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Waking Raphael

liked it 3.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  216 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
La Muta, "the mute woman." Amidst a country rocked by scandal and corruption, inhabitants of the idyllic city of Urbino, Italy, birthplace of Raphael, are more concerned with a sudden outbreak of miracles than with politics. But what unspeakable secret lies hidden in Raphael's enigmatic painting? Its restoration will drive a living mute to a shocking act of violence and sp ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published April 26th 2005 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2003)
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Community Reviews

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Jun 23, 2011 Elsje rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
Zo'n boek dat je leest als je niets anders in de buurt hebt, dat is Waking Raphael van Leslie Forbes.

Het verhaal
De Britse restaurator Charlotte is in het Italiaanse Urbino om te werken aan La Muta, een werk van de 16e eeuwse schilder Raphael. Op de dag dat het werk eindelijk aan het publiek tentoongesteld zal gaan worden, wordt het door een van de schoonmaaksters van het museum ernstig beschadigd. Deze schoonmaakster is een doofstomme vrouw die in de ruïnes van een in de Tweede Wereldoorlog verw
Jul 21, 2015 Dymphy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
De stilte van Rafael is een boek over een vrouw die een schilderij gaat restaureren. Ondertussen raakt ze verstrikt in een "web van intriges". Het is zo'n boek dat je leest omdat je het gratis of voor weinig in een bieb ziet staan tussen de afgeschreven boeken. En die je misschien na een paar bladzijde naast je legt, omdat de schrijfster te moeilijk wilde doen. Oh, en hier en daar verschijnen er "wonderen". Ook de hoofdstukken zijn "wonderen".

Het is een wonder dat ik dit boek heb uitgelezen. Ba
D.G. Torrens
Oct 09, 2011 D.G. Torrens rated it really liked it
This is a great book if you are into art (which I am) although it is a very hard book to follow, The painting Muta is being restored in Italy, the whole story is about the Mute in the picture, fantastically written, a great history lesson also. It flips to the past and then back to the present whilst telling the story. Very educational and intelligent read. I would recommend this wonderful book
Scribble Orca
This is not a book for Da Vinci fans. But if you like a more leisurely journey of discovery, with Italian art, history, and a good rendition of the twisted interplay between village and state politics, as the focus, as seen through the eyes of a reluctant heroine, you will find this book entertaining.
Tia Mushka
May 29, 2007 Tia Mushka added it
Shelves: recentreads
good art history/history novel, I love books about Italy...
Feb 02, 2015 Megan rated it did not like it
Thank God that's over with!
Sep 01, 2009 Tiffany rated it really liked it
enjoyed it for the mystery.
Mar 07, 2013 Misha rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
BookList: Forbes' latest departs from India, the setting of her previous literary thrillers--Bombay Ice (1998) and Fish, Blood and Bone (2001)--and moves to idyllic Urbino, Italy, birthplace of Renaissance painter Raphael. Deftly exploring connections between art, religion, and politics, Forbes layers her mystery with lush imagery and palpable human drama. When the Raphael painting that she is commissioned to work on is attacked, Charlotte Penton, a prim English divorcee and art restorer, finds ...more
leslie forbes rocked my world with "bombay ice" , so i followed with this completely different novel set in modern italy, but delves into deep history and also aftermath of fascism. about art, slow food, love, sex, guilt.

Been busy building an opac, so just making placeholders for books I’ve read in march and april 2014. This is the opac though.
Julie Hulten
Dec 28, 2014 Julie Hulten rated it really liked it
Pentimento and chiaroscuro explain the way this story builds, as an art restorer 'repairs' a portrait by Raphael in his hometown of Urbino. When the artists begins to explore past events of this town, the past converges with the present. I found myself impatient with the 'forward motion' of events, or seeming lack thereof, until I considered the art concepts, then it made more sense.
Shauna Tharp
May 05, 2016 Shauna Tharp rated it liked it
While I did end up getting really into and enjoying this, it took a long time. I almost switched books a few times before I hit the 100 page mark (but am glad I stuck with it). I also found myself skimming sections at times because it felt like it the plot was sitting still too long at some points.
Mary Houck
Nov 02, 2015 Mary Houck rated it liked it
Interesting journey through the Italian countryside. Enjoyed the exploration of art and art restoration, and insights the book draws. The first few chapters were rather confusing, and there were some slow spots.
Jul 24, 2015 Dorien rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found it almost impossible to keep track of who was who. Besides that, the story wasn't interesting at all. The characters are very poor. I don't know why I have finished this book.
Feb 06, 2016 Jay rated it it was amazing
A great story, beautifully written. I know Italy well and this book transports you there. A feast for the senses as well as the mind.
Cori Macrae
Oct 04, 2015 Cori Macrae rated it it was ok
Never really got into it. Had hoped it was one of those story behind the painting kind of books - but it was just a badly told story without anyone I really liked
Oct 07, 2014 Louise rated it did not like it
a very messy novel with characters who do not have spine
Apr 16, 2008 Amanda rated it it was ok
The one good thing about the success of that Dan Brown tripe, is that it opened the gates to a bevy of art history/religious icon/antique text mysteries. These books have little nutritional value, but at least they can be considered pretentious mind candy. This is my same review for Brotherhood of the Holy Shroud & The Rule of Four
Jul 26, 2015 Magdelanye rated it liked it
review pending
Mar 06, 2013 Deb rated it did not like it
This has to be right up there with one of the worst books I've ever read. The only reason I bothered to finish it was because I wanted to have some idea of what the book was about!! One of the reviews on the book was that the book was like a painting...the author laying brushstrokes throughout the book so beautifully that the reader didn't have the full picture until the last few pages of the book. Well, that was certainly true, except for the "beautifully" part. What a waste of time!
Mar 21, 2010 Marin rated it it was ok
Recommended to Marin by:
This book is about an English woman who goes to Italy to restore a painting by Rafael. After the project is finished the painting is "attacked" and seen to "bleed". The back story has to do with a mystery of something terrible that happened in a nearby town. Overall I didn't really like this book. It was hard to get into and the characters weren't the most engaging. The "secret" is finally revealed, but was a disappointing ending.
Dec 26, 2013 Pat rated it liked it
Having just spent a week in Italy I found this book to be very nostalgic. Accurate in descriptions of local towns, the people, the daily life, it really evokes the sensual, comic and tragic life of Italians. Well written and a magnetic read.
Jul 05, 2015 Denise rated it did not like it
Shelves: self-chosen
I got to just over 200 pages and gave up. The plot was just too convoluted for me. Maybe I'm just not smart enough? The plot has all the stuff I usually love: takes place in Italy, there's a mysterious past the townspeople are hiding, and Renaissance art is heavily discussed. But, ugh! I just didn't care.
Jun 09, 2012 Diana rated it really liked it
Shelves: historocal
Very interesting and enjoyable read. The main characters were well drawn and believable and the murkiness of the past secrets and present politics completely inpenetrable. I will have to re-read much to understand who was who and why etc. as it didn't come clear at the end, but I won't mind.
Aug 15, 2013 Melinda rated it liked it
It was a complex plot,hard to keep sense of when you can only read a few pages a night. It was hard to care about the characters. There seemed to be a deep symbolism implied, but I just wasn't able to grasp it. Maybe I just wasn't up to the task of this book, or maybe it wasn't a great book.
Jul 27, 2011 Allie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thuroughly enjoyed this book and I could never quite predict what was coming next. It is written in brittish english though, so some of the phrasing and words were unfarmilliar and sounded rather stange, but overall it was very good, and I would recommend it.
Nov 11, 2013 Sue rated it liked it
Takes place in the city of Urbino, Italy involving a painting of Raphael's called La Muta (The Mute Woman). Involves possible miracles, the Vatican, war crimes & a cast of nefarious characters hiding in the shadows. Enjoyable but not scintillating.
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Set in Italy in the 1990's, this book is supposed to be a "political thriller and an examination of our capacity for restoration" but I found it boring and couldn't get past the first 10 chapters.
Feb 09, 2013 R.J. rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this, it had all the trappings of a good read--art, history, Italy.. But I found the narrative confusing, salient points missing and pertinent scenes not adequately described.
Aug 05, 2009 Marvin rated it it was ok
Another story of an Englishwoman working in an Italian city to restore a Renaissance painting & getting involved in a local mystery. The story is more complicated than necessary.
Sep 04, 2009 Regina rated it did not like it
Don't bother. I read 200 of 400 pages and quit. After 200 pages, I had not gotten much more plot/information than what was in the first 5 pages.
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"After dropping out of England's Royal College of Art without the Masters in Film and Design she had dropped out of studying physics and politics in Canada to get, Forbes won a talent contest at Vogue, where she worked as a designer until she couldn't stand fashion any more. She then became a designer for BBC-TV (once constructing a life-size working robot out of pasta) and the author of award-win ...more
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