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The Rape of the Muse
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The Rape of the Muse

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  19 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews

Rand Taber, one of The Times' "25 artists under 25 to watch" has painter's block. He needs to get out of New York to work again. Introduced to Harris Montrose, an artistic giant and eccentric who has secluded himself in Providence, Rhode Island, Rand becomes Montrose's studio assistant.

Rand has a front-row seat on the deteriorating relationship between Montrose and his lif

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Hardcover, 206 pages
Published December 8th 2011 by Permanent Press (NY) (first published October 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-50)
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Eileen
This isn't the kind of book that every reader would enjoy, but, I did. It's a book about complexity - the complexity of what makes art, what makes friends, lovers, success, etc. I think Stein writes this story beautifully and evocatively.

The story is about a trial between two artists for libel and punitive damages, when one artist, Harris Montrose, is accused of using the countenance of another artist, Pruhar, without his permission, in a work of art that depicts Pruhar in the act of a violent
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Hira
Dec 07, 2011 Hira rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: art lovers, artists, philosophy lovers
"The Rape of the Muse" is a wonderful novel, and it's authors passion for writing is clearly evident in his treatment of his prose, which is both lush and evocative. It is also abundantly clear that the author has a keen understanding of art, and is knowledgeable in the subject, so as to give his characters and his story credibility. That being said, this is also not your mainstream novel, and it's appeal may be limited to a few who may have interest in the subject of art, or perhaps those who m ...more
Sheila
Sep 28, 2011 Sheila rated it it was amazing
A literary novel that reads like a painting, Michael Stein’s The Rape of the Muse is based on a true art-world rivalry and courtroom drama, but plays out like rich allegory, painted with haunting colors and the passions of man.

The Rape of the Muse is art—computer art to be exact, built with images layered and altered and bound together in form like a sculpted piece. The artist is a sculptor who’s lived in exile (in Providence) since his long-ago triumph on the New York stage. His assistant is a
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Terry
Sep 25, 2011 Terry rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
The author, Michael Stein has a passionate, exuberant style of writing which flows through his words to the reader. He has a beautiful way with prose.

The story was based on actual events, yet became somewhat boring after awhile. It goes back and forth between the courtroom and the backstory; both are potentially fairly interesting, but only for a short while. It fizzled out. I wanted to love this book, even immensely like it, but couldn't seem to get there. It was pretty lukewarm for me.

With the
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Sharon L. Sherman
Oct 12, 2011 Sharon L. Sherman rated it liked it
Shelves: art, novel
The blook flap would have you believe that this story takes place (mostly) in Rhode Island, but it's actually New Haven, CT. Nevertheless, Stein tells a compelling story about the way artists and artisans make their way in the world--both in and out of the Manhattan scene.

Peripheral female characters, except for Elizabeth/Binny (the Muse), whose description from the narrator's POV makes her seem a bit flat, but there's a quick twist in the last chapter that can explain that choice. Courtroom te
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Brittany
Nov 19, 2011 Brittany rated it liked it
Coming from the art world, I really enjoyed this book. It took me a little while to really get into the story but when I did I couldn't put it down. I found the characters to be interesting and unique and enjoyed the fact that there really was no "happily ever after" at the end. It was more like "and life goes on." It took a semi-deep look into friendship, lust, and humanity. I'm not sure if the story can truly be appreciated by those disinterested in art but for those who are, it is a good read ...more
Lori Tatar
Oct 15, 2011 Lori Tatar rated it really liked it
"The Rape of the Muse" fully explores the answers to the question of what makes art. It also delves into how we define success, whether by doing what we love without compromise or through lucrative commercial endeavors. Perhaps most importantly, the author, Michael Stein, probes human frailty by examining love, friendship and loyalty. Just maybe, sometimes how others see us is more important than how we see ourselves. I was entranced throughout "The Rape of the Muse". It is...Beautiful.
Jim
Dec 14, 2011 Jim rated it really liked it
Stein tells a compelling story that is not blatantly a mystery but results in the same drive to read. This was a book that I had a hard time putting down, simply because I HAD to find out what would occur next! I would recommend this book to any adult who enjoys getting immersed in another's microculture and life experiences.
Kim
Nov 01, 2011 Kim rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book but it was not my favorite. I didn't like any of the characters and some of the events I didn't understand why they were in the book, e.g.,the skinny dipping scene.
I was the First Reads winner of this book and I am grateful for being chosen. I will pass the book along to my book club members.
Shari Miller
Aug 14, 2016 Shari Miller rated it it was amazing
This is the best book I've read in quite some time: beautifully written and inspired by a real life legal case about libel and first amendment rights. Oh that all books were so captivating. Highly recommended.
Amanda Blystone
Jan 22, 2014 Amanda Blystone rated it liked it
Read it for book club. Didn't love it or hate it. Borrow this one, don't spend money on it.
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I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
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