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The Swan Thieves

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The Swan Thieves Cover

ISBN13: 9780316065795
ISBN10: 031606579x
Condition:
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Awards

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Andrew Marlow, a psychiatrist, has a perfectly ordered life--solitary, perhaps, but full of devotion to his profession and the painting hobby he loves. This order is destroyed when the renowned painter Robert Oliver attacks a canvas in the National Gallery of Art and becomes Marlow's patient.

When Oliver refuses to talk or cooperate, Marlow finds himself going beyond his own legal and ethical boundaries to understand the secret that torments this silent genius, a journey that will lead him into the lives of the women closest to Robert Oliver and toward a tragedy at the heart of French Impressionism.

Moving from American museums to the coast of Normandy, from the late nineteenth century to the late twentieth, from young love to last love, The Swan Thieves is a story of obsession, the losses of history, and the power of art to preserve human hope.

Review:

"A beautiful work of visual art can unhinge even its most ardent admirers, at least those in the grip of the Stendhal Syndrome — an intense hypercultural swoon (named for the novelist who first wrote about it) accompanied by a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, confusion and even hallucination. Such feverish emotions inform Elizabeth Kostova's The Swan Thieves, a novel with painting at the center of it." The Wall Street Journal

Review:

"As in The Historian, Kostova's visual images are stunning. She uses words to paint the pictures crucial to the plot and then carefully directs readers' attention to background characters, facial expressions and colors important to uncovering the novel's central mystery." Huffington Post

Synopsis:

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, to create a story of obsession, history's losses, and the power of art to preserve human hope.

About the Author

Elizabeth Kostova is the author of the international bestseller The Historian. She graduated from Yale and holds an MFA from the University of Michigan, where she won the Hopwood Award for the Novel-in-Progress. Audio and Video

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

writer_rider, November 26, 2011 (view all comments by writer_rider)
Swan Thieves gets off to a slow start, but once you're in, you're in, and the mystery around the painter Andrew Marlow, the old love letters and the works of art grabs you and keeps you reading. And you are rewarded with some interesting twists. Great rainy day, weekend on the couch reading. Worth getting lost in.
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Gracie, February 10, 2011 (view all comments by Gracie)
An intricate and engaging story, The Swan Thieves weaves together multiple narratives of the present and the past, of art and love, of madness and obsession. The novel is also more accessible than Elizabeth Kostova's debut, The Historian, though both are incredibly well researched and have a great deal of depth and detail.

It takes some time before the meaning of the book's title is revealed, and the mysterious journey that psychiatrist Andrew Marlowe takes to find out why his painter patient, Robert Oliver—who refuses to speak, let alone explain—attacked a painting in the National Gallery becomes a much greater search for the truth than anticipated. And Dr. Marlowe finds his own life changing more than he ever anticipated as a result of his search. He starts traveling the world to find out the method of Robert's madness and continues searching for himself and for the people he's discovered along the way. And while the ending is perhaps a bit too neat, there is satisfaction to be found in it all the same.

There is an echoing pathos to this book that might be better described with a painting than with words, and Kostova uses both to great effect. I'm eagerly looking forward to see what else she's going to write.
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Bart Queary, January 31, 2011 (view all comments by Bart Queary)
The Swan Thieves is first rate from many perspectives. It is a difficult multiple narrator story that works beautifully, it has a grown up romance that is both believable and charming, and it's a compelling and complicated mystery.

Brava Elizabeth Kostova.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780316065795
Author:
Kostova, Elizabeth
Publisher:
Back Bay Books
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Patients; Art appreciation; Painters; Psychiatrists
Publication Date:
20101131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
592
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 x 1.625 in 1.19 lb

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The Swan Thieves Sale Trade Paper
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$7.98 In Stock
Product details 592 pages Back Bay Books - English 9780316065795 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A beautiful work of visual art can unhinge even its most ardent admirers, at least those in the grip of the Stendhal Syndrome — an intense hypercultural swoon (named for the novelist who first wrote about it) accompanied by a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, confusion and even hallucination. Such feverish emotions inform Elizabeth Kostova's The Swan Thieves, a novel with painting at the center of it."
"Review" by , "As in The Historian, Kostova's visual images are stunning. She uses words to paint the pictures crucial to the plot and then carefully directs readers' attention to background characters, facial expressions and colors important to uncovering the novel's central mystery."
"Synopsis" by , 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, to create a story of obsession, history's losses, and the power of art to preserve human hope.
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