Danny's Reviews > The Art Thief

The Art Thief by Noah Charney
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's review
Mar 05, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: library-book

I was in the mood to like this book and was kinda pissed that it didn't follow through on what I assumed was it's awesome premise.

The author is an art historian who has his characters speak in long paragraphs about art history and the art world and say things there is no reason to say so that he can impart his wisdom to you, the lowly reader. I like art history sometimes, but I'd like to learn about it in a readable and straightforward fashion instead of this misguided attempt at cleverness.

Part of the problem was the scattered nature of the narrative, part of the problem was prose that ran from purple to mundane without rhyme or reason seemingly, though now that I think about it it may have been attached to certain characters' points of view. Regardless, the book was so NOT a pleasure read that I skimmed the last half. The one shining point was the occasional bit of entertaining dialogue. I missed it while skimming the last half, obviously, but in the first half when the characters weren't expositioning each other to death they sometimes said very funny things.

I leave you with a couple of lines, one so ridiculous I JUST HAD TO TELL PEOPLE, and the other just funny. I leave it to you to suss out which is which:

1) "The azure sea of twilight floated gently on the tide of the evening breeze, above the darkening canopy of the city streets."

2) "'Holy flying shit,' she said. 'That's Caravaggio's Annunciation.'"

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