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Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2010

    Fascinating combination of netherlandish art history and comic moral tale

    I loved this book - it made me laugh out loud, yet it had a rather sober ending, not what I expected.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2003

    All the other reviewers don't know what they're talking about

    This is one of the GREAT books of our time. It is the funniest one you will read in 5 years and it is LOADED with wonderful information on painting and Brugel and the art markets and marriage and life. Perhaps the key it to LISTEN to this book on tape. You will not be sorry. The narrator is a riot --

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2002

    I desperately wanted to love this book....

    I like Mr. Frayn's writing and loved Noises Off. I thought this would be a great book. It was not. I confess, first of all, that I am an anti-Anglophile. The British as a people are beyond my ability to comprehend (For some reason that country just can't let go of a "tradition" of a royal family, which is nothing more than a sad, dysfunctional, inbred group of nobility gobbling up tons of public money. And don't even start on the "cuisine".). I say this because the main characters of the book were to my mind so stereotypically British (the professors who name a perfectly nice baby "Tilda", and get all hung up on propriety, greed and how things "appear", the boorish landed gentry, etc.) I had trouble becoming interested in the characters. Without interest in the characters, the book didn't grab me. My hang-ups aside, I thought it is exceedingly well written, well researched, and well told.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2000

    The cost of Obsession

    If you are interested in the art history of dutch painter Breugel, as I am, this is a worthwhile purchase. While the author has a pleasant enough writing style, he never seems sure if this book should be a tame suspense novel or a treatise on all things Breugel. The major disappointment seemed to be in the last chapter. The whole book focuses on the protagonist's obsession with a painting yet the ending is very unimaginative, like the finish of a grade B Hollywood flick where much effort is spent building the tale but no seriuos thought goes into wrapping it up.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2000

    Plot Very Slow - Art History Interesting

    I found the story very slow and not particularly funny. The best part of the book was the information about the painter, his era and art history in general.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2000


    If you are an Anglophile/like Antiques Roadshowor are interested in art and the issues it brings up this is a good book for you. It captures how art can move you as well as the authors prickly relationship with his wife.

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