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When Martin Clay and his art historian wife are asked to appraise the private collection of a loutish man, it is Martin, not his wife, who believes he has discovered a lost masterpiece from Dutch painter Bruegel. Keeping his thoughts closely guarded, he embarks on a fast-paced quest to confirm his suspicions. In an effort to swindle the painting away from its owner, Martin heads down a trail of lies and scams that has hilarious and unexpected results.
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By Zaubermond on 07-28-14
For art history junkies only
Frayn has written a novel that is pure joy for those of us who geek out on art history. For others, the long expositions may be information overload of the worst and most tedious kind! So if you suspect you won't enjoy so much of that, do skip this and find another. But if you love every delicious detail of art history, iconography, and painting, you're likely to have a great time with this one.
With his background in theatre, Frayn knows how to keep a scene moving and the dialogue snappy. His research is prodigious and I was impressed with his breadth of artistic knowledge. I was never bored and enjoyed both the serious art historical aspects and the elements of absurdity, comedy, and farce.
Steven Crossley is a great narrator, always pleasing to the ear, and perfectly suited to this title.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful