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The Art Forger
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The Art Forger

4.1 110
by B. A. Shapiro, Xe Sands (Narrated by)
 

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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

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“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

“Engrossing.”
New York Daily News

“A fabulously suspenseful story of a young woman who is in over her head. Narrator Xe Sands does a wonderful job imbuing Claire with emotion.”
AudioFile

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

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

Entertainment Weekly
“Addictive.”
Entertainment Weekly

The Washington Post
“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.”
Library Journal [starred review]

USAToday.com
“Filled with delightful twists, turns, and ruminations. . . . Shapiro’s research, well-integrated into a strong premise, captivates.”
Publishers Weekly

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
“Addictive.”
Entertainment Weekly

Boston Globe
“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

New York Daily News
The Art Forger is the real thing.”
USAToday.com

Redbook
“Ingeniously and skillfully plotted.”
The Huffington Post

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

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

Product Details

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

What People are Saying About This

Tom Perrotta
“A clever, twisty novel about art, authenticity, love, and betrayal. B. A. Shapiro knows about Degas, and she knows about art theft and forgery, and she also knows how to tell a gripping story.”
—Tom Perrotta
From the Publisher

“A clever, twisty novel about art, authenticity, love, and betrayal. B. A. Shapiro knows about Degas, and she knows about art theft and forgery, and she also knows how to tell a gripping story.”
—Tom Perrotta

“Blazingly good. Shapiro drops you where you’ve never been before, into the whole, crackingly alive world of art galleries, art forgeries, and the unexpected recesses of the human heart. As original as a real Degas, it’s also as unforgettable.”
—Caroline Leavitt,New York Timesbestselling author ofPictures of You

“An engaging journey. Will not only keep you as entertained as any thriller but leave you with a new appreciation of how paintings are made, evaluated, and understood—not to mention how they’re copied.”
—Arthur Golden, bestselling author ofMemoirs of a Geisha

Arthur Golden
The Art Forger will not only keep you as entertained as any thriller but leave you with a new appreciation of how paintings are made, evaluated, and understood—not to mention how they’re copied.”
—Arthur Golden, author of Memoirs of a Geisha

Caroline Leavitt
“Blazingly good. Shapiro drops you where you’ve never been before, into the whole, crackingly alive world of art galleries, art forgeries, and the unexpected recesses of the human heart. . . . As original as a real Degas, it’s also as unforgettable.”
—Caroline Leavitt, author of Pictures of You

Meet the Author

Coming soon...

Xe Sands is an award-winning narrator known for her authentic characterizations and intimate delivery. She has more than a decade of experience bringing stories to life through narration, performance, and visual art, and she has been recognized for her engaging romance narrations.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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The Art Forger 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 110 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
dnae More than 1 year ago
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)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good mystery about the meaning of art. Highly recommended.
DeeBurke More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Birdie9 More than 1 year ago
Excellent.
JakeJH More than 1 year ago
Great book. I have no knowledge or particular interest in art, but the author weaves together a compelling story. 
Bettle More than 1 year ago
If your interested in oil paintings this is a good story and a look into the art world you may not know.
Carmelin More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous 3 months ago
Art teqniques described in a most interesting storyline.
Anonymous 6 months ago
It is 12:30 a.m. and I just finished the book- I couldn't put it down all day (and evening). I was totally engaged all the way through. I was fascinated with the authors attention to detail and her characters came to life in my imagination. I would love to see this made into a movie.
GranmaHill More than 1 year ago
This book is a delight. I, too, stayed up late to finish it. Great suspense and what a delightful premise. There are so many interesting possibilities in an unsolved mystery and Ms Shapiro has taken full advantage. Thank you for a great read.
Xkoqueen More than 1 year ago
Suspense & Intrigue in the Art World Friends of mine visited the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum recently, and I was intrigued by their retelling of the infamous heist. I added B.A. Shapiro’s The Art Forger to my TBR list after being regaled with their stories of the museum. While The Art Forger is not about the theft per se, it is a novel that is tangentially related to the event and the still missing works of art. Once I started the audio-version of the book, I was hooked. I did find the unexplained references to Claire’s past troubles confusing in the first three chapters, however, by chapter four the author starts to slowly reveal how Claire came to be the leper of the art world. That layered reveal feels like a parallel to the process by which Claire creates a forgery of Degas’ After the Bath. Claire is a talented artist who is stymied by her repeated bad decisions. Leading the life of the literal starving artist, she is easily tempted by a Faustian offer from one of the most powerful art dealers in town, Aiden Markel. Her struggles with her past decisions and the ethics of the situation are eventually replaced with the lure of the reward—a one woman show that is guaranteed to make her an overnight success. Neither she nor Markel bargain on falling for one another. Markel doesn’t feel fully developed through much of the story, but I think that is necessary in order to keep him more of a mystery and to keep both Claire and the reader guessing about his morals and intents. His bargain with Claire is questionable and seems too altruistic, however, as Claire begins to trust him more and eventually succumbs to a romantic relationship with him, I let down my guard as well and put him in the protagonist role. The story tension is palpable and steadily increases as Claire manically works on the forgery as well as creating enough works for her show. Her study of Degas’ technique and her discoveries of how master forgers created their works is fascinating as is how Claire mimics those techniques using modern-day technology. As the plot thickened and deadlines approached, I found my stomach as tied up in knots as Claire. As the story approaches its zenith, it very much feels that Claire is on a collision course with disaster. What seemed so right and relatively easy becomes not only calamitous but dangerous. The present-day story is interspersed with letters from Isabella Stewart Gardener to her niece depicting her addiction to collecting art as well as her flirtations with Degas. The use of the letters to give readers some background information about the history of the museum was a creative technique that left me wanting for more. It created more mystery throughout the book. While Shapiro’s story is more about Claire’s need for redemption, her ambition as an artist, and Markel’s zealous desires, it is also a smart mystery. The Art Forger will make you question what you might be willing to do to realize your dreams, while you read Shapiro’s entertaining page-turner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MargoH More than 1 year ago
An engaging story. The story is a fascinating look at the art world (of which I knew very little). This novel is filled with mystery and suspense without anyone being murdered. And it even features a surprising ending. Great entertainment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like art and it's history you will like this boook.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One would run down the street shaking paper to get the ink dry this is so easy on several modern artists that they say one half can be fake! Since photo etching came in some modern etchings by well known artists are suspect as being drawibgs turned inti etchings and hard to prove the copy right laws on modern art might slow sale of but not just copy. Will they go to extreme for just a cooy as they threaten with dvds and cds?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story that weaves past, present and the facinating world of artists and collectors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I totally enjoyed this book and have recommended it for my book club. It is wonderful fiction but the art heist, which is the central core of the story, actually happened. A good read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thought provoking novel with an interesting topic. Makes you wonder about the world of art forgery. Are the works we see in museums always originals? Claire, is an interesting main character, whose knowledge has you referencing multiple topics! Fun read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago