Review: The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro 🎨

image I finally finished this book. *Phew* For a moment there I thought I wasn’t going to, and now that I am done with it, I have to say that I am glad that I did. Before I get into it, here’s the official blurb.

On March 18, 1990, thirteen works of art today worth over $500 million were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. It remains the largest unsolved art heist in history, and Claire Roth, a struggling young artist, is about to discover that there’s more to this crime than meets the eye.

Making a living reproducing famous artworks for a popular online retailer and desperate to improve her situation, Claire is lured into a Faustian bargain with Aiden Markel, a powerful gallery owner. She agrees to forge a painting—a Degas masterpiece stolen from the Gardner Museum—in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But when that very same long-missing Degas painting is delivered to Claire’s studio, she begins to suspect that it may itself be a forgery.

Her desperate search for the truth leads Claire into a labyrinth of deceit where secrets hidden since the late nineteenth century may be the only evidence that can now save her life.

My thoughts:

First of all, I went into this book completely blind. As i mentioned in my last review about the mason’s list, I had a romance genre hang over (whatever that means) and so decided to branch out into unknown waters. The Art Forger is an art novel, but it has some mystery in it which I just found out today when I read the last 30% of the book. (Thank you kindle for the gauges)…

And yes, the fact that I know that it started from about 70% in does indicate that I had my eye on my progress to see how much longer I had to go. It was needed to spur myself onward, and the last part was to me the part that spiked up some sort of reaction from me. I was very open to something new so I can say that the book was pleasant though it took me nearly three weeks to finish, which just goes to show more than anything that art is foreign territory to me. However, for someone already familiar with the world, I can imagine that this would have been a fantastic read.

Even as an outsider, I could see the amount of detail, research and imagination that went into the elements of the story and I appreciated that. Then of course the writing was fantastic and so that was enough to hold my commitment to finishing it. When it got a bit slow and I found myself falling asleep to it, I decided to watch ‘white collar’ which is a series also about the art world. It was beyond amazing, and I think I still have a hangover from the show which I finished on Monday than from the book which I finished an hour ago. Anyhu, I digress…

White collar painted certain elements of art; the paintings, the painter, the heists, the value of really ancient works, and generally everything that I needed to make me appreciate everything that the writer was talking about. So when I went back to the book (I was about 50% in by the time) I was familiar with the theme of the story and this made it easier to go through it. Over all I can say I’ve been living in the art world for the last week and I have enjoyed it. It has definitely opened me up to the genre and so far I have already acquired Donna tartt’s “The Goldfinch” and generally have a broadened interest into the genre or sub-genre, whichever is more appropriate.

Now for the story; I liked it, but the only reason I see myself ever going back to the book again is because of the researched elements of the story, it was quite interesting, and is a good foundation for a grounding in the literary perspective of art. I for one came to a point where I absolutely hated the protagonist because she just kept on making foolish decisions but in the end it turned out that they somehow payed off. I pictured it going severel ways to hell, but somehow it led her to heaven.

That was when the whole mystery part began and her reaction finally drew an emotion from me, even if it was irritation. Or maybe I just wanted her to do what I wanted since she was finally doing something, and felt like she somehow owed it to me to get what I wanted since I had stuck with her story for so long. She did however remind me of certain aspects of myself but for some reason in her, It annoyed me.

Like the selflessness that makes you put yourself on the line for someone that doesn’t matter so much to you, just because it’s the ‘right thing to do’.

Then of course the selfishness that drives you to get back at someone you actually care about because they hurt you so deeply.

Anyway in conclusion, this novel is about art, about ambition, passion, a little romance was thrown in but I wasn’t impressed, and finally, a mystery. I wavered between a 3 and 4 stars because even though the story didn’t completely grab me, the overall setting and quality is commendable.

So I’m giving it a 3.5. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⛅️

I recommemd it for art lovers because I expect that they will thoroughly enjoy it and for outsiders like me with an open mind, watch it with the “White Collar” series. Your awe of the show will be more than enough to make you finish and appreciate the book.

Thank you..🍺

2 thoughts on “Review: The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro 🎨

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