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The Forgery of Venus: And Other True Stories from a Life Unaccording to Plan (Paperback)
An artist born outside his time, Chaz Wilmot can paint like Leonardo, Goya, Gainsborough--and he refuses to shape his talent to fit the fashion of the day. His unique abilities attract the attention of Werner Krebs, an art dealer with a dark past and shadier present, and soon Wilmot is working with a fervor he hasn't felt in years. But his creative burst is accompanied by strange interludes--memories that are not memories . . . and he begins to wonder if he is really the person he believes he is. When a previously unknown masterpiece by the Spanish painter Velazquez is discovered, the artist suddenly finds himself lost in a mirrored house of illusions--and propelled into a secret world of greed, lies . . . and murder.
“Tantalizing...exhilarating. Retains the power from the first chapter to keep readers desperate for the suspenseful, addictive fix of every succeeding one. FORGERY OF VENUS is a highly intelligent novel that entertains and educates.”
“Ingenious...The author owns his subject matter and packs it with well-researched details, making this...a successful, suspenseful examination of insanity, forgery and reality.”
“(An) imaginative novel of psychological suspense.”
“Michael Gruber’s new thriller, THE FORGERY OF VENUS, is as layered as a luminous portrait by an old master. A tour-de-force combination of suspense and characterization, as well as a primer on the world of art and art forgery.”
“Gruber writes passionately and knowledgeably about art and its history--and he writes brilliantly about the shadowy lines that blur reality and unreality. Fans of intelligent, literate thrillers will be well rewarded.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Irresistible. Fast, Frightening and, as usual, richly imagined.”
-Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
“Gruber writes thrillers for smart people. This novel is about art and creativity. That sounds lofty, but Gruber gives it humor and heart. The ensuing drama, involving a forgery believed to be the work of Diego Velazquez, keeps you on your toes.”
“Gruber is on a roll…[a] terrific art-historical thriller…a perfect place to get lost for a few days. Once again, Gruber mines a popular vein and strikes gold.”
-Booklist (starred review)
“Smart and literate. Gruber approaches art with obvious appreciation, and has woven a clever story with plenty of detail.”
“A quick and sharp romp through the art world. Downright delicious.”
“Gruber writes with a deft hand, creating a fallen hero who is likeable despite his faults.”
“This is an art lover’s dream. Mystery and obsession are textured with art history in a plot that explores not only the shifting nature of art, but also the complex nature of identity.
-Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Michael Gruber’s large and growing number of fans won’t be disappointed with his sixth novel, a thriller in the art history vein. He’s woven a tale within a tale within a tale, all filled with marvelous twists and turns that build suspense and heighten the mystery until the satisfying conclusion.”
-Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“This terrific art thriller has history, thieves, insider snippets and a convoluted plot to keep you guessing.”
-Toronto Globe and Mail
“THE FORGERY OF VENUS is the latest in Gruber’s series of amazing books. He has applied his deft touch to everything from Shakespeare to shamanism, yielding a finely drawn portrait of an engrossing world every time.“
-New Orleans Times-Picayune
“Michael Gruber giv(es) us a finale in which the excitement level is high because we don’t know who, if anyone, to trust. It’s a satisfying conclusion, one that will leave readers debating the morality of Wilmot’s final decision.”
“Stunning...utterly unique, and breathtakingly original. It’s one of those novels you want to press upon your friends, fully confident that it will not disappoint. It’s a tour de force performance from Gruber, and a novel worthy of considerable attention.”
-Edmonton Journal (Canada)
“Michael Gruber has created a first-rate thriller that throws the reader into the art world, past and present.”
-Chronicle Herald, Nova Scotia