| Tuesday May 24th 2016

The Forgery of Venus, by Michael Gruber

Michael Gruber’s The Forgery of Venus combines art history, criminal mischief, and the sleaziness of the contemporary art gallery business to deliver a terrifically fun thriller-esque novel.

The Forgery of VenusThe main character, Chaz Wilmot, is an extremely talented but frustrated and depressed magazine illustrator. For no special reason, he volunteers as a human guinea pig in a medical research study to test the effects of Salvia divinorum, a powerful, short-duration psychedelic drug that causes him to imagine he’s living the life of Velásquez, the famous 17th century Spanish painter. These episodes cause all sorts of problems in his real life, and when he wakes up one morning in a strange apartment and discovers that he is actually a successful gallery artist, he flips out and lands in a mental ward.

When he’s released (and learns that he’s back to being the hack illustrator he started out as) Wilmot is eager to clear his head by taking on a lucrative commission to restore the fresco on the ceiling of an Italian mobster’s palazzo. Here, he meets a sleazy German art dealer who specializes in paintings plundered by the Nazis in World War II. The dealer gives him an offer he can’t refuse: to forge an “undiscovered” Velásquez painting. When he accepts, the strange events that have been happening to him intensify, and he finds himself wonder whether he’s completely crazy or if powerful characters behind the curtain are pulling strings.

This is the kind of book that could easily become ludicrous and boring if it had been written by an author less talented than Gruber. His richly developed characters and engaging prose keep the story crisp and believable. The ending is satisfying, too, which is important to me. As soon as I finished the The Forgery of Venus I got started on another one of his novels, The Book of Air and Shadows, which is great so far, as well.

Buy @ Amazon

Related Posts: On this day...

Reader Feedback

One Response to “The Forgery of Venus, by Michael Gruber”

  1. Marica Roskos says:

    There is a WordPress plugin that you can use to display affiliate link-products in your blog so that they show up in a comparison price table. It pulls products from Commission Junction, Linkshare, Amazon and others. It is a script that sets up in minutes and runs just like any other plugin. Actually, you could easily install and activate this cool plugin in under a minute. Once you set it up, you can make as many product price comparison tables as you want. You can change how the product price comparison units look and function. Change the size, colors, buttons and width of your price comparison units. If you want, you can have the software display a small image of the merchant logo next to the corresponding product. The software will automatically refresh the product prices on a daily basis if you tell it to. There is also a manual button that you can push in order to update prices. With full control of the product tables, you can make unique price comparison charts that look just how you want them to. You can even refine the products that show up by minimum or maximum price. Just do whatever you need to do in order to create a product page that suits you. Select ONLY the products YOU want to display, in your WordPress page or post, from the returned product selection. Once you save the settings that you have selected, the product unit will automatically show on your page. Even though this software is very easy to use, it still comes with complete instructions. You can use this plugin on an UNLIMITED number of websites.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.