I don’t read very much. Well, not as much as I should at any rate. With all the other myriad distractions in my day to day life (work, trying to look for more work, socializing, getting my daily dose of sunlight, etc…) reading a proper book seems to habitually fall off the bottom of my to do list. I have prefaced this post with all of this so that you can fully appreciate the fact that I finished The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova in the span of a week.
What first drew me was the author. I read her previous success The Historian, in a little over two weeks on a stationary bike during a stint in Charleston (suffice it to say that the book was the incentive to get on the stationary bike in the first place). When I next looked at the inside cover and found out that the plot surrounds a tortured genius who tried to attack a painting in the National Gallery, I was sold.
I first started the book a few months ago and only got a few pages in before life got in the way. Last Wednesday I got it into my head to actually attempt to read the book.
I was done by Saturday morning.
While you might not necessarily be impressed by this, I must remind you that the book is over five hundred pages long and I had to go to work, not to mention the date that I had on the Friday night. I just could. not. put. it. down. That is how wonderful and masterful the storytelling is in this novel. When said date showed up at my door Friday evening to pick me up, I actually groaned inwardly at the thought of being separated from the story for several hours.
In construction The Swan Thieves certainly lends itself to A.S. Byatt’s masterpiece Possession, with the paralell story lines that somehow intersect at the resolution of the mystery that is the impetus for the modern love story. I do not say this to diminish Ms. Kostova’s work however, for I thoroughly enjoyed every second of her book, and cannot wait for her next effort.