Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $6.00 shipping
Chasing Vermeer Paperback – May 1, 2005
|New from||Used from|
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
About the Author
Brett Helquist was born in Ganado, Arizona, and grew up in Orem, Utah. He entered Brigham Young University as an engineering major, but soon realized this was not the right choice for him. Having decided to take time off from college, he headed to Taiwan where he stumbled into a job illustrating English textbooks, which he enjoyed. There, a friend introduced him to an illustration student, also from Brigham Young University. This introduction inspired Brett to eventually switch majors. After spending a year in Taiwan, he went back to BYU and transferred to the illustration department. In 1993 he received a fine arts degree in illustration.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I was so excited by this book when I started reading it -- it sets up interesting characters, an exciting mystery, and a visual puzzle for the reader to solve through the illustrations in the book. I loved the initial character development of Petra and Calder, two smart young people who have very different ways of thinking. It was fun using the pentomino code to decode the letters in the book, and to try to solve the hidden puzzle in the pictures. And I loved that the mystery was based around art history. But as I read on, I became disappointed. The character development fell flat. The visual puzzle was not quite as challenging as I'd hoped (though still satisfying). And, most disappointing of all, the mystery was really not as exciting as initially promised (trying to turn the nitpicky art historical issue of painting attribution into a big international scandal just didn't work for me).
Despite these disappointments, I still believe this book has something special to offer, with its unique approach, and its two main characters who really think about the world around them, and use all their intelligence and intuition to solve the mystery.
This book frustrated me much in the same way that Harry Potter has. The author just takes too many liberties to allow the reader to feel part of the story. It feels unfair when an author gets to have a surprise hidden panel in the wall at the end of the story. I don't know if this is so much true for all genres. A mystery, however, should be tight. It needs to feel like a completed puzzle at the end - either leaving you feeling satisfied that you called it right, or amazed at how well it all came together. When it feels like a jumble that nobody could have pieced together except the author (and even appears that the author took pains to make it more complicated than necessary) it just doesn't work. In some cases of literature (and art!), when you think "I could have made that," it is a compliment on how easy the creator made it look. In the case of Chasing Vermeer, and knowing full well my limitations as a writer, thinking "I could have written that" is not a good thing.
For a book club book, I think this will still be a delight to young readers. If the club is given all the extra ingredients to completely lose themselves in a world of mathematical and artistic mystery, fall in love with Chasing Vermeer. I have only read this book aloud with students. To independently read it as a book club, students would probably need to be older and have strategies for figuring out the references the book makes.