The Swan Thieves is a novel by American author Elizabeth Kostova. The ” old painter” described in the book before the first chapter is Alfred Sisley. The Swan Thieves: A Novel [Elizabeth Kostova] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Psychiatrist Andrew Marlow, devoted to his profession. Psychiatrist Andrew Marlow, devoted to his profession and the painting hobby he loves, has a solitary but ordered life. When renowned painter Robert Oliver.

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Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals. At least I think there’s a story somewhere buried in the incredible avalanche of detail. He is hospitalized for mental illness, and psychiatrist Andrew Marlow, an exceptional artist himself, takes on Robert’s compelling I have heard many mixed reviews about The Swan Thieves from my friends.

So then, he goes and does the same thing with Oliver’s mistress, only worse. Not quite–it’s not quite that bad. Why write it there? However, I don’t read too many contemporary five-hundred-page novels these days, unless from authors I trust.

Marlow is himself a painter, and the Oliver case has been given to him because of his knowledge of art. The essential gift book for any pet lover – real-life tales of devoted dogs, rebellious cats and other unforgettable four-legged friends.

Each of the narrators was telling a story about Robert’s life as it related to them, but I never really felt like I knew him. The biggest clue is the face Oliver paints over and over again–a woman’s face, rendered with such sensitivity, the face of such a fascinating woman that everyone falls in love with her, at least a little. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Read reviews that mention swan thieves robert oliver elizabeth kostova national gallery andrew marlow painting in the national well written art history beautifully written past and present mentally ill back and forth mental illness main character love story psychiatrist andrew loved the historian attacked a painting highly recommend beatrice de clerval.

The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova

We have mysterious letters, written in French, from a century ago. The ending was a bit abrupt, or anti-climatic perhaps? One lives elizabetj Acapulco and owns three de Clerval canvases, the other lives in Paris and owns the last canvas de Clerval painted.

Andrew Marlowe, the psychiatrist assigned to Oliver’s elziabeth, also happens to be a painter, and although he has a reputation for being able to “make a stone talk” he can’t get Oliver to talk about why he landed in the hospital, so he has to do detective work, which leads him to North Carolina, Mexico, New York City and France, and into relationships with the women, living and long-dead, who shaped Oliver’s consciousness.


Even the 19th Century character sounded like the modern woman. Definitely a good read, but not a great one. Her descriptions of paintings reflect the learnings of an art historian.

The Book Blog of Evil: The Swan Thieves, by Elizabeth Kostova

And yet, despite critics hating this book, I became enraptured with the storyline more and more as I go deeper. Overall, the characters, plot, and narrative structure are so successful that I am prepared to forgive the author’s shadow over Dr.

Amazon Renewed Refurbished products with a warranty. But it is long, and honestly without much of a payoff. Or is this not a case of sloppy plotting, kistova shrewd planning to bind each of the characters to each other and weave them in the fabric of the story?

Kostova lays out the pieces quite clearly so that even a half-attentive reader will figure out the secrets before they’re explicitly confirmed. Nor would he or she become involved with those family members or friends.

Marlow’s evolution from someone, who elected perhaps involuntarily not to be part of the passions and sorrows of life and become a detached observer, into a person who discovers my favorite phrase the mitosis of love, is gratifying.

I kept thinking about how Robert’s obsession with the painting could be pushed in a Hitchcockian direction a la Vertigo and Madeline’s obsession with the painting at the Palace of the Legion of Honor. It seems somehow not quite sexual enough, to put it baldly; his manner of noting a beautiful woman seems remarkably like how I might notice her, with admiration rather than attraction, or with a faint note of envy, of silently measuring her attractiveness against an internal standard of beauty and personal style.

I criticized Goldfinch for the same thing. Which brings me to the letters. A psychiatrist attempts to solve the mystery. It has been a long time since I’ve read a book that made me hungry for the next word, whose pages or so flew by in an instant, and that after finishing it, I could scarcely breathe and think about anything else for the next few hours.

But neither one of them seems to be too broken up about it. A dual storyline of a nineteenth century female Impressionist painter is also introduced very slowly, first by a series of letters interspersed in the main narrative and later by chapters devoted to this portion of the plot.


But Kostova doesn’t properly question this. I’ve been listening to this book on CD for book club For an hour a day I have been listening in my car, to and from work.

Now for an intermission of baby animal pictures. Oliver lives in a world of MFAs and art shows, a world of art professors and great collegiate art programs, a world that most artists and writers dream of, and yet even the celebrity artist and professor has inner turmoil. As she did in The HistorianKostova has created a masterful tale of overpowering obsession Definitely recommended, and I already kostoa forward to the kostovz next book.

Robert Oliver, a notable artist, has attempted to attack a p 4. I thought the author used different points of view and writing styles well, blending first person narratives in the past and present tenses, third person narratives in the tbieves tense and letters to create an elaborate whole piece tiheves piece.

In “The Swan Thieves,” Kostova steps away from ‘another person’s’ story and builds a mesmerizing foundation of mystery and breath-taking narrative s for her readers. I went to school for a Bachelor’s Degree in art.

The Swan Thieves: A Novel: Elizabeth Kostova: : Books

View all 55 comments. So, logically, in order to solve the mystery zwan his patient’s silence, Dr. With one hundred pages left I almost gave up because I really hated the book. Except not from me. I suppose that Robert was intended to be egnimatic.

I must honestly say that I am surprised I made it through this book, twenty pages in I really thought it was bad but was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.

Usually this sort of switching irritates me, so it’s a mark of the author’s skill that in this case I thought it perfectly suited the book. I really liked Kostova’s The Historianat least the first pages. To see what your friends thought of this tieves, please sign up.