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The Brutal Art by Jesse Kellerman

The Brutal Art (2008)

by Jesse Kellerman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5663417,572 (3.55)21
  1. 10
    The Art of Murder by José Carlos Somoza (Booksloth)
  2. 00
    Headlong by Michael Frayn (Cecilturtle)
  3. 00
    Sunstroke by Jesse Kellerman (orange_suspense)
    orange_suspense: Although the plots are very different, this novel is also a slowly told suspense thriller.

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English (25)  French (7)  Dutch (2)  All languages (34)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
When I begin reading a book, the only real expectation I have is that it will be good. I don't care how it gets me to the Land of Good, I just want that to be my destination. Unfortunately my train to the Promised Land was shunted off on a siding and never made it to the end of the line when I read The Genius.

The Genius is more family saga than thriller. Criminal investigation in this book is not all glitz, glamour, action, and suspense. Here it's quite a hard slog to get to the answers. The premise-- who is the missing-- brilliant if eccentric-- artist named Victor Cracke is the one thing that kept me going clear to the end of this book. The only thing I really found interesting was the background information provided on the cutthroat art world. All the characters left me cold.

When I finally learned the identity of Victor Cracke, I discovered that I'd been led in, through, and out of the (to me) tired story of a rags-to-riches family who covered up and denied much in order to retain its veneer of respectability-- at great cost to those who needed its love and protection the most. It was a story that I just was not in the mood for in any size, shape, or form. There are times when I have no patience whatsoever for the type of people Kellerman's story was all about. This was one of those times-- which means your mileage most certainly will vary! ( )
  cathyskye | Oct 1, 2015 |
A young art dealer is introduced to the mysterious artwork of an artist who has just as mysteriously disappeared. He becomes obsessed with the artist and is determined to find him, or at the very least find out about him. The story is the story of his quest. It takes us down a winding path that turns out to be a very interesting circle. GOOD READ! ( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
Struggling art dealer Ethan Muller thinks he has hit the jackpot when he stumbles upon a collection of brilliant original art by Victor Cracke. The elderly man has vanished, and Ethan sees nothing wrong with selling the pieces. Both art dealers and critics are wowed, but the police are also very interested. Soon Ethan learns that this quiet genius may have had a terrifying past, and these amazing pieces of art may depict real murder. ( )
  jepeters333 | May 26, 2015 |
So many mixed feelings about this book. I was really in love with it until about half the way through. Intelligent, elegant writing, a fresh, strong first-person voice with wit and charisma, an original premise, an intriguing mistery, an inside look at the world of art dealing and galleries, wow, I was truly excited, this was a star!! But then, the second part came, and it was like seeing a stunning model tumble down the catwalk... Obviously I'm talking about my subjective reading experience here, but here are the big problems: 1). The charachters: not a single one of them is remotely likeable. They are all immensely irritating people, first of all the main charachter, who comes across as an imbecil not only with no direction in life, but also with a selfish, lazy, spoiled, immature attitude about every thing he does. He starts by saying "I've done bad things in my life", and by the end you realize that he actually hasn't. He just likes to say that. You, the reader, have actually done much, much worse things. He's just a boring guy. Bo-ring. I couldn't care less about him. 2). But let's come to the biggest problem of all: the second part of the book lacks completely in drive and grip. This is a story that really grips you fom the start, like a strong, solid hand that is gripping the accelerator of a motorbike, and then in the second part becomes a semi-dead limp hand like the one a mortician would offer you to greet you. What the hell happened?? All of a sudden, with all those over-long flashbacks that don't seem to go anywhere, those interior monologues about an immensely uninteresting relationship with the daughter of an ex policeman, and a series of scenes that fail to add or develop any of the misteries introduced in the first half, I was absolutely bored and I couldn't care anymore about anything that was going on! Some other reviewer said "with this author, you're in for the ride, rather than for a defined plot". Well, a tiny bit ambitious, huh? With Victor Hugo, perhaps, I might be. But this is no Hugo. I need a reason to keep listening to you, mate. The question that the reader should never be asking is: "why am I listening to this guy?", but I did, and often! It just feels to me like the author got lazy toward the end. Or perhaps he was experimenting something different, to break the traditional story telling structure? Where was that muscle you can feel thoughout the first part of the book, that power? All I got was that lazy "I'm talking directly to the reader because I dont know where to go anymore" stuff! I dont want Tom Cruise staring at the camera, I want to follow a narration.
Look, I'm sure the author himself knows what mistakes he made with this novel and he would be able to articulate that much better than I am. A well written, insightful second half does not compensate for this deadly sin: the utter loss of narrative drive in the second half of the book. ( )
  tabascofromgudreads | Apr 19, 2014 |
Gallery owner Ethan Muller stumbles into a collection of bizarre and intricate pencil drawings left in the abandoned apartment complex owned by his father. The amazing details of the art drives Muller to investigate the missing artist and track him down.
I like how this story unfolds. It's told in parts, one historical, one about the missing person and one present day revolving around the investigation. When all three parts intersect towards the last third of the book, it makes an wonderful conclusion. The only drawback is the book is a little long and gets lost at times. This is my second books of Jesse Kellerman and I find him to be a fine author thus far. ( )
  FMRox | Mar 4, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jesse Kellermanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Heyborne, KirbyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
King, LoreleiNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sibony, JulieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sims, AdamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Snoijink, BobTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
White, TrevorNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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True art is always found where we least expect it, where nobody is thinking about it or saying its name. Art hates to be recognized and greeted by name. It flees instantly. - Jean Dubuffet
. . . a mirror of smoke, cracked and dim in which to judge himself . . . - The Book of Odd Thoughts 13:15
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In the beginning, I behaved badly.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0399154590, Hardcover)

Harlan Coben on The Genius
Harlan Coben is one of the virtuosos of the modern thriller. Each new novel hits the top of bestseller lists across the world, and he has become the first author to sweep the Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony awards. Beginning with his acclaimed Myron Bolitar series (including the recent Promise Me), Coben soon branched out into stand-alone thrillers that have made his name as a master of clockwork suspense, including his latest, Hold Tight, which brings his trademark thrills into the most basic dilemmas of the modern suburban family.

"In the beginning, I behaved badly."

That’s how the uber-talented Jesse Kellerman opens up his newest novel, The Genius, and right away, he has you.

I won’t give you a long plot summary because others will do it better, but briefly: A young art dealer named Ethan Muller manages to get hold of a treasure trove of original art after the artist, an unknown shut-in named Victor Cracke, disappears. The first sign of trouble crops up when a retired cop recognizes one of the figures as being a boy who died some 40 years earlier. Ethan's life spirals out of control from there. Before the story is over, Ethan will learn to question everything about his "wonderful" discovery--as well as his own family's destiny.

Yes, the book is gripping and compelling and Ethan Muller, the narrator, is wonderfully wry company, but what truly separates Kellerman from the pack is his prose. Simply put, he is a wonderful writer. He has the ability to make everything seem, well, true. Every scene has that ring of authenticity that’s so elusive in fiction. I bought everything that Ethan did--and loved the flashbacks showing how the Muller family went from poor immigrants to real-estate tycoons.

I love books where past crimes will not stay buried. The web of deceit in The Genius stretches back four decades, but it is still claiming victims. Jesse Kellerman tightens the noose slowly, and we his readers can do nothing but turn the pages.

I have been a fan since his debut, Sunstroke, but he's getting better and better. If you've already read Jesse Kellerman, don't waste anymore time reading this review. If you haven't yet discovered his work, The Genius is the place to begin--and not a bad description of the author.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:26 -0400)

Ethan Muller is struggling to establish his reputation as a dealer in the cut-throat world of contemporary art when he is alerted to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: in a decaying New York slum, an elderly tenant has disappeared, leaving behind a staggeringly large trove of original drawings and paintings.… (more)

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