- Paperback: 270 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial (June 27, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060531185
- ISBN-13: 978-0060531188
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 67 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #527,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Rescue Artist: A True Story of Art, Thieves, and the Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece Paperback – June 27, 2006
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“The Rescue Artist is a masterpiece. Engrossing, entertaining, often surreally hilarious.” (—Mary Roach, author of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers on The Rescue Artist)
“The narrative’s frequent detours to other crimes and engaging escapades...elevate this work above last year’s similar The Irish Game.” (—Publishers Weekly)
“A big shout-out to Edward Dolnick for The Rescue Artist.“ (—Geoffrey Jennings, Rainy Day Books, Fairway KS)
“There has never been a better book on art crime.” (Milton Esterow, ArtNews)
“An entertaining account of the eternal struggle between high art and low cunning.” (Time magazine)
“Riveting...fascinating.” (Los Angeles Times)
“There has never been a better book on art crime.” (ArtNews)
“Dolnick...writes with a crisp, breezy style that runs with the speed of thieves purloining stolen canvases.” (Donald Harington, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
About the Author
Edward Dolnick is the author of Down the Great Unknown, The Forger’s Spell, and the Edgar Award-winning The Rescue Artist. A former chief science writer at the Boston Globe, he lives with his wife near Washington, D.C.
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Edward Dolnick says, “Phooey!” In “The Rescue Artist,” his breezy, entertaining survey of art crime and art criminals, he shows that art thieves are just like most other thieves, only dumber. He wraps his anecdotal survey around a close examination of the 1994 theft of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” as told from the point of view of the detective who led the effort to get the painting back, Charley Hill. Hill comes on as a master of the long con, assuming just the right undercover identity to wrest the stolen artwork back without actually paying anything for it. It’s an almost comical quest, as Hill maneuvers around clueless Norwegian police and incompetent museum security personnel, to get close to the villains who are close to the dumbos who took the painting.
“The Rescue Artist” couldn’t be filmed, because it disposes of all the master-criminal clichés Hollywood adores. But it makes a fascinating story.
If you wanted to know just about the Scream painting, the rest of the book is a bit tedious. The rest of it is about art theft in general and how it isn't really like hollywood movies such as The Thomas Crowne make it out to be.
However, I rated it four stars because even when I thought, "where is this going? I want to deal with Scream and not this random robbery," I was still totally engrossed. I wasn't flipping pages (or whatever we call skimming on the kindle). I read the stories and they were fascinating.
The reason I didn't give it 5 stars (and i thought about it seriously) is because of the coverage about Charley Hill. It tried so hard to make him a deeper, more intelligent person and wanted to unveil him gloriously. I got the sense that Hill was a cool guy, but that the author was repeating the same thing. "He isn't afraid of danger, hates authority, spends a lot of time to detail." And even though he is heroic and puts his life on the line, you just get the sense that the author's admiration for Hill's persona is much bigger than what Hill has to offer. I didn't see Hill as a complex character, yet i felt like the author was trying to sell that theme heavly.
I liked Hill as a character, but i just got a sense that the author loved hill more than the reader ends up liking him. As a result it can be distracting. It's like watching a friend return from college and talk about his new college friends and meeting the friends and thinking, "meh, they seem nice, but i don't know if they are as awesome as advertised."
In the end, if you are looking for an interesting book that reads easy during the summer, this is a good one to have.
and the devoted agents, who with amazing skill and fortitude, and sometimes against incredible odds,
manage to get some of the masterpieces returned.