind, the very artist Daniel most championed. Dedicating himself to uncovering the secrets of their relationship, Daniel discovers a web of mysteries leading back to pre--World War II Vienna. Ambitious, haunting, and stunningly written, The Marriage A ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by Picador (first published 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Marriage Artist, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Marriage Artist

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Janet
Jun 29, 2010 Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Fantastic book--I read it as an ARC (advanced reading copy)--BUT IT'S OUT NOW!! What a beautiful book--hard to review something that's not out yet, and tell you how great it is and that you'll have to wait. Sorry!! But now you can grab it for yourselves--and I suggest you do just that!

This is a beautiful piece of serious literature worth waiting for. The novel concerns the fate of a ketubah (Jewish marriage contract) artist in Vienna in the '30s and his grandson, an important figure in the art w
...more
Alayne Bushey
Oct 25, 2010 Alayne Bushey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The narrative of Andrew Winer’s The Marriage Artist is akin to two train tracks heading toward each other and meeting at a final destination. Imagine watching these trains from the sky, see them converge, but sit back and enjoy the view. Look at the landscape, watch the passing trees, and eavesdrop on fellow travelers’ conversations and stories which only make sense once both trains have pulled into the station.

Track one is the story of art critic Daniel Lichtmann, whose wife Aleksandra plunged
...more
Karen
ARC Review!

The Marriage Artist, in a few words, is brilliant yet convuluted - dazzling yet lofty. The story parallels modern day tales of Daniel Lichtmann, an art critic discovering his wife's dead body next to Benjamin Wind - the artist that Daniel has eulogized, and praised repeatedly - to the tale of Vienna in World War II, which ultimately reverts back to Benjamin Wind's past and family.

I had a hard time starting the Marriage Artist if anything. It is undenibly engaging, and poetic, but al
...more
Tina
Sep 19, 2010 Tina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gorgeously written and profound novel. The only thing I wanted to do when I finished it was to begin again on page 1, where it it is written "In the greatest matters - love and death, sex too - our minds are rarely in concert with our hearts".
Doreen
Oct 24, 2011 Doreen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm going to be lazy and just post the Q&A I completed here.

===========

Hi, everyone! This is the first book club I've ever been in, so this is all pretty new and exciting for me. Unlike the reviewers so far, though, I didn't really enjoy this book. I also have a habit of going on and on, so please feel free to skip my rather curmudgeonly comments. Thanks for including me, though! Thoughts below:

1. What were your general impressions of the book?

It started out so well. The juxtaposition of the
...more
switterbug (Betsey)
Andrew Winer has written a potboiler that is also literary. Writing about such a serious subject as the Holocaust sometimes constricts a novelist into a more conventional form of storytelling/historical fiction. But as we have seen with such books as Frederick Reiken's Day for Night and Nicole Krauss's postmodern Great House, as well as Death as a narrator in Markus Zusak's The Book Thief, the only unwritten rules are to grip the reader in a credible story and to edify through words. Winer has d ...more
Kathryn
Jun 23, 2011 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't often award 5 stars in my reviews, but I think this novel truly is amazing. I love everything about it from the characters to the intertwined plots to the title to the names of each section [We Lose Our Love to History, Parts One and Two, and We Will All Be Wedded]. I also loved the way the author considers life, marriage, survival, connection, voice, memory, and death while he openly and often irreverently questions faith, love, partnership/loyalty, death, the role of religion, identity ...more
Lisa
Jan 11, 2011 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The way this story is carefully woven reminds me a bit of Nicole Krauss' "The Great House." I love the way Andrew Winer writes and if you haven't read his first book "The Color Midnight Made" - it's brilliant as well. This is the story of Daniel, an art critic, and how he comes to term with the death of his wife and her artist lover. The book starts out with their deaths so this isn't a spoiler. Daniel can't accept their suicides much less the fact that his wife even had a secret life. He starts ...more
Caroline
Oct 24, 2010 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When a celebrated artist and a woman are found plunged to their deaths, Daniel, the art critic, looks back at his life and wonders when his wife started having an affair with the artist and if he had introduced them. Her death leads him towards an analysis of their marriage, his past and his discovery of a photograph of his wife and the artist, Benjamin Wind, leads him on a quest to find out more personal details about Benjamin and in doing so, perhaps the answer to the mystery behind his wife's ...more
Beth
Sep 25, 2011 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A random pick off the staff pick shelf. I did not realize that the title "The Marriage Artist" referred to a Jewish artist who painted ketubahs (marriage contracts) for Jewish newlyweds in Vienna, Austria before WWII. I thought it had to do with the modern day artist who was found murdered at the beginning of the novel. It took me two weeks to get through the first half of the book. It was so deep, heavy, and metaphorical that I kept putting it down after several pages every night because I got ...more
Lisa
Oct 01, 2010 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately, the busy-ness of my life lately made this book a little difficult to get through -- but I don't think it had anything to do with the book.

This is a family story, dating back to the horrific days of being a Jew in Austria in the early 1940's to a present day couple who leaps to their death. The husband of the dead woman begins a search to figure out why she would die so next to the artist that he helped raise to stardom. He ends up tracing the artist's family history, falling in lo
...more
Beth
Jan 29, 2011 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm about halfway through. I put it down for a few days because it's not an easy read. But I like the story and am interested in figuring out the mysteries in the plot.

Finally finished this book last weekend & the mysteries are solved. It was a difficult read for me, but finishing was worth it.
Sarah
Dec 01, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good for about 3/4 of the way. He got lost toward the end, tying up too many ends, explaining too much but I still recommend it - complex and moving.
Merle
Dec 21, 2010 Merle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful story!! Well told and beautifully written
Lorri
The Marriage Artist: A novel, by Andrew Winer, is an incredible literary feat, in my opinion.
The novel is a a brilliantly composed saga of two stories that alternate within the pages. It is a book with broad and deep expanses, beginning in current times, and sweeping back to Vienna, beginning in 1928.The stories blend magically, with the magnificent word-imagery of Winer.
In the present, we have Daniel Lichtmann, a well-respected art critic. His positive, stunning and admiring critiques of the na
...more
Michelle
From the very first sentence, the reader knows that The Marriage Artist is not going to be an easy or light-hearted read. Opening with the suicides, the reader is immediately plunged into the loss and doubt left behind for the survivors after such a death. Against this backdrop is a world unfamiliar to most readers, the art world in general and Jewish art in particular. To add even further complexity is the interwoven story of Josef Pick, which takes place in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s. T ...more
Teresa Lukey
I read this book for a book club, otherwise I don't think it is something I would have picked up. There are two stories here, the first being the story of Daniel Lichtmann and his search for the perfect love-I guess. The second story is that of Josef Pick, who lived in Vienna when it was taken over by German forces.

Daniel's story takes place in the modern day. Early on, Daniel leaves his first wife for Aleksandra, who ends up mysteriously falling to her death with the artist Benjamin Wind, the a
...more
Aaron (Typographical Era)
Daniel Lichtmann’s wife is dead. So is Benjamin Wind, the artist whose career Daniel built his reputation as an art critic on. The two have both plunged out the window of a high-rise to meet the all too eager pavement waiting far below to swallow their existence and spit out their empty shells. That much is crystal clear. But was this a murder? A murder suicide? A suicide pact between secret lovers? How did the two even know each other and when did they meet? Burning with unanswered questions, a ...more
Anna
This book was a blessing to read after the load of contemporary fiction I had this quarter. This one was easier to follow and far more interesting - a Holocaust novel without the baggage of the Holocaust.

I liked how distinct the characters were in this novel. I loved going back and forth from contemporary America to intrawar Vienna. I loved that things actually HAPPENED in this book, intertwined with all of the musings. Sadly to say, I don't think I'm mature enough to follow all of the themes of
...more
Andrea
Aug 03, 2011 Andrea rated it liked it
I liked this, but I don't know if I would recommend it, if that makes any sense at all! :) This was a random pick-up at the library, and for that it ended up being quite good. The story is beautifully written, and the characters are deep, interesting, and well-developed. It is a contemporary story intertwined with historical fiction, and the author does a great job of weaving the stories together. But... I can't quite figure out what exactly he was trying to say about love, marriage, religion, a ...more
Ruth
Nov 23, 2010 Ruth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Goodreads Giveaway, I'm always hopeful to read a book that makes me want to give 5 stars. This novel, however is getting by with only 3. It took me quite a long time to finish reading the book and it wasn't until I was more than half-way through that I even became sure I wanted to finish reading the story.
For me, the story (as any story revolving around the holocaust would be) was weighted down with tragedy which made it hard for me to want to pick it up and read. Sections of the story felt r
...more
Mandy Rae Coudriet
The Marriage Artist when all is said and done is a good book. The story is interesting and catches at your heart. However to me it did not flow smoothly. There are many characters and time frames that can get confusing and jumbled together at times. This book would have got 5 stars if the author would have been able to make it more clear between the characters and time frames and possibly even left some of it out altogether. Another thing that just didn't fit well with the book in my opinion was ...more
Julie
Apr 02, 2011 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although the writing style can sometimes be a bit difficult to read, and the author tends to philosophize and go off on tangents (especially in the first half of the book), on the whole the book is very interesting, and the storylines are very well interwoven. The wife of Daniel, a present-day New York art critic, and one of the artists he writes about a lot both fall to their deaths shortly after the artist's incredible final exhibition. From there the story goes back and forth to WWII Vienna a ...more
AnnieBebop
Dec 10, 2011 AnnieBebop rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a novel I couldn't put down, sneaking every spare moment to read it til it was finished. This author really knows how to use language as well as tell a story. Only complaint is that he runs on too long (where are the editors these days?), but it could be that he had a target number of pages to complete without enough meat to fill them. I did find myself in skimming mode as I got near the end thinking, "Get on with it", a lot. And the resolution was a bit convoluted and weird. I gravitat ...more
Jennifer
The book centers around Daniel, an art critic whose wife has just committed suicide with her lover, an artist that Daniel has championed. Daniel searches for the truth behind his wife and her lover's actions and learns more about several Jews caught in Vienna during WWII. I found it amazing how self-destructive people could be.

I found the book slow-going and very uneven. Parts were beautiful and compelling and then other parts felt too overly-intellectualized. The author used to be an art critic
...more
Azn_seddie
Oct 10, 2012 Azn_seddie is currently reading it
Lucky to have Winer as a professor for 2 of my creative writing classes this year at UCR, so I'm looking forward to reading this once he says so. He's got a pretty good sense of humor, though.

Bias aside, he warned our classes that he's pretty strange and that's what I'm getting from the synopsis for The Marriage Artist. I think hearing his insight on fiction, in general, has been interesting so far and I think it'll help prepare me for what quality to expect from reading this.

So, official review
...more
Myra Rose
This was a tough book. After finishing it, I'm not sure that I really got it. Very dark and twisted (not in a suspenseful way) story with an interesting storyline, but I'm still trying to figure it out. It really wasn't what I was expecting. It was another one of those books that went back and forth between two time periods and both stories were equally interesting, but there were just too many twists and turns. I finished it, not because I really liked it, but more because I wanted to know how ...more
Karen
Aug 20, 2013 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Took me a few chapters to see the relationship between the two stories, past and present. A very convoluted tale, with frequent forays into rather deep, or maybe just obscure, meditations on the nature of God. Interesting reading, although my agnosticism led me to skim rather than really read the "God passages", which I found to be rather pretentiously literary. I enjoyed learning about the ketubah and in fact went on-line to discover whether they are still created for marriages...they are, you ...more
Katya
Feb 18, 2011 Katya rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Got this book from the Seattle Northeast Library's Staff Picks shelves... had no idea about the subject or the author. It seems that this book is very well received but unfortunately, I did not like it at all. It felt like work getting through it, or like a homework assignment. I did not find a single character sympathetic, they were all cold and motivated by things that made no sense to me... I gave it two stars because the historical perspective is interesting and the writing is excellent.
Susan
Feb 09, 2015 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very complex and complicated book. The book started telling two different stories, which was confusing; and it took too long to tell you how they connected. There were a lot of painful topics in this book. It should have had 100's of pages edited out.

I started this book several weeks ago and had to put it down many times. If it weren't for a snowy day and nothing else to read, I probably wouldn't have finished it until it was time for our book club discussion.

It's difficult for me to formulat
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Puzzle King
  • The Genizah at the House of Shepher
  • The Polish Boxer
  • The Iron Tracks
  • Displaced Persons
  • The Testament: A novel
  • In the Image
  • The Debba
  • The Jewish Husband
  • Wandering Stars
  • In a Dark Wood
  • Extraordinary Renditions
  • Quiet Americans
  • The Rise of David Levinsky
  • Unshed Tears
  • Drawing in the Dust
  • Dimanche and Other Stories
  • Face Down Beside St. Anne's Well (Susanna, Lady Appleton, #9)
173746
Andrew Winer is the author of "The Marriage Artist" and "The Color Midnight Made". Formerly an artist who wrote art criticism, he teaches at the University of California, Riverside, where he has directed the MFA program in creative writing. He is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction and is married to the writer Charmaine Craig, with whom he has two daughters."
More about Andrew Winer...

Share This Book