The Art Forger

( 68 )

Overview

On March 18, 1990, thirteen works of art today worth over $500 million were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. It remains the largest unsolved art heist in history, and Claire Roth, a struggling young artist, is about to discover that there’s more to this crime than meets the eye.

Making a living reproducing famous artworks for a popular online retailer and desperate to improve her situation, Claire is lured into a Faustian bargain with Aiden Markel, a ...

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The Art Forger: A Novel

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Overview

On March 18, 1990, thirteen works of art today worth over $500 million were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. It remains the largest unsolved art heist in history, and Claire Roth, a struggling young artist, is about to discover that there’s more to this crime than meets the eye.

Making a living reproducing famous artworks for a popular online retailer and desperate to improve her situation, Claire is lured into a Faustian bargain with Aiden Markel, a powerful gallery owner. She agrees to forge a painting—a Degas masterpiece stolen from the Gardner Museum—in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But when that very same long-missing Degas painting is delivered to Claire’s studio, she begins to suspect that it may itself be a forgery.

Her desperate search for the truth leads Claire into a labyrinth of deceit where secrets hidden since the late nineteenth century may be the only evidence that can now save her life.

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Editorial Reviews

Entertainment Weekly

“Addictive.”
Entertainment Weekly

The Washington Post

“Rewarding for its skillful balance of brisk plotting, significant emotional depth and a multi-layered narration rich with a sense of moral consequence.”
The Washington Post

USAToday.com

The Art Forger is the real thing.”
USAToday.com

Elle Reader's Review

“If Bridget Jones’s Diary and The Da Vinci Code had a love child, this would be it.”
Elle Reader’s Review

The Huffington Post

“Ingeniously and skillfully plotted.”
The Huffington Post

The Oprah Magazine O

“[A] gripping novel.”
O, The Oprah Magazine

Boston Globe

“A satisfying, plot-driven novel of revelation. . . . An engaging tale about art, cupidity, and a Faustian bargain. . . . Shapiro convincingly depicts the rarefied art world that lionizes a chosen few and ignores the talented, scrabbling outsiders on the fringe. Shapiro is adept, too, at showing the white-hot heat of an artist engaged in creating a painting. She knows art history, painting techniques, and how forgers have managed through the centuries to dupe buyers into paying for fakes. . . . Inventive and entertaining.”
Boston Globe

New York Daily News

“Engrossing.”
New York Daily News

Redbook

The Art Forger is smart, sexy, and spellbinding. With a twisting plot, irresistible characters, and a spunky, memorable heroine . . . this book’s a recipe for fun.”
Redbook

Booklist

“This classy crime novel is most appealing in audio.”
Booklist

Library Journal - Audio
What if a forger discovered that the painting she was forging might itself be a forgery? That is Claire Roth's dilemma in Shapiro's (The Safe Room) fascinating novel about the art world, major thefts, and the struggle for authenticity. Claire's reputation was ruined after a scandal in which she covered for a famous artist; since then she has made a meager living painting for Reproductions.com. When she is offered money and a show of her own if she will agree to make a copy of a famous Degas stolen from the Gardner Museum in Boston, she jumps at the chance but quickly becomes suspicious that the supposed original is a fake. VERDICT Shapiro expertly includes details about Degas, Isabelle Gardner, and the art world, as well as describing techniques used by artists and forgers. The first-person narrative is professionally and skillfully read by Xe Sands. This work is highly recommended and will be popular with fans of literary fiction and anyone with an interest in the art world. ["This well-researched work combines real elements…with the understanding that the art world is as fragile and precarious as the art itself…. A highly recommended debut that would be great for book discussion groups," read the review of the New York Times best-selling Algonquin hc, LJ 8/12.—Ed.]—Mary Knapp, Madison P.L., WI
Review

Boston Globe's Best Crime Books of 2012
2012 NetGalley Pick
Kobo's Best Fiction Ebooks of 2012

The Art Forgeris the real thing.”—USAToday.com

“[A] nimble mystery.”—The New York Times Book Review

"Gripping." —O, The Oprah Magazine

“[A] highly entertaining literary thriller about fine art and foolish choices.” —Parade

"Precise and exciting . . . Readers seeking an engaging novel about artists and art scandals will find "The Art Forger" rewarding for its skillful balance of brisk plotting, significant emotional depth and a multi-layered narration rich with a sense of moral consequence." —The Washington Post

"If Bridget Jones's Diary and The Da Vinci Code had a love child, this would be it." —Elle (Reader's Panel Reviewer)

“[Shapiro] has such interesting things to say about authenticity—in both art and love—that her novel becomes not just emotionally involving but addictive.” —Entertainment Weekly

"Ingeniously and skillfully plotted." —The Huffington Post

“Warning: Don’t dig into this book if you have something to do . . . An addictive thriller.”—Redbook

“An engaging tale about art, cupidity, and a Faustian bargain . . . Shapiro convincingly depicts the rarefied art world that lionizes a chosen few and ignores the talented, scrabbling outsiders on the fringe. Shapiro is adept, too, at showing the white-hot heat of an artist engaged in creating a painting. She knows art history, painting techniques, and how forgers have managed through the centuries to dupe buyers into paying for fakes . . . Inventive and entertaining.” —The Boston Globe

“Smart, sexy . . . spellbinding.”Redbookmag.com

“An intelligent, cleverly plotted page-turner.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Engaging storytelling. Intelligent entertainment.”—Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611749274
  • Publisher: HighBridge Company
  • Publication date: 10/23/2012
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged; 10 hours
  • Pages: 600
  • Sales rank: 194,814
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

B. A. SHAPIRO lives in Boston and teaches fiction writing at Northeastern University.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 68 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(31)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 68 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2012

    Fun Read and Well Crafted Story

    This was such a fun story, especially made for art lovers and museum enthusiasts. Reads like a great beach read; the story is interesting enough that you want to tear through it, but not quite the page-turner of Hunger Games or Gone Girl. Even so, i will read it again, and soon, because of course my curiosity rushed me through.

    Clare's story is told through three different story lines that come together beautifully in the end without redundancies, which impressed me. The first story of her history three years ago: her torrid affair with a married art professor, a tortured artist type, and their "collaborative" painting she paints for him while he suffers a creative block in order that he not miss a great opportunity to show at New York's MOMA.

    The second storyline, told thru letter's of Isabelle Gardner about her friendship with Edgar Degas in 1890's Paris, which will help explore some of the mystery surrounding the Gardner Museum of Boston and the famous unsolved heist of paintings including one masterwork of Degas.

    The current storyline of Clare's life as a struggling artist who pays the rent by painting reproductions of masterworks, specializing in Degas while she bides her time waiting for discovery and a show of her own. Clare is offered an opportunity she cannot pass up from a promiment (and of course superbly attractive) gallery owner, something so great she wonders if it is a deal with the devil... and indeed, it may be.

    It makes for some very fun, very interesting, very imaginative reading!

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Captivating!

    Oh wow, this book is just captivating! I wanted to immediately read it again when I was finished! The suspense definitely had me going hours on end with this book and I didn't want to put it down. I kept wanting to know more about Claire's past with Isaac and her future with Aiden, her past with scandal and her future with forgery. When would Claire learn that her dependency on men to get ahead in the world as an artist only causes trouble?

    "When I accepted Markel's offer, I thought I'd be learning at the feet of a master painter; instead, my most powerful lessons have come from a master forger." (loc.1664)

    I had no idea how this book would pan out, and the ending was very satisfying. Perhaps it's because of my own love and hobby of the arts that sparks my intrigue, but the author did a wonderful job in telling this story. The slight of humor, the intensity of seriousness, the lightness in characterization was great! In particular I love the imagery she uses, as well as the metaphors and the personification of the artwork. I will absolutely want to reread this book again, as well as any other books by B.A. Shapiro.

    First Line: "I step back and scrutinize the paintings." (loc. 13)

    Last Line: "And no matter how big the commissions or how great the museums, I suppose I'll never know." (loc. 3815)
    -------
    Quotes

    "The sweet possibility of reclaiming all that's been lost, everything I've ever wanted. But a forger? A pretender? The absolute last thing I want to be." (loc. 152)

    "'It's your call, Claire,' he reminds me. 'I can get someone else if I have to...'
    Someone else? 'Okay,' I tell him. 'I'm in.'" (loc. 404)

    "A writer friend once told me that when she walks into a library anywhere in the world, the smell makes her feel instantly at home." (loc. 730)

    "I'm astonished I was able to fool myself for as long as I did. That I, a self-proclaimed Degas expert, could be so taken in. I felt the truth the first moment I set eyes on the painting, yet I convinced myself otherwise. And I'm not alone." (loc. 1054)

    "A woman who makes a Faustian bargain is not without responsibility." (loc. 3810)

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2012

    Recommended for art and mystery lovers

    A good mystery about the meaning of art. Highly recommended.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    Highly Recommend-Couldn't put it down!

    The Art Forger was recommended to me by my mother's best friend who is very well read...so I knew it was going to be good! This book caught my attention from the beginning! I am from Boston and very familiar with the Isabelle Gardner Museum heist. This past week there has also been a lot of hype due to new evidence in the case. If you like art history and historical fiction then you will love this book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2012

    Highly recommend

    I have read a lot of books and I have to say that The Art Forger is my favorite, it just kept me reading when ever I had time to do so. Great book.
    B.A. Shapiro, I can't wait for your next book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2012

    A fun and fascinating mystery. From the first page I was engaged

    A fun and fascinating mystery. From the first page I was engaged in the story and found it difficult to put the book down. The intertwining of fictionalized events involving people who once lived and the facts surrounding the infamous (and still unsolved) theft of 13 works of art from the Garner Museum, coupled with an intriguing what-if scenario about the reappearance of one of those missing treasures decades after the fact make a very satisfying story. Glimpses into the art world and the art of forgery add color and texture without distraction. I highly recommend The Art Forger.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 5, 2013

    Excellent.

    Excellent.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 22, 2012

    Great book. I have no knowledge or particular interest in art, b

    Great book. I have no knowledge or particular interest in art, but the author weaves together a compelling story. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 27, 2012

    Interesting and informative of the Art World.

    If your interested in oil paintings this is a good story and a look into the art world you may not know.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 27, 2012

    Read it!

    If you like museums, art, impressionism and mysteries this book will keep you interested for one night..... My only concern is that there were no more pages to read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2014

    Good Different Mystery

    Impressed by the stories woven together. Wanted to know more about how a great painting is created and how it is copied. This novel delivers. Also kept me interested to the end. Love beautiful artwork and sketch for fun, but always wondered what it would be like to have real talent or the $ to buy the work in the best galleries and enjoy them on my own walls. This book gave me a little taste of those scenarios.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2014

    Excellent heist mystery

    Well written and fast paced mystery. Will definitely be reading more Shapiro works.

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  • Posted January 26, 2014

    Really enjoyed

    I love the Gardner Museum and the Boston setting. It held my interest through out. I find the whole heist business fascinating.

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  • Posted December 14, 2013

    A Good Read

    This is an interesting romp into the world of art institutions, galleries and authenticity. It is well researched tale and spans several centuries which reveals both real and invented characters. The story is an altogether engrossing narrative into the complicated niche of high stakes art and the treachery of forgeries.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2013

    Meh

    recommend if you enjoy minutae and process

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2013

    Fun art mystery

    A friend recommended this book because I was planning to visit the Gardner Museum in Boston. It was a fun way to learn about the museum and learn about art forgery. It was a real page turned and after finishing it I bought the non-fiction story of the famous art heist at the Gardner.

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  • Posted October 1, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It provided a fascinating look

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It provided a fascinating look into the art world and was a corking good mystery as well. I found it exceedingly hard to put down and ended up staying up far
    too late on two consecutive nights until I reached the conclusion. I definitely recommend this book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2013

    Enjoyable story and interesting characters. Looking forward to

    Enjoyable story and interesting characters. Looking forward to another B. A. Shapiro book!

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  • Posted September 20, 2013

    Great read!

    Thoroughly engrossing, loved the plot.

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  • Posted September 13, 2013

    A very intriguing and interesting novel

    This book caught me in the beginning and didn't let me go. I clearly remember the original heist and the uproar it caused. I loved how the author went in to detail on what concerns there were when making a forgery so that it wasn't clearly a reproduction. Throughout the book I tried to figure out how she was going to be able to stay out of prison because of what she did (although innocent). This book gives a book club lots of opportunities to discuss how the reader's morality would handle the situation. I have never read B.A. Shapiro before, but will be on the alert for her name in the future.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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