The Swan Thieves: A Novel

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The Swan Thieves: A Novel

by Elizabeth Kostova

Little, Brown And Company | November 7, 2013 | Trade Paperback

The Swan Thieves: A Novel is rated 2.875 out of 5 by 8.
Andrew Marlow, a psychiatrist, has a perfectly ordered life--solitary, perhaps, but full of devotion to his profession and the painting hobby he loves. This order is destroyed when the renowned painter Robert Oliver attacks a canvas in the National Gallery of Art and becomes Marlow''s patient.
When Oliver refuses to talk or cooperate, Marlow finds himself going beyond his own legal and ethical boundaries to understand the secret that torments this silent genius, a journey that will lead him into the lives of the women closest to Robert Oliver and toward a tragedy at the heart of French Impressionism.

Moving from American museums to the coast of Normandy, from the late nineteenth century to the late twentieth, from young love to last love, THE SWAN THIEVES is a story of obsession, the losses of history, and the power of art to preserve human hope.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 592 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 1.62 in

Published: November 7, 2013

Publisher: Little, Brown And Company

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 031606579X

ISBN - 13: 9780316065795

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Much Preferred to The Historian Personally, I am enjoying this book tremendously. It is spooky enough to keep me interested, I care about and enjoy the passion and eccentricity of the characters and am actually going to be able to finish this one! After countless times starting The Historian and becoming stone bored around halfway through each time, I'm thrilled that this story is so much more enjoyable! Give it a chance particularly if you're an artist - I think you'll like it.
Date published: 2014-04-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Eight Bookcases Check out my review of Kostova's work on my blog at: http://8bookcases.blogspot.ca/2012/04/swan-thieves-by-elizabeth-kostova.html
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Falls Short of "The Historian" “The Swan Thieves” wasn’t at all what I was expecting after reading Elizabeth Kostova’s amazing book “The Historian”. I wanted history, excitement...I wanted to turn page after page and totally get lost in the book...but I didn’t. Instead I found myself forcing my way through a lot of the beginning pages. I grew bored and irritated by not knowing who the mysterious woman was for most of the book. Once i reached the ending pages i found myself liking the book much more, but perhaps i was just glad to get it over with and move on to something new. Although well written, Kostova's book wasn't enough to be memorable.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova I really wanted to love The Swan Thieves as much as I loved The Historian but it just didn't capture my interest the way The Historian did. Novels that incorporate art of any kind and art history usually fascinate me. Some readers do not like a multitude of technical details and find they bog down the storyline, but for me I find they only enhance a story and make it more interesting. I thought The Swan Thieves would have such content for the size of the book but it really doesn't, though being lushly detailed its much more about the emotional journeys, obsessions and passions of the main characters in the story, with a bit of mystery thrown in. Unfortunately the mystery was not very suspenseful, more of a slow burn, darts of menace rather than a blaze of shocks. Kostova's prose and development of plot and characters are first rate though. It was satisfying to read a novel where a lot of care is taken with the development of the characters, background events, description and dialogue. On a side note this book had all sorts of interesting new words I have never encountered before like ecumenical and numinously. If you want to read a finely crafted novel, with intriguing characters, that you can immerse yourself in, and explores the darker human emotions of obsession, fear, entrapment, jealousy and deception, I would recommend The Swan Thieves. If you are looking for an exciting, suspenseful read I would take a pass.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from AN OBSESSION AND A QUEST This is the second book by the author of THE HISTORIAN. If you are looking for another suspenseful page turner with a supernatural element then you might be a little disappointed by this effort. This book moves along at a more languid pace, told through narratives by the three principal characters and through old love letters. The book combines the themes of overpowering obsession and personal quest. Both finally explained and resolved in the last few pages. I enjoyed this book because the story backdrop was art and the impressionists. For someone not as intrigued with the subject matter I could see this as being perceived as a boring read.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Too long This book started out with potential but quickly fell apart for me. The book is way too long and the story drags on. This book could have been great, but it fell short in so many ways. The story of a mentally ill artist attacking a painting seemed fascinating....until I read the book and ending. Some examples of the "falling apart": 1- the unrealistic, not to mention unethical, over and beyond patient/doctor relationship on a psychiatric ward!! (NO Dr. does that!), 2-the long winded, wordy chapters about Robert's life and their own lives told by Mary & Kate, 3-the ending!!! What a shame. This entire book was based on the mystery of Robert, his mental breakdown (or long standing diagnosis of bipolar disorder, which is never mentioned in the book), his attack on a painting, and his obsession. But the ending was so ridiculous, I was actually mad because I had to endure 100+ chapters!! The mystery is solved by the "hero" of the book--a middle aged unethical psychiatrist, and the patient (after 12 months of being in his care) is miraculously healed!!! What a disappointment.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Huge disappointment Elizabeth Kostova's "The Historian" was one of my favorite books, so I eagerly anticipated "The Swan Thieves". Never have I been so disappointed in a book. The protagonist, psychiatrist Andrew Marlow, was an insipid character, not to mention a totally unethical practitioner, and the historical ties to great artists and paintings uninteresting. Marlow and his love interest, Mary, had no chemistry, and her narrative parts were so boring I skipped most of them. I kept hoping the story would improve, but alas, it did not. When authors use too many words to describe what characters (Marlow) eat for meals and how they get from point A to point B, when neither is signifigant to the plot, you know you're in trouble. What a waste of a potentially great character, Robert, as well as my time and money.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from truely amazing The swan thieves opens with the almost destruction of Leda, from there the story follow the protagonist Andrew Marlow, who is a psychologist. Becomes involved with the attacker, Robert Oliver, when the case is recommended to him by an old friend, because of Marlow's own love of panting. From there the story goes in to following the idea of obsession, be it with love or finding the true of people. This novel is a fun ride that goes into the history of art and shows us the extremes that one will go to achieve what they want, there are also twist that you won't see coming. If you enjoy this book then you should also pick up Elizabeth Kostova other book "The Historian".
Date published: 2013-10-29

– More About This Product –

The Swan Thieves: A Novel

by Elizabeth Kostova

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 592 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 1.62 in

Published: November 7, 2013

Publisher: Little, Brown And Company

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 031606579X

ISBN - 13: 9780316065795

About the Book

Kostova's masterful new novel travels from American cities to the coast of Normandy, from the late 19th century to the late 20th, from young love to last love, to create a story of obsession, history's losses, and the power of art to preserve human hope.

From the Publisher

Andrew Marlow, a psychiatrist, has a perfectly ordered life--solitary, perhaps, but full of devotion to his profession and the painting hobby he loves. This order is destroyed when the renowned painter Robert Oliver attacks a canvas in the National Gallery of Art and becomes Marlow''s patient.
When Oliver refuses to talk or cooperate, Marlow finds himself going beyond his own legal and ethical boundaries to understand the secret that torments this silent genius, a journey that will lead him into the lives of the women closest to Robert Oliver and toward a tragedy at the heart of French Impressionism.

Moving from American museums to the coast of Normandy, from the late nineteenth century to the late twentieth, from young love to last love, THE SWAN THIEVES is a story of obsession, the losses of history, and the power of art to preserve human hope.

About the Author

Elizabeth Kostova is the author of the international bestsellerThe Historian. She graduated from Yale and holds an MFA from the<_st13a_place _w3a_st="on"><_st13a_placetype _w3a_st="on">Universityof<_st13a_placename _w3a_st="on">Michigan, where she won the Hopwood Award for the Novel-in-Progress.

Editorial Reviews

"Kostova knows how to craft a breathless ending." -Entertainment Weekly
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