The Art Thief

The Art Thief

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Overview

The Art Thief by Noah Charney, Simon Vance

Rome: In the small Baroque church of Santa Giuliana, a magnificent Caravaggio altarpiece disappears without a trace in the middle of the night.

Paris: In the basement vault of the Malevich Society, curator Genevi - ve Delacloche is shocked to discover the disappearance of the Society's greatest treasure, White-on-White by Suprematist painter Kasimir Malevich.

London: At the National Gallery of Modern Art, the museum's latest acquisition is stolen just hours after it was purchased for more than six million pounds.

In The Art Thief, three thefts are simultaneously investigated in three cities, but these apparently isolated crimes have much more in common than anyone imagines. In Rome, the police enlist the help of renowned art investigator Gabriel Coffin when tracking down the stolen masterpiece. In Paris, Genevi - ve Delacloche is aided by Police Inspector Jean-Jacques Bizot, who finds a trail of bizarre clues and puzzles that leads him ever deeper into a baffling conspiracy. In London, Inspector Harry Wickenden of Scotland Yard oversees the museum's attempts to ransom back its stolen painting, only to have the masterpiece's recovery deepen the mystery even further.

A dizzying array of forgeries, overpaintings, and double-crosses unfolds as the story races through auction houses, museums, and private galleries -- and the secret places where priceless works of art are made available to collectors who will stop at nothing to satisfy their hearts' desires.

Full of fascinating art-historical detail, crackling dialogue, and a brain-teasing plot, Noah Charney's debut novel is a sophisticated, stylish thriller, as irresistible andmultifaceted as a great work of art.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781433203718
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date: 10/28/2007
Edition description: Unabridged
Pages: 8
Product dimensions: 6.42(w) x 6.68(h) x 1.18(d)

About the Author

Noah Charney, twenty-seven years old, holds degrees in art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art and Cambridge University. He is the founding director of the Association for Research into Crimes against Art (ARCA), the first international think tank on art crime. He divides his time between New Haven, Connecticut; Cambridge, England; and Rome, Italy.

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Art Thief 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not worth your time. I started off liking the book as it was very reminiscent of Angels and Demons/Da Vinci Code/The Thomas Crown Affair movie. It seemed clever at first but sadly the whole thing began to go down hill. The writer would go off on these tangents giving you different histories of the art world. At first I was not bothered by this but coupled with his constant jumping around from scene to scene involving seemingly unrelated characters and the quickly dissolving plot, I just got bored. The writer kept trying to be clever and it became obvious that he was failing at that task before long. For example, he kept describing these two detectives who are always eating and I guess that is supposed to be funny and entertaining, well it wasn't. I was sure that if I heard one more description of the overweight detective, I was going to hurt myself. Sheesh...what a waste of time. I wanted to like the book, I really did, I went in with no preconceived notions but by the end I did not care who had committed what crime, I just wanted it to be over so I could go read something else. The book was repetitive, became boring and quite frankly the end did not in anyway justify the means. A thriller is suppose to be thrilling, something that never happened here. I would definitely not recommend.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I began this book expecting a wonderful story full of mystery, art history, and colorful characters. I was disappointed in all three categories. Not much mystery, very little history, and pale, underdeveloped characters all plague this book. I wouldn't waste my time reading this book...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I tend to buy books based on reading the reviews and I think this book is over rated by other reviews. I thought it was ok. Yes, it had a good ending but I probably wouldn't recommend this as a book you have to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was first drawn to this book by the cover, but as the saying goes, you can't judge a book that way. Not to fear, this is one exciting tale. I returned to the book store the next day to get another copy for a friend who read it in a single sitting -- it's that good. A stylish, fun story, and informative at the same time. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ehh the book was ok, i liked the detective spin on the art world but it dragged and then suddenly all the pieces randimly came together at the very end with no elaboration. Didnt hate it, but i dont love it
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think everything was beautiful in this book. I love art, so I learn a lot. You will learn all about artist paintings and how much they are worth. Also I learn one of my coaches was related to Vermeer. I like the mystery, it was confusing which I like. I am only thirdteen and I could read it so I would recomend it to anyone.
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Smikelje More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book! It has 3 great elements: a complicated mystery, humor, and fascinating art history. And it all sews up in a delightful conclusion. Anyone who likes art and mystery should enjoy this book. Highly recommended!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm half way through this book but I find myself a tad disappointed. I feel as though I'm missing out on some of the greater aspects of the book (wit, passion, anger, mystery) becuase many of the characters tend to speak in French. Which is authentic in relation to the setting of the plot, but what about all us non-French speaking readers? It's been a VERY long time since I've practiced my French and I'm certainly not fluent enough to fully comprehend what the author is trying to get across.
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
Every once in a great while a debut novel comes along that's head and shoulders above the rest. My response to Noah Charney's initial work is 'Eureka! It's the mother lode!' The Art Thief is an intellectual, witty, page-turning tale of three art thefts which take place in the most fascinating-to-read-about settings - Rome, Paris, and London. Mr. Charney has an amazing ability to describe his characters so originally, so memorably that you feel you actually know them. Surely, if I saw a man wearing 'his smile like a crown of thorns,' I'd immediately recognize Professor Barrow. Or, should I spy on a London street a fellow with a coat that revealed a 'coffee colored lining, which hung, a corner ripped out and dragging,' I'd want to say good day to Harry Wickenden - even if he was not consulting 'his ten-pound gold Rolex watch.' Should I have the good fortune to be dining in Paris and see the porcine Inspector Jean-Jacques Bizot, he'd be quickly placed as 'His brambly peppered beard was a tangle of chin and leftovers, and bounced of its own volition, revealing his gummy smile.' It's sheer pleasure to follow each of their adventures. Our story opens in Italy, in a small church, Santa Giulana. The church's pride is a Caravagio altarpiece, which disappears in the dark of night. No clues, no trace, only a distraught Father Amoroso. The Malevich Society in Paris, overseen by the erudite, chain smoking Genevieve Delacloche, is in a turmoil as its prime painting, White on White, by Kasimir Malevich has disappeared from the impenetrable vault in the Society's basement. In London the National Gallery of Art pays an astounding 6.3 million pounds for what is to be the centerpiece of an upcoming exhibit. But, despite tight security odd things are occurring at the Gallery. Closed-circuit television screens reveal movement in the basement utility room but the screens don't show anyone. Those monitoring the screens can't communicate with other security personnel they cannot call the police as their phones are dead. Their latest acquisition is gone, and a hefty ransom demanded. To perplex further the thieves leave notes, clues, if you will, that tease. How any of these thefts could be connected will both confound and enthrall readers. Mr. Charney's novel is rich in art history and abounds with detail regarding art thievery, such as the fact that '90% of all criminal collectors of art are people of wealth and society.' Most often they are men who have amassed art quite legitimately through auctions and galleries. Information of this sort springs easily from Mr. Charney as he is the founding director of the first consulting group on art crime prevention and solution. It's clear that he is passionate about art and all its facets. However, the appeal of The Art Thief is not limited to art lovers, Francophiles, Anglophiles, or Italophiles as it stands alone as a story of compelling suspense. My one caveat would be that the art lectures delivered by one of his characters tended to run on for a bit, while this reader wanted to get to the bottom of all the intriguing double dealing going on. Nonetheless, that was a small price to pay for such an absorbing, sophisticated page-turner. - Gail Cooke
Guest More than 1 year ago
A very entertaining crime drama, and also extremely informative about the goings-on behind today's art scene. The characters are colorful and realistic, and the plot moves along at a nice clip. A nicely done job by an author who clearly knows his field, and who is generous with that knowledge.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found myself excited and engaged by Noah Charney¿s debut novel. The sophisticated plot skillfully transports the reader through Europe with many exciting twists and turns upon the journey to discover the missing priceless artwork. I thoroughly enjoyed the diverse and unique character development used in ¿The Art Thief.¿ Many times it would bring a smile to my face. Finally, I was most appreciative of Mr. Charney¿s gentle education of the art world and the crimes that can occur. Having read ¿The Art Thief¿ I not only enjoyed myself, but I expanded my knowledge as well. It was a wonderful adventure! I enjoy Dan Brown's writing and I believe Noah Charney offers this level and quality of writing, if not higher. Mr. Charney's first novel is definitely 'a thriller.' I can hardly wait to see the sequel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I always wondered what goes on behind the doors of places like Christie's, and thanks to this page-turner, I have a better idea. My favorite scenes (Chapters8- 13) were at the auction, but throughout, I liked the snappy dialogue and energy. A great future movie?
Guest More than 1 year ago
I quickly became engrossed and found myself turning the pages, eager for the next plot turn. The lessons about the inside world of art and museums that others found digressive and pedantic, I found interesting and informative. 'The Art Thief' is not 'War and Peace,' nor did I read it with that expectation. But it is a good tale entertainingly told, with unforeseen developments and happy surprises. I read this book in one sitting on a long plane ride and it carried me through the hours I read it and stayed with me afterwards. I recommend it to all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This literary thriller is well written, witty, and absorbing. With a plot that keeps you pleasantly puzzled. The behind-the-scenes portraits of the world of auctions and art galleries are fascinating--especially a high-tension auction. You learn a lot about art I especially enjoyed the walk through the National Gallery in London with the curmudgeonly professor--a funny scene but full of art history lore. I don't understand the comments criticizing the writing--except for the occasional excess, I find the writing sharp and often elegant. And the story really moves. A few characters are thin and there is a bit too much about the eating habits of the French detective. But the book delivers--a plot full of unexpected developments and interesting characters in a setting few of us know--the international world of art.