Ryan Louis's Reviews > The Lost Painting

The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr
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's review
Dec 04, 2008

it was ok

Have you ever read a "popular book" (i.e., a bestseller) with an intended audience so niche it actually gets stuck in a demographic ditch? This is the poster book for that effect. A book so enthralled with minutiae it should contain a warning from the surgeon general, "Note: unless an art history major, do not listen to this book-on-cd while operating a motor vehicle."

I did enjoy parts of it--especially the section about art preservation and repair. FASCINATING stuff. But then again, I'm a huge nerd.

So, then, how did this get on a bestseller list? Does this mean that the trend in popular reading is shifting away from Harlequin Romance and genre Mystery? Probably not--I think Harr's just an established non-fiction writer. Fluke?

I'll hold out hope that the world is beoming more of an art manque.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy Hello fellow nerd. I too found the parts on the restoration interesting. I can see how some would find it tedious, but I can take it when I'm reading about Art, for some reason.

Ryan Louis You know, I love LOVE art. But I had the same problem with that last art book I read: The Passion of Artemesia (Vreeland). It was fictionalized--AND she's one of my favorite artists--but I consistently dipped in and out of focus. I'll have to try something else...any recs?

message 3: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy I loved The Birth Of Venus - fiction - by Sarah Dunant. Takes place in 15th century Florence. There are two other books I have on my "To Read" list that look interesting, The Judgement Of Paris by Ross King and The Forgery Of Venus by Michael Gruber. They sound interesting. Hmmmmm

Susan-k More about the painter and less tedium about the those devoted small car drivers who tracked down the painting would have made for a very interesting story. This book tried hard to create the tension you look for in a good who done it but just delivered endless unimportant trivia that made me think "just tell us about the stupid painting and get it over with".

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