Thursday, March 29, 2007

One from Down Under

I finally finished reading "Theft: A Love Story. Overall, it's a brilliantly written book. The descriptions are lovely, the language crafted with fine tools and the characters fairly well-developed.

The storyline, however, is often hard to follow. The main character Michael "Butcher" Bone, is an Australian artist obsessed with "Making Art," often to the detriment of himself and those around him. He frequently seems quite confused by normal life and is extremely self-centered, pretty typical of most die-hard artists. What makes the story most difficult to follow is the inclusion of the thoughts of Michael's 250-pound, 30ish, mentally disabled brother, Hugh. Hugh, who has the mental capacity of a 10 year old, has the most interesting dialogue and interpretations of situations of all the characters and he, by far, is my favorite. Despite his mental disability he is incredibly insightful and when the author lets us into Hugh's mind the thoughts are fascinating. But the jump back and forth between Michael and Hugh can be distracting and a little bit unsettling.

Unless you are an artist or have had some experience in the business of art dealers and art galleries, some of the situations are quite confusing. I have to admit, there were many scenarios that I just. didn't. get. I admire art from a distance, I like to hang great art on my walls, but I don't get this artist's pride thing or the dealing of art or art scandal and dishonest appraisers. Did I learn anything? Yup. A little bit. But it certainly didn't make me want to run out and purchase any art for too much money. I'll stick to my reproduction prints, thank you very much.

Anyway, the book is good, but be prepared to sit down and really concentrate on what you are reading. This isn't one of those pure-enjoyment, mindless books but it is definitely a thought provoker.


Lisa said...

Very interesting...

Hey are ya coming on Saturday? Hope so!

Amy said...

"I'll stick to my reproduction prints... (unless of course my sister paints something I like and gives it to me)" I'm an enigma to you AND you're collecting my stuff so when it starts selling for millions you can make a buck to those weirdos who have too much money to waste! Damn journalists...can't trust 'em, they only tell you what they want you to know!

Jenn said...

Okay, okay, okay, I have a couple of fantastic originals. But I only have them because I didn't have to pay half a million bucks for them!

You, Amy, are a brat! Good thing I like you a whole lot.