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What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt
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What I Loved (2003)

by Siri Hustvedt

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,001423,355 (3.93)119
  1. 10
    The shaking woman, or, A history of my nerves by Siri Hustvedt (bookmomo)
    bookmomo: both look into mental illnesses, but more important to me: both stress ambguity.
  2. 00
    By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham (Cecilturtle)
    Cecilturtle: vie d'un galeriste d'art à New York
  3. 00
    The Art of Murder by José Carlos Somoza (Cecilturtle)
    Cecilturtle: commentaire sur l'art qui enfreint les règles de la moralité
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» See also 119 mentions

English (34)  French (3)  Swedish (2)  Finnish (1)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (43)
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
As fine a book as I have ever read. Beautifully written with intriguing characters and a solid, slice of life storyline. ( )
  DougJ110 | May 8, 2014 |
Argh...another book I thought I'd like a lot more than I did. First, I thought it was too many things at once: exploration of visual art and its meaning + psychological thriller + intellectual literary fiction. I found the portions that dealt with the underbelly of the 90s rave scene to be the weakest and the least connected to the rest of the book.

I also felt like the narrative voice was slightly off, in that Leo was not believable to me as a man. I felt like I could tell he was being written by a woman.

My last complaint is that there was so much focus on exactly how the paintings looked. Books are not a visual medium, and I thought it was a bit of a waste spending that many pages describing how the pictures looked Just So. Maybe this comment reveals that I just didn't get the point, I don't know. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 4, 2014 |
Tried to read this on the recommendation of a friend..... found it way too depressing, didn't finish. ( )
  Fliss88 | Oct 21, 2013 |
Ugh. I couldn't finish this one: too much self-important chatter, too many navel-gazing characters in a plotless morass of reminiscence, too many hyper-detailed descriptions of works of art that we're told for pages on end are truly great and impressive and all the 1980s NYC yuppies loved them. Hustvedt seems to think that belonging to the class of the intelligentsia is such Serious Business that it renders her characters emotionless and unlikeable even when they are talking about the things that fascinate them.

I persevered until the first pages of the second part, and still the navel gazing and the self-absorption simply would not stop. That's when I realized I'd much rather be cleaning the flat than force myself to continue reading this boring melodrama.

I still gave this book two stars because it was clear to me that Hustvedt can write: she has insights and ideas and can convey them (at least part of the time) succinctly and poignantly. The execution of this book, however, is just one poor choice after another, and there is too little in the way of style, contents or framing to make this any more than a failed novel. ( )
  Petroglyph | Jul 8, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Siri Hustvedtprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Holt, Heleen tenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rikman, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Yesterday, I found Violet's letters to Bill.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312421192, Paperback)

What I Loved begins in New York in 1975, when art historian Leo Hertzberg discovers an extraordinary painting by an unknown artist in a SoHo gallery. He buys the work; tracks down the artist, Bill Wechsler; and the two men embark on a life-long friendship. Leo's story, which spans twenty-five years, follows the growing involvement between his family and Bill's--an intricate constellation of attachments that includes the two men, their wives, Erica and Violet, and their sons, Matthew and Mark.

The families live in the same New York apartment building, rent a house together in the summers and keep up a lively exchange of ideas about life and art, but the bonds between them are tested, first by sudden tragedy, and then by a monstrous duplicity that slowly comes to the surface. A beautifully written novel that combines the intimacy of a family saga with the suspense of a thriller, What I Loved is a deeply moving story about art, love, loss, and betrayal.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:15 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Story begins in New York in 1975, when art historian Leo Hertzberg discovers an extraordinary painting by an unknown artist in a SoHo gallery. He buys the work and tracks down the artist, Bill Wechsler, and the two men embark on a life-long friendship. Leo's story spans twenty-five years and follows the evolution of the growing involvement between his family and Bill's--an intricate constellation of attachments that includes the two men their wives, Erica and Violet and their children, Matthew and Mark. Over the years, they not only enjoy love but endure loss.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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