Sarah's Reviews > The Swan Thieves

The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jan 23, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: fiction, mental-illness, bipolar

This book made me want to vomit. But I did finish it and so it shall receive two stars.
1 like · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Swan Thieves.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

January 23, 2010 – Started Reading
January 23, 2010 – Shelved
January 23, 2010 – Shelved as: fiction
January 24, 2010 –
page 71
January 29, 2010 –
page 239
January 29, 2010 –
page 300
January 30, 2010 –
page 385
February 1, 2010 – Finished Reading
December 7, 2013 – Shelved as: mental-illness
December 21, 2015 – Shelved as: bipolar

Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Marieke (new)

Marieke this is the funniest review i've ever read of a book! i guess i wont' add it to my to read shelf. :D

message 2: by Muphyn (new)

Muphyn the synopsis doesn't sound too bad - I'm curious to find out what you didn't like about it (I'm currently reading "The Historian" by her and I haven't decided yet whether I like it or not).

Sarah hey y'all. The Swan Thieves didn't sound too bad and I suppose it wasn't awful. It was the story that got to me, not the writing if that makes sense. She's an excellent writer, I just found parts of this particular book absolutely appalling. And the ending-oh, the ending! Absolutely fell flat for me.

I still plan on reading the Historian because I have heard it is excellent and a lady who comes to my work recommends it to me every time I see her!

message 4: by Muphyn (new)

Muphyn Sarah, tell me what was so appalling!! Or give me some hints what the parts were about! Pleeeaasee! :)

Sarah Okay. It's about this artist who has an unnamed mental illness and his psychiatrist's quest to figure him out, as the artist refuses to talk after trying to attack a painting. Not to give anything else away, but I'll just say the way the psychiatrist acts is completely unbelievable (to me at least) and more importantly, completely unethical. Yet, these two issues are never really addressed. The book just goes on its merry way and blahdy blah. I think I'm probably more sensitive to it because I have a mental illness as well as a psychiatrist. I'm also very much involved in advocacy for patients' rights (my own as well as other people's :)) and upon finishing the book I felt like this fictional patient's rights were violated and the author barely even touches on it. She weaves an intriguing story, covering two centuries, and her words are chosen well. It was just the plot that sickened me.

**Please bear in mind that I'm aware that I could be seen as overreacting. However, also consider that I'm a horrible manic-depressive who likes to express her sometimes-ill-informed opinions. :)

message 6: by Muphyn (last edited Mar 07, 2010 04:33PM) (new)

Muphyn Sarah, wow, thank you for your honesty - I'm touched. :) Without having read the book, I don't feel that you're overreacting - we all have our own sensitive spots and issues to deal with, and sometimes books make you choke because they resonate with your own life (or because they go so against what you believe in/have to deal with). I understand that.

I've come across books that just made me want to throw up and I couldn't even finish them because they just go against some of my core values and ethics (case in point 'The Vintner's Luck' by Elizabeth Knox and I loved her 'Dreamhunter').

I am curious, however, to read 'The Swan Thieves', just to see how I react to it. :)

Sarah I say read it. For a book I didn't like, I sure blazed through it!

message 8: by Marieke (new)

Marieke Wow--Sarah I think that's a very valid criticism of a book. I've been struggling with the psychiatric "care" and "therapy" my sister and her kids have been getting and feeling rather angry about the state of affairs. I liked the historian and told myself I would read her second novel when it came out...but I think I will wait awhile, maybe even read her third before her second.

message 9: by Marieke (new)

Marieke Did you just add a star?

back to top