OK, I have not tested this on the kids yet, and I DO think they will find it intriguing what a few shapes can turn into. Hopefully, when you know a feOK, I have not tested this on the kids yet, and I DO think they will find it intriguing what a few shapes can turn into. Hopefully, when you know a few basics a child will let their own imagination take off. I cannot say that the book really excites me, but maybe with a little guidance children can see it as a starting point for their own drawing. Maybe........more
This is one of those books that is for everyone - adults, kids, artists, humorists, naturalists, scientists, philosophers! I guess it is not for peoplThis is one of those books that is for everyone - adults, kids, artists, humorists, naturalists, scientists, philosophers! I guess it is not for people who do not like dogs. Boy have they missed out on a good thing!...more
ADDENDUM: So why only three stars after all the positive points mentioned below? For two reasons - it is not as good at The Bird Artist which got 4 stADDENDUM: So why only three stars after all the positive points mentioned below? For two reasons - it is not as good at The Bird Artist which got 4 stars and more importantly b/c it lacks humor!
ORIGINAL REVIEW: I have to think about this a bit. What is bothering me is where the characters end up at the end of the novel. What is bothering and yet at the same time intriguing me is my uncertainty. What is the author trying to say and do I agree and are the characters believable? There is a lot to think abou.
All of Norman's books have bizarre characters. I really like this. They are much truer to life than most novels' stereotyped figures. People aren't so simple. We all do crazy things. That is a bit the charm of the human race. All of Norman's books, OK I have only read this and the Bird Artist, have wonderful character names. Looking for a name? Read his books. You will find one. Thirdly Norman always tells you in the very first pages, no in the very first paragraph, exactly where the plot will take you. You read it to find out why. How could THIS person do THAT. And then you cannot ever be 100% sure either of the motivations. But do we always act logically? Isn't this actually very true to life?!
And I like how the historical setting is woven into the book. You feel the approaching horror of Hitler's world.
Some people seem to really like this book and others don't at all. I think if you can only like this book if you can accept uncertainties, can accept the maybes. If you want definite clear answers, con't read this book. If you do enjoy pondering the possible reasons for what happens, motivations or philosophical views, you probably will like the book. Don't expect any clear answers.
And the characters - some infuriate you and some you love. Which character a particular reader likes varies! Me, I liked Edward alot and his fate.... Well I will not tell you. Imogen, I absolutely hated. I hated everything about her. But you see at least some of the characters will move you. I really, really felt for Edward, and DeFoe I just kept wanting to kick his butt, wake him up out of his organized, set world. When he is stressed he irons shirts. Will he change? Will he wake up? These are the kind of questions that should interest you if you choose to read the book.
Oh yes, the book also looks at art. How can, does, should art influence humans?
Still I think The Bird Artist was a notch better because I fell in love with more of the characters. Many of the characters in The Museum Guard instead annoyed the hell out of me. A good book, or art for that matter too, should get your head thinking and spark your emotions. This does both....more
What don't I like about this book? I guess it is the tone of the book, the language the author uses. Both this and Siri Hustved's What I Loved were abWhat don't I like about this book? I guess it is the tone of the book, the language the author uses. Both this and Siri Hustved's What I Loved were about art; bothe were about very violent behavior and about human relationships, but something was missing in this book. It was not way as intellectual, and it never gripped me as the other did. Mansbach did capture the characteristic dialogue of different age groups, of blacks, of Jews, of immigrants....more
I didn't love, love, love this book, but I found it interesting and inspiring. Three stars. I felt much of it read as a young adult book. I in fact stI didn't love, love, love this book, but I found it interesting and inspiring. Three stars. I felt much of it read as a young adult book. I in fact stopped my reading to go and check if it was directed toward kids. What do I find? I see that there are two editions, this one, which is for adults, and another one just for kids: Mao's Last Dancer Young Readers' Edition! I have looked into how they differ and have discovered that the children's has less details and less historical facts.
The author writes in a straightforward manner. The presentation is dispassionate, and he never dwells upon suffering. Family circumstances during the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution and the Great Famine are related. Communism under Mao, Madame Mao, the Gang of Four and the transfer of power to Deng Xiaoping are briefly recounted, particularly in relation to how the political changes affected Chinese ballet. Events are simply stated, and then the next point is related. An emphasis is placed on positive experiences, be it the flying of kites, New Year's celebrations or family members support and encouragement. I like books that point out what is good even when much is bad, but this book goes a step further. It quite simply feels as if it is written for children, particularly for potential young dancers, to encourage them, to give them a hero in whose footsteps they can follow. A separate book devoid of the historical facts really is not necessary. Please note that according to the book description above this book, not the kids book, has won the Kids Own Australian Literature Award in KOALA).
Teacher Xiao's guiding advice comparing dance to a mango was beautiful and inspiring. Chinese fairy tales too! Yes, he did get help from the American President and his wife and other devoted friends, but don't think success was easy. It wasn't at all!. Chance and then LOTS of hard work and physical pain lie behind what Li Cunxin has achieved. He is now the Artistic Director of Queensland Ballet in Brisbane. I admire what Li Cunxin has accomplished. His determination and hard work makes him a viable role model for young adults, and really, for adults too.
If this book is to be judged as a book for young adults, than I would give it four stars. In that it is classified here as an adult book, and in that I didn't know it was written for young adults when I picked it up, I am judging it on its merits for adults, and thus I give it three. It is wrong to simply remove historical facts and in this manner reclassify a book. It is not just content but also tone that determines classification. Others think the simplicity of the writing is just Li Cunxin's style. I liked the book. I very much admire what he has accomplished, but my stars are for the book, not the person....more
Now I have finished it. Excellent! Suberb! Who should read it? Well, you sort of have to like cerebral books. Absolutely never dull, never boring. AlwNow I have finished it. Excellent! Suberb! Who should read it? Well, you sort of have to like cerebral books. Absolutely never dull, never boring. Always something that gets you thinking. Kirkus say that Hustvedt "writes spectacular sentences that embody the American experience in brilliantly specific physical imagery." I cannot expresss this better than they do.
There is so much in this book - add adolescence, a superb description that reflects what we have all been through. There is so much to think about. One has to stop reading to "digest" it. One minute I am in total support and then it flips and I say, no, no way do I agree with this or perhaps do I? Through it all your thoughts run non-stop.
Another thought about this book - love and sex and life are gorgeously intertwined; intellectually, emotionally and beautifully limned
Wonderfully intriquing characters. Hustvedt's description of Bill's artwork is so wonderful that it seems as magical as the the real thing. I wish they existed. I wish I too could see and touch them. And the character analysis is marvelous. Here is a direct quote of a conversation occurring between father(Leo) and his young son(Matt):
"That was a funny man," Matt said to me on the street as he took my hand. "Yes," I said(Leo). He's funny, but you know he can't help the way he looks." "But he talks funny too, Dad." Matt stopped talking and I waited. I could see that he was thinking hard. My son thought with his face in those days. His eyes narrowed. He screwed up his nose and tightened his mouth. After several seconds he said,"He talks like me when I am pretending." Matt deepened his voice, "Like this - I'm Spiderman." I stared down at Matthew. "Well you're right, Matt" I said. "He is pretending." "But who is he pretending to be?" Matt asked. "Himself," I said.
I love the integrity that Hustvedt acknowledges in the young son Matt.
Two books - both having 5 stars - can be so very different. Isn't that what makes literature so marvelous?!
The author is born in the US. Does anybody know if she has Norwegian ancestors? The name sounds Norwegian....more
Anita Amirrezvani has in this novel of historical fiction told of life during the reign of Shah Abbas the Great of Persia. It is thoroughly engaging.Anita Amirrezvani has in this novel of historical fiction told of life during the reign of Shah Abbas the Great of Persia. It is thoroughly engaging. It accomplishes what the best historical fiction can do; enveloping the readers in a foreign time and place, teaching about a culture, not just the dry facts, but rather how life would be there and then. You forget you are leaning and instead absorb the culture through the lives of people you encounter in the story.
Shah Abbas (reign from 1571-1629) promoted Iranian culture and the arts, including the famed Isfahan carpets. Carpet making and the lives of the people who made these carpets is the central theme of the book. What was it like to be a carpet maker at those times, in the 1600s in Persia? How were they made, what designs were used, what dyes were available? Who did what? Who bought the rugs, who sold the rugs? And the questions diversify. What were the bazaars like? How did the people live? Where did they bathe? Did they bathe? (I would love to go to a “hammam”!) What foods did they eat? What herbal remedies were chosen? What mystical customs were believed in? What were the beliefs of the common people? The comet that crossed the sky, what did that portend? And how did men and women relate to each other? I learned a lot and it all sunk in without an effort. All of these questions are answered. And as befits a novel about art, and making rugs is an art, the language was vivid and colorful, as vivid as the rugs themselves.
For centuries there has existed the Iranian practice of sigheh. This is a legal marriage contract for a specified time period. It was used when the woman’s family had no money for a dowry. In the more respected marriage contracts the family of the woman would pay a large sum of money to the man’s family, a dowry. In the sigheh contract the man’s family pays the money to the woman’s family and the man thereby has conjugal rights for a specific time period. Thus the contract was temporary, although it could be renewed. Why would a woman do this? She loses her virginity, and once lost it can never be bought back. Her value is gone. Some women were forced into this by their parents. Some women hoped they would become pregnant, and maybe a permanent marriage contract would follow. Sigheh is a central theme of this novel, and you will understand what it really was like to live under such a contract.
Poems and tales are a central part of Persian culture. The author interweaves known Persian fables seamlessly into the story. The wonderful author’s note at the end of the book explains the source of these fables. Two of them are her own, but they are indistinguishable from the original tales. I loved all of them.
I never wanted to stop reading. The plot line drew my attention and kept me turning the pages. It was neither predictable nor unbelievable. Both the fables and the prime protagonist’s character traits made me believe in the ending. The ending worked for me. I cannot explain more without giving spoilers. (view spoiler)[OK, maybe it is a bit of a fairy tale, but sometimes people are lucky. It could have turned out this way, with a little bit of luck. Given all the misfortune, I want a book with a little bit of happiness too. No, it was not unbelievable at all! Fables are both a central part of the book and the Iranian culture and so the ending worked too. More I will not say. You must read the book to understand completely. (hide spoiler)]
The characters are human, they make mistakes. There is friendship and respect and astounding cruelty, but all, except for one character that was mean from start to finish, were such a delightful mix of good and bad that they felt made of flesh and bone. You can almost forgive some of the bad things that happen. Only some things, other happenings will infuriate you. Overall there is a good mix.
And I love it when a book of historical fiction has a thorough author’s note. It was the dot over the i, just the perfect ending for a really great book of historical fiction.
The author has recently written another novel:Equal of the Sun. I will have to read that too. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Just terrible. The depiction of Venice in the 1700s was mediocre and the plot line was so predictable that one always knew what would happen. Total waJust terrible. The depiction of Venice in the 1700s was mediocre and the plot line was so predictable that one always knew what would happen. Total waste of time so I quit in the middle. I was so intriqued by Sarah Dunant's In the Company of the Courtesan, which I gave 5 stars, that I wanted to read another historical fiction in Italy. What a let down. I had forgotten that several years ago I had read another book by Anne Rice, which also was a flop in my opinion. I will never read another by Anne Rice!...more
Don't look at my star rating to judge this book. I am not your typical mystery reader. Yup, it is amusing. Yup, all the parts weave together perfectlyDon't look at my star rating to judge this book. I am not your typical mystery reader. Yup, it is amusing. Yup, all the parts weave together perfectly. It is very different from the musical, which I totally loved. I was pulled in and moved by the musical, not by this. This had parts that were quite funny, completely absent from the musical. Still, I was glad when it ended. Yeah, it deserves three stars, but not from me.
P.S. More discussion in the comments below....more
To appreciate this book you have to think and see the world through music. I tend more toward the visual arts. I THOUGHT this book would be much moreTo appreciate this book you have to think and see the world through music. I tend more toward the visual arts. I THOUGHT this book would be much more about the French people and their culture. I thought it would be more biographical. Instead, it is about music. I have a friend who is very talented in music and she plays the piano. It IS what she does. She teaches and gives concerts. Her husband too. She has perfect pitch - a gift that allows one to "produce and name a note, any note, from a void". People who can do this see the world differently. I guess I should say HEAR the world. They hear the world around them rather than seeing it. The piano is her life. It is so central nothing else comes close. This book is for such a person - not me! You have to love pianos. You have to feel as if they are a part of your own body when you are playing them. My friend feels this way..... I wish I did, but I don't. I played the piano as a kid and I hated it. I convinced myself I didn't even like the sound of a piano. I wish I could be so blown over by pianos. If you are one of those people I think you will give this book 5 stars. There were parts that I liked very much; for example a discussion of why people play the piano. Is it for themselves - because it makes them happy or is it to be heard by others. The author played for himself, and that was great! ...more
Finished: Excellent writing. Each character was portrayed with depth. I kept thinking that I should quote this line or that, but this was impossible wFinished: Excellent writing. Each character was portrayed with depth. I kept thinking that I should quote this line or that, but this was impossible without giving spoilers. You must read the book to get into each of these characters and to submerge yourself into their lives. The book is not only about thes principal characters but also about what motivates an artist to create. Who is an artist? Isn't it someone who simply cannot stop himself from painting, or playing music, or sculpting shapes, or catching just the right image on the film, or simply a dancer who physically CANNOT stop dancing..... There is an urge within that is stronger than everything else. I am so sorry to close the book's covers and leave their world.
Through page 152: I will start with a quote and then explain my thoughts:
"Whatever she saw or understood, she decided it was time to stir the pot once more (sir up trouble). For no particular reason but a vague distrust, she did not like me."
People tend to feel more at ease with some rather than others. All of us tend to like some particular type of person over another. There is nothing strange about that. But my question is why do some people have to cause trouble for those they for some inherent reason simply don't like? The movie was a total failure in its ability to convey the causes of the characters' emotional undercurrents. It is the examination of these undercurrents that makes this story so marvelous. The movie was very pretty, yes, but that's all. I remember specifically leaving more confused and empty after seeing the movie. Sort of with the question: what was that all about on my lips?! The book has enticed me to go to Delft and see the city where Vermeer worked. It is only 1.5hr from here. This is a "must-do" now. I love the book. I wonder what I will find out. And OMG some people are yucks!
Through page 106: What is the relationship between Vermeer and the maid Griet? THAT is the primary question underlieing this book. This is made clear in the foreword. It arises b/c the painter has managed to make the expression of Griet so intriguing - is she sad, thoughtful, enticing or laughing. Look at the painting and you can see several emotions. So what is going on between the master and the model - some relationship must exist, but what exactly is the nature of that relationship? Known historical facts are lacking. We can only hypotehsize and make conjectures, but thinking about the possibilities is the impetus that caused Tracy Chevalier to write this book.
Here follows a quote:
"Sleeping in the attic made it easier for me to work there(near the studio), but I still had little time to do so.I could get up earlier and go to bed later, but sometimes he gave me so much work that I had to find a way to go up in the afternoons, when normally I sat by the fire and sewed. I began to complain of my not being able to see my stitchinging the dim kitchen, and needing the light of my bright attic room. .....I began to get use to lying."
"Once he suggested that I sleep in the attic, he left it to me to arrange my duties so I could work for him. He never helped by lying for me, or asking me if I had time to spare for him. He gave me instructions in the morning and expected them to be done the next day."
"The colors themselves made up for the troubles I had hiding what I was doing. I came to love grinding the things he brought from the apothecary....I learned that the finer the materials were ground, the deeper the color....Making it and the other colors was magical."
From this quote you taste the simplicity, the calmness of the language. You see the love and interest Griet had for the paints and their colors. Questions arise about Vermeer - how could he fail to understand that his additional work demands pushed Griet into an awkward position and even jeopardized her employment in the household?
Through page 36: You are right there, in Delft, Holland , mid-1600s. You smell it - the food cooking, the linseed oil in the painting room; you feel the fabrics, the air on your skin; you hear the sound of washing and ironing and cooking pots boiling and children playing and you see all the details you've seen when looking at paintings of this time period. Absolutely marvelous depiction of all the household items, market squares and canals and the paintings hung in every room of Vermeer's house. You feel Griet's fear of the paintings depicting Catholic beliefs - she is Protestant and there remain few Catholics in Delft after the Spanish were defeated.
You know I was putting off reading this b/c I was scared that I would be disappointed. Everybody praises this book and as long as I didn't read it I could stick to the belief that I would probably like it too. I didn't want to loose that hope, so I put it off! Dumb huh?! Well, I am not at all disappointed. Make sure you read the deluxe paperback version; it has beautiful pictures and an excellent foreword by the author....more
I am adding this paragraph a few days later b/c somehow I think my previous review misses the mark. If I were to read the below review I might not beI am adding this paragraph a few days later b/c somehow I think my previous review misses the mark. If I were to read the below review I might not be interested in a novel filled with bizarre philosophical thoughts and symbolism. Think of art, that too can be analysed to pieces and I hate that. It either moves you or it doesn't and the causes are different for different people. Well this book is like that too. See it as a wonderful piece of art that you can spend some time with. The quotes below will give you a hint of what the book offers.
I have given you enough to determine if it is the kind of book that you would enjoy. There are so many philosophical thought here to consider and also there is a plot line to follow if that is what you are after. Nevertheless if you prefer to follow an action filled plot rather than muse over ideas, well then I would say choose another book! What I have written in the following does not in any way reveal the action as it unfolds in the book. I think a spoiler alert is totally unnecessary. As I have pointed out previously, I suggest you read this book to enjoy the words, the thoughts or the images depicted. I do not think the following will in any way detract from your own reading of the novel.
My only criticism is the last chapter. Just plain too surreal, too many weird thoughts thrown at the reader in a helter skelter manner. The book still gets 4 stars. Don't miss the author's notes and the readers'group guide at the novel's end. They offer a nice neat tieng up and help the reader discover related classic Yiddish literature.
Page 247: Symbolism plays a vital role in the book. And colors - that is why Chagall fits so well. Here follows my final quote:
"It seemed to her that a person should see out of the white part of the eye, not the dark part. But that was not how things were. It was only through the deep hole of darkness that she could even perceive herself in the mirror."
Through page 218: Are you interested in a story with gripping suspense - in Vietnam and in NY? This book has it. Some bits in Vietnam are really gruesome. Such parts are easier to take in a book than in a movie, at least in a book you can close it for awhile. At a movie you are stuck in your seat. Do you want a love story? Well that too! But overall it is definitely surreal and filled with imagination. And it definitely helps to enjoy Chagall's paintings. If you don't like them well then I have a hard time imagining that you would like this either.
On page 168: This comment is so I can leave the book a bit. If you like war scenes and suspense, well the book has that too. Currently NOT easy reading. Can one be saved by a spider's web? I don't know.
On page 136; A delightful mixture of philosophy and imagination. I believe the reader will either not connect and hate "the stupid book" or will fall in love with the expressions and philosophical ideas. I HATE science fiction, but I adore this filled with biarre ways of looking at everything. Emotions play a central role in the characters' action. Who wouldn't do that if they had a starving child? Here is a quote:
"One night in Hamburg - or a not-yet night, a tired late afternoon in the winter of 1926 when the sun grew weary and decided to give up early, passing the world on to the moon and going off to get drunk...."
You decide - either you like this or you don't. There is so much I stop and pause over and think that is just a delightful way of looking at things. Whether it is true or not isn't really the point. However if the poinjt IS valid then maybe one should alter a bit how I, the reader, choose to live and appreciate my life! I forgot this - I think the discussion of scoliosis from the point of view of the child is right on mark. The brace is a cage and a HUGE source of shame. It usually occurs unfortunately in the early teens right during puberty. No matter what any parent can do, little gets through to the child. Why, - well b/c it IS horrible and they alone have to live through it. The remark of the sibling was priceless - it is your armor, now nobody can hurt you. Kids are the best and often see things more clearly than any adult. Yeah the brace helps against bullying but relations with the opposite sex? Well, no way!
I am now on page 96, but here is a quote from page 85. Think about it a bit. It is about the difference between paintings and stories.
"A painting doesn't have to mean anything but a story does. Just barely, but it does. Der Nister (The Hidden One)often thought about that in the years that followed, as his own writing became more and more tangled and obscure. And he wondered: Why should paintings be exempt from meaning? Didn't everything need some sort of meaning, some purpose? Or did meaning emerge from what stories had and paintings lacked - a beginning and an end?"
The later discussion between Chagall and the Hidden One is also interesting - but you will have to read the book to follow that!
Page 49: The reader must root for the criminals! Look, the painting was stolen from them, why can't it be taken back? Another thing - the cover of this paperback is special. And also I enjoy the close relationship between brother and sister. So far a delightful mix of happiness and sadness and misery and laughter. And its craziness/imagination - my kind of book. Please let it continue this way.....
I am only on page 38 but this book simply MUST be written for me. Here are two quotes from page 38:
"Laughing is healthy. Doctors prescribe laughter."
"There are nor real endings in life either. Since when do things end?"
If you do not understand why these two quotes are for me, well then look at the review I wrote yesterday of Geraldine Brooks' novel Year of Wonders!
Page 24:Grim times - yes, but the writing is not grim, but very moving and filled with fantasy that keeps you floating. What a contrast to Geraldine Brooks' Year of Wonders!
Chagall enters as the art teacher at the Jewish Boys' Colony in Malakhovka outside Moscow. In regarding previous students' art work he asks what the students were told to paint. To the response that the students were told to paint what they saw he questioned: "To paint what you see, or to paint what you look at?" A huge difference, right?!
Page 18: For a book where Chagall plays a central role, the author's wording - "it was a beautiful day, one of those spring days when the air becomes like clear water rippled by a breeze and the ground loosens its grip and it feels as though you are not walking but swimming in air, flying weightless over the town." is wnderful! So appropriate since Chagall's paintings are filled with flying/floating people.........more
The last chapter was so perfect, so beautiful, so moving. You get into the heads of Vallie(the mistress), Gerti (the youngest sister) and Egon himselfThe last chapter was so perfect, so beautiful, so moving. You get into the heads of Vallie(the mistress), Gerti (the youngest sister) and Egon himself - the artist. You understand who he was and why he was the way he was. I would like to tell you more, but I do not want to wreck it for you. Another 5 star book. If you are moved by art - then read this book! I was going to read Girl with a Pearl Earring after this, but to do that would be unfair. I would compare the two, and I believe I would unfairly judge Chevalier's book. It cannhot be as good as this. I like getting into the heads of the main protagonists. Will Chevalier's book do that? I will read it soon, but not immediately. Oh also, note that I put Arrogance onto my "relationships shelf".
Through page 167: It is important to understand what Schiele was rebeling against, what was being taught at the art academies at this time. Three years befor Schiele was put in prison for 24 days on the charges of seduction of minors (but later changed to corruption of minors due to lack of evidence) he was following lectures at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. The professor says, as he points to the model, a nude young man with his back turned to the students: "Such perfect proportions. The eye follows the movement of light and shade. The human figure is most pleasing to us in its absolute symmetry - beauty depends on symmetry, just as truth depends on logic." The author continues: "But today a small group of students listen carefully - these are the youngsters, lead by Egon Schiele, who have been voicing increasingly hostile views, and now they sit with their arms folded in defiance." The students then protest by banging their fists on the wooden box chairs. The teacher, hysterically out of control, leaves the lecture hall and locks all the students inside. To understand Schiele you have to understand the straight-laced art he was being taught. To understand why the young girls enjoyed visiting Egon and his mistress in their little cottage of the village Neulengbach, you have to know that the girls were raised in a deprived, poor, extremely restrictive environment. They loved how Schiele encouraged them to dance and sing and somersault around the room, and his mistress shared the chocolates she herself adored with the kids.
Through page 140: The reader sits on sideline, watching and observing while Schiele destroys himself. He does nothing to save himself..... Such genius, such talent but no understanding for self preservation. Are the two noncompatible? If one has artistic talent and creativity is it impossible to be a little bit practical? I am wondering why the reader feels no revulsion for Schiele's extreme interest in young girls. Maybe b/c you look at each particular relationship separately and see what motivates the two individuals. Neither side is without guilt. Your knowledge prevents you from making hasty snap-judgements. Sure, you often feel that Schiele is acting so dam stupid, but you kind of understand and realize that simply was who he was. You also know what is false gossip. Concerning the author's writing style - it is magnificent. It is artistic in its own way, and blends well with the book's central theme, art. The author is adept in her ability to bring to life the personalities of Schiele and those close to him, particularly his mistress and his younger sister.
Through page 89: Having an artistic temperment must be both a gift and a terrible curse. I certainly don't have it! I can only read tp try and imagine what it might be like. Again - definitely a book for adults.
Through page 67: The writing is marvelous. I should copy a bit here, but I am too lazy. You have to relax and accept each UNchronoligical episode as it hits you. You come to understand Egon's very difficult childhoodn, his fear and his total lack of comprehension of what is happening around him. His father repeatedly destroyed Egon's artwork. As a small child, he could not understand his father's anger and unpredictable behavior. This fear remained with Egon as he grew older. Artistic, imaginative and creative qualities are an integral part of who Schiele was. These qualities produced his art and of course also made his life unconventional and often filled with controversy. The author is very good at letting the reader see through Egon's eyes - the beauty of a beetle, the impulsive need for play, the enjoyment our senses can give us. Knowing more about Schiele's life makes me appreciate his artwork even more than when I started.
Through page 57: Definitely a good pick, but sometimes I am confused about the role of the narrator. There are also shifts in time. I will quote library Journal b/c they express this much better than I do: "Diverse narrative voices and shifting chronological perspectives create a potentially confusing structure; yet this story is so intriguing, and Scott's richly textured style so mesmerizing....." the reader thoroughly enjoys themselves. It is good to like Schiele's art and be interested in knowing more about his short life.
I totally love Schiele as an artist. I have seen many of his pieces and although he is most known for his portraits he also does fabulous landscapes and village scenes. Firthermore tha author is suppose to be promising....more