- File Size: 469 KB
- Print Length: 202 pages
- Publication Date: December 13, 2010
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004GB0LM6
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#1,442,048 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #5463 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Historical > Cultural Heritage
- #9798 in Books > Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction
- #18240 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Gay Fiction
|Print List Price:||$15.00|
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The Painting Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
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This is a beautifully written novel that feels well researched and authentic to its setting. Fiona Wallace's understated style, keen characterisation and power of description give the book an unusual intensity. It is writing distilled to an essence, and more beautiful for it. In five words she can express passionate love; in three the silent agony of grief. The effect is of a softly sombre voice, relentless, that overpowers the racket of a loudspeaker.
Among the remarkable features of this book is the richness of character. As in life, no one we come to know is wholly good or bad. Only the nameless are innocent victims, only the faceless are incarnations of evil - and they make only fleeting appearances here. Stefan and Gunter, for example, victims of Auschwitz, had previously joined the Nazi Party hoping for protection. The humanity of Wallace's characters, flaws and nobility mixed, make them engaging to the reader, for we can see ourselves in them.
The Painting is haunting. There's much to think about in this short novel. As the book's characters sometimes do, I reacted with a stunned "wow". Then, little by little, what it meant began to take form. Definitely worth the time to read, I think it may be among the books I can come back to again with even more pleasure.
This is Stefan's story. It starts in Berlin in 1934 when he meets Gunter, the man who would become his lover and soulmate. They are able to share a few happy months but war is inevitable. This is one of those stories where things go from bad to worse and when you don't think it can get any worse, it does. But believe it or not, it has a happy ending and by the end I was sobbing buckets.
I think this story gives a very accurate, as well as harrowing, portrayal of what life was like for many homosexuals (Stefan never uses the word gay) throughout most of the 20th century. It's tough to read and many times I wanted to scream at the injustices he suffered. But he put up with everything with an amazing amount of resilience and even grace. I felt for him and my heart ached with his. When he found his happinesses (yes, plural) I was happy with him too.
I definitely recommend this. Much of the book is not an easy read, especially the nine months when he was at Birkenau. (Nine months? It seemed like nine years.) But if you enjoy realistic, well-detailed, well-researched historical fiction, this should definitely go on your TBR list.
I personally feel that the love scenes were treated with such tenderness that it had to be written by a woman.
The relationship between Stephan and his niece promoted a warm and fuzzy for the reader as they both benefited so much from it.
I applaud the author for the courage to tackle a book which is virtually a beautiful love story of the relationship between two men which endures unimaginable horrors, labelled as "Dolly Boys" in a german concentration camp. Without spoiling the read for others I cannot give more away but felt compelled to write a favourable review. Tasmelda
There is a lot of sadness and tragedy, as befits a story about such a horrible situation. Unlike many holocaust love stories, it doesn't end with a jubilant release at war's end.
Some of the family stories wrapped up a bit too perfectly, I think. But overall it was a very well done story and seemed really relevant to current times.