I had a hard time getting into this book. There's no plot, just a naïve girl growing up in Southern California. Yet, this is where I connected. I grewI had a hard time getting into this book. There's no plot, just a naïve girl growing up in Southern California. Yet, this is where I connected. I grew up about the same place, about the same time and also quite clueless, despite my reading and everything. It seemed to be trying very desperately to say something about race. That is front and center. Yet it doesn't go anywhere. The narrator ends up doing art, but without any guidance yet still "subversive" and full of subtext. The novel felt like it had potential but didn't go anywhere, which is exactly what happened to our main character. The first female in the family to go to college, and USC no less. As a black woman she couldn't get a degree in art, where her talent and interest lay, but got a smart degree in business. Then nothing. Ended up marrying someone with money.
Still the book hardly went anywhere. I found the lack of quotation marks just silly and annoying. They do serve a purpose! Well, I can hardly recommend this book. Likely it's one I will entirely forget in years to come. ...more
An enjoyable book about the search for one of the missing Caravaggio paintings, The Taking of Christ. Jonathan Harr writes an intriguing tale using fiAn enjoyable book about the search for one of the missing Caravaggio paintings, The Taking of Christ. Jonathan Harr writes an intriguing tale using fiction devices to tell this real life story of art detective work. There are several people profiled in the book and instead of just providing the steps they took in their research and work, Harr includes many details about their personal life. While unnecessary it added to the fullness and rich tapestry of the book, which made the book feel like fiction instead of a dry textbook. Harr makes the tedious sound intriguing.
We accompany two grad students from Rome who follow the trail of documents, one going onto England, Ireland, and ultimately to a dead-end. Then an Italian art restorer working in Ireland discovers the painting in a "religious house." He keeps his discovery as quiet as possible while he does his own investigation to find if of this is the real deal or just another copy.
I got very caught up with the story and know very little about the art world. I enjoyed reading this small glimpse and expect most others would enjoy the book as well. I hope Harr undertakes another investigation and writes a book about it. His previous work is going on my to read list....more
It’s 1963 and a depressed American, Rupert Brigg, is sent by Uncle William to Greece for a summer working vacation. Rupert is recovering mainly from tIt’s 1963 and a depressed American, Rupert Brigg, is sent by Uncle William to Greece for a summer working vacation. Rupert is recovering mainly from the death of his little boy, if one can, but also from the failed marriage. Rupert was in the business of art auditions with a specialty in furniture but on the Greece trip is looking for old coins or hopefully some statuary. He forges friendships with many people during this European summer and even finds himself enjoying part of it, and he even becomes nostalgic of particular moments before they are over.
With a book title like Forgery you know something will be amiss, but what? The title gives the book a feel of a mystery and it tends to dabble slightly in that area, particularly in the middle third of the novel. There are many forgeries here and some take a while to uncover. What is not a forgery is the good writing. This book will hold up well to a second reading, and perhaps then more layers will be uncovered. I wouldn’t say this is a great book, but certainly a very good one. ...more
Spiral Jetta is about art, Land Art. Or you could say it’s about Hogan’s travels, her adventures and a few of her fears. Hogan is far from the urban CSpiral Jetta is about art, Land Art. Or you could say it’s about Hogan’s travels, her adventures and a few of her fears. Hogan is far from the urban Chicago she is used to, and alone – at least for the first portion of her journey. She drives her Jetta across roads that are best suited for a four-wheel drive vehicle, and rightly worries about her car. The first stop is Spiral Jetty in Utah near the Nevada border, in the Salt Lake region.
There are a few moments of the book, when she lingers on art critic’s writings and such, I thought an art historian or student may get more out of the book than I, but all in all it is interesting read. I felt inspired to visit some of these pieces, as I live near part of the western desert she visits. But I will go in a Jeep and not alone.
One chapter, while short, puzzled me on why it was included. It didn’t fit in with the art theme, but it was about travelling. This was during her visit to Juarez, Mexico. A very troubled city with high murder rate, not a place one would think of visiting on purpose. At least during this time of Hogan’s travels she had a male friend with her, and nothing terrible happened but she sensed something.
I read the book on my black-and-white nook and wished I could see the photos in color. I received the eBook free from University of Chicago Press and even on my computer the photos were in black and white. I would hope the paper version was printed in color, I may have to go search out a print copy and see.