Samantha H. (Dallas, TX)
Detailed Portait of and Artist
Shapiro's knowledge of the art world, and Degas in particular, is apparent. Her description of the impressionist's technique and style are thoroughly researched. This attention to detail never bogs down the plot, on the contrary, Shapiro ties it in to her plot expertly. The jumps from times present to past and back again kept me interested. I would definitely recommend this book.
Pam S. (MA)
The Art Forger
This debut novel set in current day Boston was a fun interesting read.
The main character – Claire Roth – is a talented artist who because of a scandal early in her career has turned to copying masterpieces for a living. She is asked by a prominent gallery owner to copy a Degas painting for one of his clients. The subject sounds dry but in fact the story is a fast-paced and convoluted mystery and Shapiro is a good writer. We learn much about the Boston art world, the 1990 Gardner Museum art heist, and history about Isabella Stewart Gardner and her museum. The "mystery" behind this work of art moves the story along quickly and the involvement of the Boston Police and the FBI puts it in the quasi-thriller category.
Debra V. (Kenosha, WI)
The Art Forger
Loved this book -- a well written look inside the art world from the artist perspective. The technical aspect of art forgery was facinating and was probably the best part of the story for me. Would recommend this book to anyone who loves art as well as a good mystery.
Vivian T. (Charleston, WV)
Limited Approach to Art History/Forgery made Enjoyable
I wasn't quite sure if I was going to enjoy THE ART FORGER but I was intrigued by the subject matter as a former resident of Boston around the time of the Gardner heist. Imagine my surprise when I found myself pulled into the story. Ms. Shapiro has crafted a story that provides an amazing glimpse into the history of art forgery as well as the history of Isabella Stewart Gardner. The characters are realistic and neither lovable nor despicable (for the most part). I empathized with Claire Roth throughout the story and couldn't wait to find out what would happen next.
The combination of Claire's history of forgery, her present circumstances with reproduction and forgery, and the inclusion of specifics on forgery throughout history made for an extremely enjoyable read. By the time I finished reading THE ART FORGER, I was tempted to find local classes on art history and forgery just to learn more. This isn't a quick read but is definitely a memorable and enjoyable read. I strongly recommend THE ART FORGER.
Kenan R. (Liberty, MO)
This book came to me as I was plodding through a tedious library book. How great to go from barely-getting-through-it to a book that I almost couldn't put down! Not only does Shapiro offer us a glimpse into the world struggling artists, but we get a fascinating look at the techniques and skills of high end art forgers.
With a protagonist I genuinely liked, enough plot twists to keep me turning pages, and a reality-based framework, this book was hugely enjoyable to read. hapiro kept me entertained and intrigued from page one. I have already given it to my husband to read, and will highly recommend it to others. On a side note - I am now looking at paintings in galleries and museums in a completely different light. The wet on wet technique of modern artists vs. the wet on dry of previous generations; the luminescent quality of oils - I will never look at a Degas the same way again!
Elizabeth (Salem, Oregon)
I read this in stops and starts until about halfway through even though I found the descriptions of copying/forging a painting to be fascinating. But once the story started moving, I finished the book quickly. The writing itself was good but I thought Claire was too naive for a woman of her age and experience and the plot developments predictable, however I still would recommend the book.
Lesley F. (San Diego, CA)
B.A. Shapiro's "The Art Forger" was a very enjoyable read. A couple of plot twists kept me going right through to the end! The detail of the methods of copying master artists and forging famous old works of art were amazing. Book clubs would enjoy this especially if the clubs are interested in finding out about a subject in detail while they are reading a novel. Like Dick Francis's Proof, which taught me all about making whiskey, and Alex Haley's Money, which taught me all about banking, The Art Forger informs while telling a good murder mystery. Some of the story is based on actual events and people which always enhances a mystery for me.
And there is a strong, undaunted female lead!