The Swan Thieves is a novel by American author Elizabeth Kostova. The ” old painter” described in the book before the first chapter is Alfred Sisley. The Swan Thieves: A Novel [Elizabeth Kostova] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Psychiatrist Andrew Marlow, devoted to his profession. The Swan Thieves [Elizabeth Kostova] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. trade 1st edition 1st printing paperback, fine In stock shipped from.

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Allegedly reluctant to talk about her ex-husband, Kate Oliver narrates a great number of chapters, in which we learn far too much about her and very little insightful about Robert.

Usually this sort of switching irritates tieves, so it’s a mark of the author’s skill that in this case I thought it perfectly suited the book. View all 6 comments. In fact, the novel often reads like a study of the male creative ego and its complacently assumed right to indulge itself whatever the effect on those who love and support it.

The Swan Thieves — Elizabeth Kostova

I want to say that Kostova is a shitty writer, another big time author who is little more than a hack; but I’m going to be nice and not say those things and instead believe that this book is just a sophomore slump sort of like Zadie Smith’s Autograph Man.

It satisfies both intellect and heart. Some people have said that this book inspired them to paint and go out and be an artist. Oct 23, Elizabeth Miss Eliza rated it did not like it Shelves: Kostofa depth of detail is, again as in “The Historian,” astonishing: Kostova I think loves her characters, but she doesn’t show the reader any reason to give a shit about any of them.


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View all 72 comments. A marriage, of course, based on true love? Oliver is committed to an upmarket private institution where he comes under the care of Dr Andrew Marlow, himself an aspiring painter, who is especially good at working with difficult and creative patients. Psychiatrist Andrew Marlowe, devoted to his profession and the painting hobby he loves, has a solitary but ordered life. I can’t say I disliked him, though, because he simply didn’t engender any kind of emotional response from me; I found him very blah and unsympathetic.

The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova: review

A very disappointing second book from Ms. Unfortunately this book didn’t live up to expectations. View all 12 comments. Quotes from The Swan Thieves.

The Book Blog of Evil: The Swan Thieves, by Elizabeth Kostova

First let me say that I have had this book on at the library since the fall of and just recieved and read it.

Oliver’s inexplicable behavior, which includes poring over a stolen cache of old letters written in French, triggers what I can only call a rampant countertransference response in Marlow, whose overwhelming obsession becomes a strange and frequently far-fetched journey of discovery as he persists to the point of trespass and invasion.

Well, it didn’t suck. All leading to one revelation Some of my favorite examples: Definitely recommended, and I already look forward to the author’s next book.

Wouldn’t all patients wish for Robert’s unbelievably speedy recovery! To be fair there are two distinct voices in the book, one for any first person character in the present day, and one elizbaeth any letter being written in the 19th century; but every voice in their respective eras sounds exactly alike.

ghe I knew the other characters, I suppose, but then what is the point of having Oliver in the story at all? In this way, it is actually more important than the work itself being great. Kostova chose not to do this, and the book suffers for it. Marlowe marries Oliver’s old mistress because he gets her pregnant.


The Swan Thieves

So of course, the unscrupulous art dealer picks it up and apparently we never actually read the letter it contains some completely uncharacteristic description of their relationship, so the Unscrupulous Art Dealer uses it to blackmail her. Which brings me to the letters. It’s rare that the smart and the entertaining come together in the same book, but for me, at least The Swan Thieves is the best of both worlds. Why write it there? It might have helped if Kostova had given Oliver the chance to tell his own story.

I admired how fiercely she went after her subject s to bring the story together.

Nothing else he does seems to be particularly mentally unbalanced, really, and his refusal to speak is less a symptom than a plot device.

Every instant of the story was wrapped up in the end, but still lent a little mystery to the characters, still leaving you to think afterwards. I choose instead to bask in the visceral, in the ebb and flow of the life on the canvas. Please take this into account and send me more books for free please!!