Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova

Psychiatrist Andrew Marlow, devoted to his profession and the painting hobby he loves, has a solitary but ordered life. When renowned painter Robert Oliver attacks a canvas in the National Gallery of Art and becomes his patient, Marlow finds that order destroyed. Desperate to understand the secret that torments the genius, he embarks on a journey that leads him into the lives of the women closest to Oliver and a tragedy at the heart of French Impressionism. Kostova's masterful new novel travels from American cities to the coast of Normandy, from the late 19th century to the late 20th, from young love to last love. THE SWAN THIEVES is a story of obsession, history's losses, and the power of art to preserve human hope.

My take: 2 looks

I read over 400 pages of this one and finally put it down, so glad that it was over, at least for me. The book was not a difficult read, but it was j-u-s-t t-o-o l-o-n-g.I don't care for rambling tomes of feelings, perspectives and ideas when they have already been set and delivered. I know. I get it. I understand. I comprehend. I caught on. I grasp the situation. I register. 10-4. Roger. Wilco.

See? You understand quite well what I am saying, and you got it the first time, but I went on and on and it gets a bit old, doesn't it?

By the time I put the book down, I could not care less what happened to the obsessed, self-absorbed, artificially-repressed-with-life painter Robert Oliver. I had no sympathy for the angst felt by the rejected Mary. I was glad that Kate was shed of the albatross that Robert had become to her. I was convinced that Andrew needed badly to have sex since he seemed to fantasize about every woman he ran across. I was not impressed by the love affair of Beatrice and her uncle-by-marriage.

Honestly, I rolled my eyes so much at this story I probably should make an appt with my opthomologist, but really wanted to finish it. However, I started to feel that it was sucking days from my existence. Deciding to put it down unfinished was a relief. I have also decided to remove another book by Kostova, The Historian, off of my TBR list.

1 comment:

  1. I clicked on your post because I had enjoyed The Historian so much. Don't take that away from your TBR list, as I think it will be worth the read.

    I'm wondering if this is an author perhaps losing some steam? Maybe after the much vaunted Historian she just didn't have something all that good to write about? Or perhaps she needs to stick to supernatural elements in her writing? Or a better editor?

    Whatever the case I'm thinking it's unfortunate you hadn't read The Historian first. And now I'm not so sure If I'll read any more Kostova as well.......