Book Review: Theft: A Love Story – Peter Carey

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.

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8 Responses to “Book Review: Theft: A Love Story – Peter Carey”


  1. 1 Spawn July 11, 2007 at 7:01 pm

    You have time to think about books after having read them? 😮
    Lucky you! 😡

  2. 2 Sreejith July 11, 2007 at 10:13 pm

    You have me confused… is it worth buying it? Or maybe you could loan it to me 😀

  3. 3 Kunal July 12, 2007 at 10:12 am

    spawn, dude I never said I thought about the book 🙂 it is just like once you see a movie or read a book, sometimes you recollect stuff you saw or heard or read… Consciously I never try to think about these things (there are far more important things in life then books 😛 ), but generally the subconscious works on its own… 🙂

    sreejith, if you are into arts and painting, then I would refer the book… else it could be given a miss 🙂

  4. 4 mythalez July 12, 2007 at 4:45 pm

    reminds me of ‘an equal music’ by vikram seth .. which i left midway .. like 6 months ago .. ought to finish it .. yeah .. ita all abt a violinist and his band .. and his lost love 😛

  5. 5 nipun July 12, 2007 at 6:00 pm

    i’m confused ..that a love story ? or a brotherly love type drama ??

  6. 6 Kunal July 12, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    rama, never got around to reading that book.. but now you read it, and let me know how it is… I’ll trust your judgment 🙂

    nipun, there are two love stories here… one is between butcher and hugh – the brotherly love 🙂 .. and one is the proper love between two people of opposite sex – butcher and marlene, the daughter-in-law of a famed artist, and hence the final word on any painting whether it is genuine or not… this angle gives rise to the art-heist 🙂

  7. 7 sandeep chandna July 13, 2007 at 11:24 am

    I thought there was only one Love Story book…nice review though..I got same doubt as Nipun..ur comment cleared it 😀

  8. 8 Kunal July 18, 2007 at 6:50 pm

    Sandeep thanks 🙂


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I write! Topic does not matter, can be my life, or my travels, or any match I saw, or the Hyderabadi life, or reminiscing about Raipur, or penning Short Stories & 55s.

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