It has been a week since I completed Theft: A Love Story by Peter Carey. I did not write its review immediately as I was not sure what I felt about the book. I was initially ambivalent towards the book, but now I really appreciate the book. It is a painter’s story, well sort of… I felt it is the story of two brothers who are coming to terms with life after few major events.
Butcher Bones is a “has-been” painter. He was on the road to fame, but a messy divorce and settlements later he is a non-starter at all Australian studios. He is entrusted with the care of his ‘damaged 220-pound brother’ Hugh. The story is narrated by both these characters, one chapter at a time. At times it did get confusing who was narrating which chapter, but it was fun viewing the same events from two radically different viewpoints.
The book is amazingly well researched. It reminded me of Arthur Hailey books like Airport and Hotel – so thoroughly researched that you feel you can do the work done by the protagonists in those books. Here Peter Carey takes you into the world of art, and explains the nuances of painting. Although at some points the description gets so vivid and so much jargon is used that for a layman (like me) it gets confusing to follow.
The book had its moments of humour, there were interesting details of an art-heist, the romantic angle was present, but the best part was the attachment between the two brothers – that drove the story. All in all it was an entertaining book.