Monday, June 8, 2015
The Art Forger - B.A. Shapiro ---------------- 3 Stars
The Art Forger is a pretty fun, fictional read very loosely based on real art forgery stuff. It tells the story of a down on her luck girl who is an art forger (legitimately) who gets into doing some forgeries (not legitimate). It also tells three stories in parallel: current day events, about 10 years ago telling the story that made this down on her luck, down on her luck, a story about a century ago about this famous piece of art the story is based on.
On a positive, the story is a pretty easy read. Good plot and action. Good dialogues and keeps the reader engaged for nearly the entire novel. I also learned a lot more about art, in general, and much, much more about art forgeries. Art forging is actually really interesting and, so the novel says, approximately 40% of all art sales each year are forgeries (the best forgeries are actually in museums). The book had a cute ending and was decent, overall.
The bad -- well, the whole book is still about art; not my favorite subject. I think the biggest problem I had with the book was how contrived the entire story is. It kind of reminded me of one of those John Grisham books that I used to be into when I was young and thought they were amazing (before realizing how impossible they actually were). This book was kind of like that; fun and entertaining but not really all that realistic.
So, The Art Forger is worth reading if you've got some time. It's a nice book and not much more. Good plot and interesting ending. You actually will probably learn a lot more about art forging than you planned, but it's pretty interesting. Just know that you're getting into a story that's a bit hard to believe (even for a piece of fiction).