Monday, May 05, 2008
The Forgery of Venus
Gruber, Michael. The Forgery of Venus.
6 word synopsis: Who painted newly discovered Velázquez' Venus?
An ARC from Lauren, this unusual book is gripping and takes the reader on so many twists and turns that it is almost impossible to describe the plot. Chaz Wilmot, a talented artist, has difficulty selling his best work, not because people aren't willing to buy, but for some tangled personal reasons relating to a difficult relationship with his father. He makes his living in commercial art, just getting by, rather than putting his best work in galleries.
Several events converge at once, and Chaz finds himself in Europe, confronted with the possibility of a huge windfall if he is willing to forge a Velázquez. Before leaving the U.S., Chaz had participated in a drug study during which he had hallucinations of "being" Velázquez, and the combination of the residual effects of the study and the possibility of earning enough money to provide treatment for his sick son help persuade Chaz to try.
I'm not sure how to classify this one - mystery, alternate history, time travel, a study of madness, psychological thriller... a little bit of everything thrown in here. Doesn't matter, I suppose; I found it fascinating, well-written, informative, and highly entertaining.
(It took me a day or so after finishing the book to write this review, and I'm only just now getting it posted because of computer difficulties. I thought maybe I could come up with a more concise version of the plot, but no such luck. The plot is complicated and fascinating.)
Fiction. Psychological thriller? 2008. 318 pages.