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Theft Paperback – May 8, 2007
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Peter Carey has garnered critical and commercial praise for his ingenuity, empathy, and poetic ear. Visit Amazon's Peter Carey Page.
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Top Customer Reviews
Mr. Carey tells his story from the alternating viewpoints of Butcher and his brother Hugh in language that is dense, accurate and often beautiful beyond description. Anyone who has ever ridden in a New York cab will recognize this truth: "The taxis in New York are a total nightmare. I don't know how anybody tolerates them, and I am not complaining about the eviscerated seats, the s----- shock absorbers, the suicidal lefthand turns, but rather the common faith of all those Malaysian Sikhs, Bengali Hindus, Harlem Muslims, Lebanese Christians, Coney Island Russians, Brooklyn Jews, Buddhists, Zarathustrians-- who knows what?--all of them with rock-solid conviction that if you honk your bloody horn the sea will part before you." (p. 194.)Australian petty law enforcement types are described as "midgets of officialdom" who swarm "like a white-ant hatch." Finally Mr. Carey through the voice of Michael, piles paragraph upon paragraph, much as the artist applies layers of paint on his canvases, of beautiful descriptions of Marlene, often in terms of color as you would expect from a painter: "Her eyes.Read more ›
Butcher, recently released from prison after trying to steal back his own paintings, which were declared "marital assets" during a nasty divorce, is now living in northern New South Wales, as caretaker for the property of his biggest collector. He is also the full-time caretaker of his brother, "Hugh the Poet and Hugh the Murderer, Hugh the Idiot Savant."
When Butcher rescues Marlene Leibovitz from her partially submerged car during a flood, the "chance" meeting has long-range consequences. Marlene is the wife of Olivier Leibovitz, son of Jacques Leibovitz, a world-class artist whose paintings are nearly priceless. She has the power to authenticate Leibovitz paintings (the "droit moral") and effectively controls the Liebovitz market as undocumented paintings surface. She has arrived to document the "Leibovitz" belonging to Butcher's next door neighbor, a painting which promptly disappears.Read more ›
Recently released from prison where he was sent for trying to steal his own paintings from his ex-wife (and here is where the alimony whore comes in) he is installed in a country house by his 'sponsor' and begins to make some of the best art of his life. Across huge canvasses he splashes fire and brimstone texts remembered from his violent and abusive childhood, the full scale of which only gradually becomes apparent.
And then one stormy night there walks into his life (in her Manolo Blahniks - important detail) a beautiful young woman who claims to have lost her way. Marlene is the wife of Oliver Leibovitz, son of one of the greatest artists of the century. She's also an accomplised art thief and con-woman. Both brothers fall in love with her ... which fits into her plans just nicely. And thus begins a rollicking tale of art theft and deception which moves from Australia to New York via Tokyo.
Love-story, thriller, comedy ... the novel is all of these. But the greatest strength of the novel is the depiction of the complicated love-hate relationship between the brothers. The interplay of voices is excellent, and the way the two accounts give sometimes contradictory views of events, the "truth" of things falling somewhere between them. Hugh may not be the full shilling, but he is certainly astute and in many ways sees the world more clearly than his brother. I love the way his talk is peppered with phrases picked up from everyone else and is full of malapropisms.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this book for my husband. He never read it, but I did. I read it in 2006 and don't remember the details but I do remember liking it and recommending it to several friends... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Paloma Reads
Full bodied, funny, very human and great insight into the art world.Published 16 months ago by Mary
I found it very confusing as to who was speaking . I was not interested in the charecters.
I would not recommend it to anyone
Found the characterizations fascinating. the 2 protagonists device made it even more compelling. Peter Carey never fails to entertain & enthrall.Published 20 months ago by discriminating reader
As always, great quirky characters, including a formerly famous artist who's career has taken a dump and his mentally challenged brother. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Barb Lawrence
The over-the-top style of this book reminds me a little of A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, with its crazed lead character Ignatius J. Reilly. Read morePublished on December 20, 2013 by John Fitzpatrick
I found it a bit confusing on first read. might try it again just to get the flow better and not concentrate on which brother was speaking so much. Read morePublished on December 4, 2013 by Donna L. Doberstein
Rollicking good time; wonderful way he gets his characters across. The switching from brother to brother is ingenious and especially vivid.Published on November 26, 2013 by Carol C. Schwarz