Base have 172 065 audiobooks.
Search: 


đź“™ The Portrait by Iain Pears, narrator Simon Vance


3.4


An influential art critic in the early years of the 20th century journeys from London to the rustic, remote island of Houat, off France's northwest coast, to sit for a portrait painted by an old friend, a gifted but tormented artist living in self-imposed exile. Over the course of the sitting, the painter recalls their years of friendship, the double-edged gift of the critic's patronage, the power he wielded over aspiring artists, and his apparent callousness in anointing the careers of some and devastating the lives of others. The balance of power between the two men shifts dramatically as the critic becomes a passive subject, while the painter struggles to capture the character of the man, as well as his image, on canvas. Reminiscing with ease and familiarity one minute, with anger and menace the next, the painter eventually reveals why he has accepted the commission of this portrait, why he left London suddenly and mysteriously at the height of his success, and why now, with dark determination, he feels ready to return. Set against the dramatic, untamed landscape of Brittany during one of the most explosive periods in art history, The Portrait is rich with atmosphere and suggestion, psychological complexity, and marvelous detail. It is a novel you will want to begin again immediately after turning the last chilling page, to read once more with a watchful eye and appreciate the hand of an ingenious storyteller at work. ©2005 Iain Pears; (P)2005 Penguin Audio and Books on Tape, Inc.

About book:

Reviews:

2

"Good, but tedious"

This was interesting, but after a while, the monologue got a bit tedious. Nothing very shocking, but I did like the comparison of the artist painting a portrait of his friend as we get see the portrait of the artist through his narrative that went on and on and on ...
1

"Even Simon Vance couldn't save this one"

There are four reasons I believe this book is one of the worst I have ever read:(1) The artist is the narrator of the book and he is tedious and aggravating. Part of this is because the entire book is a monologue filled with cant and cliche. Many of the trite phrases from the artist are little better than what one might hear during a drunken undergrad revel. Also, the unending opinions about Scotland and the Scottish people are ludicrous.(2) Portrait painting is the passion of my life, so when I read a book that is ostensibly about a portrait painter, I expect the author to have done his research. Sadly, Pears does not seem to have any concept of what a working artist does. Suspension of disbelief is one thing, but this book demands total suspension of intelligence.(3) During all of the ranting and canting, the artist attempts to instill a sense of foreboding. Sadly we see what he's trying to pull from the beginning. There is no sense of suspense, only of failure to interest the reader in what happens next.(4) Finally, we are supposed to believe that the sitter for this portrait is patient enough, and apparently stupid enough, to sit and listen to this garbage the whole time. Anyone with the character Pears attempts to give the sitter --- that of a strong-willed and powerful man with great intelligence --- would have walked out early on. But then Pears wouldn't have his captive audience to endure the painful contrivance.I've never read anything else by Pears, so I cannot compare it to his popular series. I can only say that with this book as my only introduction to him, I have no reason to believe he would improve on further acquaintance.
2

"Quirky"

An attempt at a tour de force but it doesn't quite come off. He should stick to classic mysteries. It was a relief when it was over.
4

"Give this one a chance"

What did you love best about The Portrait?

Similar books results


Lullabies for Little Criminals: A Novel
Lullabies for Little Criminals: A Novel by Heather O'Neill

A new deluxe edition of the international best seller by Heather O'Neill, the Giller-shortlisted author of Daydreams of Angels and The Girl Who Was Saturday Night. Featuring an original foreword from the author, this edition celebrates the 10th anniversar...

The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

A young man commits all types of sins, but only his portrait shows the ravages of his life. Oscar Wilde's Faustian classic. Gothic horror at its best. Public Domain (P)2016 Trout Lake Media...

Summary of The Immortal Irishman by Timothy Egan | Includes Analysis
Summary of The Immortal Irishman by Timothy Egan | Includes Analysis by Instaread

Summary of The Immortal Irishman by Timothy Egan | Includes Analysis Preview: Timothy Egan's The Immortal Irishman is a biography of Thomas Meagher: Irish revolutionary, convict, and Civil War general. The book also offers a broad portrait of the experien...

Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep
Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep by Michael Schulman

A portrait of a woman, an era, and a profession: the first thoroughly researched biography of Meryl Streep - the "Iron Lady" of acting, nominated for 19 Oscars and winner of three - that explores her beginnings as a young woman of the 1970s grappling with...

Open Net: A Professional Amateur in the World of Big-Time Hockey
Open Net: A Professional Amateur in the World of Big-Time Hockey by George Plimpton

George Plimpton takes to the ice with the Boston Bruins in this memorable portrait of the rough-and-tumble world of professional hockey, recorded and now featuring a foreword by Denis Leary. In Open Net, George Plimpton takes to the ice as goalie for his ...

One for the Record: The Inside Story of Hank Aaron's Chase for the Home Run Record
One for the Record: The Inside Story of Hank Aaron's Chase for the Home Run Record by George Plimpton

The inside story of Hank Aaron's chase for the home run record, with an introduction by Tom Wolfe. In One for the Record, George Plimpton recounts Hank Aaron's thrilling race to become the new home run champion. Amid media frenzy and death threats, Aaron ...

My View from the Summit
My View from the Summit by Nicole Thomas

She's spent a good portion of her life in search of happiness - struggling to find her place, and to discover her worth. But if there's one thing Nicole Thomas has figured out, it's that every experience contains an important lesson, and that God has been...

Robert Combas, un cours de Michel Onfray
Robert Combas, un cours de Michel Onfray by Michel Onfray

La confraternité intellectuelle qui unit depuis de nombreuses années le philosophe Michel Onfray - théoricien de l'hédonisme et auteur de la Contre-histoire de la philosophie - au peintre Robert Combas - figure majeure de la Figuration libre en France -, ...

The Good Life
The Good Life by Marian Thurm

In this powerful new book from an esteemed novelist and acclaimed short-story writer, Marian Thurm expertly draws a chilling portrait of a marriage and the downward spiral of a loving husband and father who has bought a handgun as the novel opens. Stacy a...

The Moon in the Palace: The Empress of Bright Moon, Book 1
The Moon in the Palace: The Empress of Bright Moon, Book 1 by Weina Dai Randel

There is no easy path for a woman aspiring to power. A concubine at the palace learns quickly that there are many ways to capture the emperor's attention. Many paint their faces white and style their hair attractively, hoping to lure in the One Above All ...

Dragons in the Waters
Dragons in the Waters by Madeleine L'Engle

Thirteen-year-old Simon Renier has no idea when he boards the MS Orion with his cousin, Forsyth Phair, that their journey to Venezuela will be a dangerous one. His original plan - to return a family heirloom, a portrait of Simon Bolivar, to its rightful p...

Great Vampire Stories: 30 Classic Victorian Tales of Vampires
Great Vampire Stories: 30 Classic Victorian Tales of Vampires by Arthur Conan Doyle

A comprehensive and varied collection of the best vampire stories from the Victorian era by the greatest Gothic writers of the time. 'The Horla' by Guy de Maupassant 'Mrs. Amworth' by E. F. Benson 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' by John Keats 'Dracula's Guest'...

The Killing Season Uncut
The Killing Season Uncut by Sarah Ferguson

Australians came to the ABC's The Killing Season in droves, their fascination with the Rudd-Gillard struggle as unfinished as the saga itself. Rudd and Gillard dominate the drama as they strain to claim the narrative of Labor's years in power. The journey...

In Online Magazine, ISIS Paints a Portrait of Brussels Attackers
In Online Magazine, ISIS Paints a Portrait of Brussels Attackers by Rukmini Callimachi

"In Online Magazine, ISIS Paints a Portrait of Brussels Attackers" is from the April 13, 2016 World section of The New York Times. It was written by Rukmini Callimachi and narrated by Caroline Miller. ©2016 The New York Times News Service Division of The ...

Wild Chicory
Wild Chicory by Kim Kelly

Wild Chicory is the story of a journey from Ireland to Australia in the early 1900s, along threads of love, family, war and peace. It's a slice of ordinary life rich in history, folklore and fairy tale and a portrait of the precious bond between a grandda...

Peggy Guggenheim: The Shock of the Modern
Peggy Guggenheim: The Shock of the Modern by Francine Prose

A spirited portrait of the colorful, irrepressible, and iconoclastic American collector who fearlessly advanced the cause of modern art. One of 20th-century America's most influential patrons of the arts, Peggy Guggenheim (1898-1979) brought to wide publi...

The Vanishing Velázquez: A 19th Century Bookseller's Obsession with a Lost Masterpiece
The Vanishing Velázquez: A 19th Century Bookseller's Obsession with a Lost Masterpiece by Laura Cumming

From one of the world's most expert art critics, the incredible true story - part art history and part mystery - of a Velázquez portrait that went missing and the obsessed 19th-century bookseller determined to prove he had found it. When John Snare, a 19t...

The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR'S Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience
The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR'S Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience by Kirstin Downey

Frances Perkins is no longer a household name, yet she was one of the most influential women of the 20th century. Based on extensive archival materials, new documents, and exclusive access to Perkins' family members and friends, this biography is the firs...

Tales of Mystery and Imagination
Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe

Here is a collection of nine tales of the macabre and the supernatural from the acknowledged master of these genres. They are: "The Black Cat", "The Tell-Tale Heart", "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar", "The Premature Burial", "The Pit and the Pendulu...

The Good Death: An Exploration of Dying in America
The Good Death: An Exploration of Dying in America by Ann Neumann

Following the death of her father, journalist and hospice volunteer Ann Neumann sets out to examine what it means to die well in the United States. When Ann Neumann's father was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, she left her job and moved back to her...