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The Forger

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  234 ratings  ·  28 reviews
An exciting new novel, by the author of The Story of My Disappearance and Archangel.

At the turn of World War II, David Halifax is a young American painter who receives a scholarship to come to Paris and work under the tutelage of the mysterious and brilliant Russian painter, Alexander Pankratov. Getting more than he bargained for, Halifax is quickly subjected to Pankratov'
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published November 4th 2000 by Picador
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David Halifax a young American art student accepts a scholarship that he hadn't applied for from a group that he had never heard of to study painting in Paris in 1939 just as Europe is about to plunge into war. Once in Paris David is taken under the wing of a once famous Russian artist Pankratov and miss enigmatic daughter Vanya. However,he also falls under the malign influence of an unscrupulous art dealer called Fleury who sells some of David's sketches of Old Masters as originals initially wi ...more
Julie Dolan
Over the last few years I've read a number of novels set in and around Paris during WWII. Having lived in Paris in the late 1980s, books placed in city draw my in. With this book I was often wanting to pull out my street guide and walk along with David to see what he did. It is a book very much of it's setting.

The book is a fascinating look at another aspect of the war. These weren't soldiers, victims, or people in the resistance involved in espionage or destruction. It was a whole different du
So much build up for a main plot that was almost entirely glossed over in flash forwards...
quotes#612731 The Forger

"You were a painter. A great one, from all I hear."
"All right," he said. "Maybe I was good. But I exhausted myself. I got so tired in here" - he bounced the heel of his palm off his forehead. "Some days, I would set up the canvas and stare at it for an hour and then be so exhausted I'd have to go back to bed. But with restoration, it's different" - he drew his fingers close together, like a man learning to pray. "It's about the creation of the paint itself. Using only tho
A. Somers
If you enjoyed the movie Monument Men, you will like this fascinating story about artists in France during World War II racing to save as many artworks as possible from the hands of the Nazis.
This is the first book I have ever quit reading before finishing. After 100 pages reading it felt like a chore.
Gail Strickland
Informative, in a plodding sort of way, about the effort to save paintings in France from the Germans.
Moke Iv
Builds to a suspenseful conclusion while weaving an intriguing plot full of realistic characters. There are some slow parts, however, and I did not enjoy the epilogue; it felt cheap and rushed. An interesting read, but a little plodding in the middle.
Enjoyed it
Beth Wilhelmson
Interesting subject but very boring read, this book just did not hold my attention, tedious to read. One of few books I did not finish.
Breeann Kaczmarczyk
This book follows a young man in an art class in Europe during World War II. As the war picks up, it turns out that his art teacher is forging very valuable paintings to sell to the Nazis. The young painter learns to do the same thing. It is such a fast-paced book. I couldn't put it down! I've read it over and over again!
Francesca Tronchin
I enjoyed it, but Watkins could have used an editor. The book wandered around a bit in the first half before getting to the more compelling bits in the second. As such, the energy felt somewhat cramped and rushed toward the end.
Set in Paris in 1938. A young artist wins a trip to Paris to study art. He ends up helping his Russian teacher forge copies of great paintings to sell or trade to the Germans. Very exciting and believable likable characters.
It was interesting, maybe a bit slow paced. I finally skipped to the end and it was ok. I can't just trudge through ever book I start. There are so many books out there to read, and definitely not enough time for them all.
An intriguing story of a young painter in Paris during WWII. Instead of just learning to paint, he's recruited to forge great works of art to help hide them from the Nazis. A story that combines art and suspense.
so much wasted potential here! It really frustrated me! He had such a truly remarkable story to tell that was really hindered by his lack of writing/story telling ability. This would make a great movie though!
An interesting story if you are an artist or know art history. There were some great descriptive one liners also. (One guy's hair was described like the smoke after a bomb went off.)
Started slow, but became more interesting
Perfect: guns, Nazis, paintings and forgeries.. Paris before during and after the war, I cried a bit at the end.......
I really liked the characters and plot of this book. Very interesting take on ethics and inspiration.
Discovered him b/c he's "local" and I heard him speak (middle school I think?)
Kim Fortin
really good book, if you love hemmingway, you will love this book!!
Carrie R
Very intriguing... you will love it if you are into the WWII era.
Fantastic story. Stumbled upon it at the library. Amazing history.
Greatest Book i ever read- perfect for history buffs
Paris in WWII...a nice blend of drama and history.
Quite enjoyed it!
Carol Hislop
Carol Hislop marked it as to-read
Dec 14, 2014
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Paul Watkins is an American author who currently lives with his wife and two children in Hightstown, New Jersey. He is a teacher and writer-in-residence at The Peddie School, and formerly taught at Lawrenceville School. He attended the Dragon School, Oxford, Eton and Yale University. He received a B.A. from Yale and was a University Fellow at Syracuse University, New York. His recollections of his ...more
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