I thoroughly enjoyed this book while I was reading it. I loved the glimpse into the world of artists, museums, and galleries that it provided. The information about painting technique was very well woven into the texture of the novel, so it never felt like an info-dump. The fictionalized history about the relationship between Isabelle Gardner and Degas was clever and plausible. I read The Art Forger for my book club, and I know we will have a great discussion about the issues it raises. What gives art its value–the beauty of the work itself, or the fame of the person who painted it? What drives people to collect art (or anything else, for that matter)? Do we see what we expect to see, or what we’re told to see, or what’s really there? All meaty topics for discussion.
However…(you could feel me building up to a however, couldn’t you?) The book is billed as a “literary thriller,” and I’m afraid it’s not successful as a thriller. After I finished, I kept thinking about the ending and I saw plot holes big enough to drive a truck through. If you haven’t yet read the book, I’ve put my discussion of the ending in the “Commebts” section because it contains a spoiler.
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