This book, however. is an unfortunate mess. I hate giving authors I truly like such a lousy rating, but in this case it's unavoidable.
One of the blurbs on the book cover speaks to a "writer writing about something terribly important", which may in fact be the case, if only one could figure out just what it is. It's really a shame as the concept is intriguing-the execution is the problem.
Winterson is a master of the use of language, usually leaving the reader painting vivid-though often very unsettling-mental pictures to accompany the text. Here however the text is so dense, the characterizations so obscure, the thought process so complex that one can-and often does-- read and reread a passage several time, still emerging with no real idea what is going on.
Everyone has a bad day now and then-and with this effort, Winterson has definitely had hers. This is truly an author worth reading but this effort should be skipped.
Jeanette Winterson is by far one of these most imaginative and cutting-edge writers today. While most other young authors are jumping on bandwagons, Winterson is loudly beating her own drum.
"Art & Lies" is full of evocative langauge, sensual details, witty word-plays, and multi-dimensional characters. Moreover, Winterson is a "smart" writer. She touchs, steals, grabs, and nods to classic and modern literature, music, and art without showing the least amount of effort or pretension.
I most highly recommend "Art & Lies" for someone who is looking for something completely different to read, who is tired of the same story-lines on the best-seller lists, and who is willing to take the plunge into Winterson's beautifully fragmented word.
A train goes careening down the tracks, carrying several passengers with catchy names: Handel, Picasso, and Sapho. Another surfaces, Ms. Doll Snodpiece, who also has a train connection to these three. These characters' lives all intersect as the story wends it way along to its smashing conclusion. This author is extremely talented, and has characteristically set the work in a fresh new way. It contains some mesmerizingly beautiful prose, which is also characteristic of this author. Also typical is the strong character development, and the bits of philosophy and wisdom inherent in the story.
It is difficult to admit, because this wonderful author and her books have dazzled me in the past, but this work lost its momentum about halfway through. It took a long time to find the wherewithal to finish this book but, to quote my friend Angie: "it redeemed itself in the end." Other books she has written have dazzled me much more, however. Recommended -- but please consider: Written on the Body, The Passion, and Sexing the Cherry by the same author, which are all MUCH better books.