Literary Quote of the Month

“For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences,” … Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova... an Audiobook Review

A Love Story that Transcends Time...

I listened to this wonderful audiobook recently and wanted to share it with you. The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova is a love story that spans time, it's a mystery, it's about art, obsession and it is about betrayal!

First about the story... Robert Oliver, a renowned painter, has brutally attacked a painting in the National Gallery of Art. Troubled, obsessive, handsome and charismatic, the attack lands him in a psychiatric hospital and in the care of psychiatrist Andrew Marlow. Before Robert Oliver stops talking period, he offers one explanation for his actions... "I did it for her." It is with this sole explanation that Marlow pursues the answers Oliver won't provide himself, and that will hopefully set him free... We are swept up into the lives of Robert Oliver, his wife, his lover, and the woman who ultimately captured his heart and his obsession. As Marlow delves deep into the life of his patient Robert Oliver, the women who make up that life reveal the darker side of loving this man... The love, the loss, the tragedy. And as the mystery of why Robert Oliver did what he did is slowly unfurled, a pile of love-letters from the 1800's comes to light and another love story unfolds from centuries before... is there a connection? We are like voyeurs as the love letters are read to us, and the tenderness & forbidden love between two people is revealed... And this is where we see that the real love story is between these two people from centuries before, artists themselves and living during the time of the French Impressionists. The story flows naturally,back and forth, between the present day and the 19th century until the very end. It is a fabulous story filled with the wonder of romance and the beauty of a brushstroke.

The Audiobook is such a treat itself. Unlike a lot of audiobooks with one person reading the story and using the quality of their voice to change characters, The Swan Thieves has 5 readers! Each main character has their own reader! It's almost like listening to a play, and it's wonderful. The voices reading The Swan Thieves are expressive and pleasing to listen to. The cast of readers include Treat Williams & Anne Heche, and John Rafter Lee who himself has won two Audie Awards for his great narrations. The accompanying music between discs is wonderful too. The unabridged audiobook of The Swan Thieves is 17 CD's, which is about 18 hours. If you enjoy audiobooks, and enjoy literary mysteries, you will enjoy this! The love story is touching and the beauty of what the Impressionists accomplished as they put brush to canvas will surround you...

Listen to an excerpt
Read an excerpt .

I want to thank Anna of Hachette Book Group for providing me a copy of the audiobook of The Swan Thieves to review! Thanks Anna, I just loved it!

8 comments:

carolsnotebook said...

I love the idea of multiple narrators. Sounds like one I would enjoy listening to.

Suzanne said...

Hi Carol!
Yes, I downloaded the CD's into my iPod without really paying attention to who was narrating and was so pleasantly surprised. Expecting one narrator and getting 5 was such a treat and made the reading of the story so interesting!

carla said...

I've been wanting to check this one out for awhile but haven't got to it yet.
The books that have multiple narrators are almost like watching the story unfold in front of you. It really dramatizes a story.

Julie P said...

Not an audio book fan, but I will check into getting a hard copy of this book. Thanks for sharing!

Elisabeth said...

I listened to The Historian on audio and loved it as well. Sounds like I'll save this one for my commutes also! Thanks for the beautiful review.

PK Reeves said...

loved the cover and great reveiw.
I think I'll pick up the book since I love reading too much.

Keep writing since we all love to read your thoughts on the books.

PK Reeves
Aisle B

eileen said...

just finished. too long, but page turner. last page, last paragraph they mention reynard. WHO IS REYNARD?

Kathy (mommysreading) said...

I have this audio also. I am waiting to have hubby put it on my iPod. I think he is put off by the number of discs. Thanks for motivating me (and him).

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