Wednesday, September 12, 2012

More book than story

My problem with Elizabeth Kostova's The Swan Thieves is that there is more book than there is story. The story itself is intriguing. Robert Oliver, a prominent artist, is caught trying to deface a painting in a museum and psychiatrist Andrew Marlow tries to discover why he would do such a thing. Oliver, however, refuses to say a word. He just paints images of the same unknown woman over and over again.

So Marlow must look elsewhere for answers, first to Oliver's former wife, then his former girlfriend, whom Marlow falls in love with himself. He studies old letters, visits museums and travels as far as Paris to interview people who might be able to shed light on the mystery.

It's a good story. I'm just not sure there is enough there to justify such a long novel.

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