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Girl with a Pearl Earring, The: A Novel and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
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Paperback, 2000
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006513204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006513209
  • Product Dimensions: 19.5 x 1.5 x 12.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 200 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (672 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,885,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Kragh on May 9 2004
Format: Paperback
I heard a lot about this book, and it was a bestseller, so the reading group I'm in decided to read Girl With a Pearl Earring. We were all pretty disappointed...
The young girl Grit becomes a maid in the household of Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. We hear about her life and passions, and her family, but she is a very unrealistic character, and you really feel that she is being written by a much older woman.
The writer shows none of Grit's emotions, just tells you what they are, in a very unconvincing and detached way.
It seems unlikely, that a girl so young should be as confident, unimpressed by life and manipulating as Grit is! It hardly affects her leave her family, to fall in love or loose her virginity, nothing really surprises her, and she apparently can do everything better than everyone else: this uneducated young maid is even able to tell the master painter how to paint better!
Appart from a cliched fascination with her MASTER Vermeer(that seems more like a badly formulated erotic fantasy of the author's than anything realistic) Grit shows no emotion, and the plot is unbalanced and boring. You never develop any sympathy for any of the characters, and the symbolism is MUCH to heavy.
The book left me cold an bored. The only reason why it gets 2 stars, is the description and information about Vermeers paintings, which were interesting. Chevalier completely fails to make a credible portrait of a young girl (Grit is more like a 40 year old woman), and the historcal descriptions aren't very good either.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Brown on July 15 2005
Format: Audio CD
I just finished listening to the novel on CD read by Jenna Lamia. Avoid it. The reader tries to put on accents for every different character and fails horribly. Her accent for Vermeer is most ridiculous of all and it takes away from the novel terribly. The only well created accent is Griet's; that's not a compliment considering the many characters in this excellent novel. Read the book but avoid this particular CD version.
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By Robin on July 15 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is about the economics of art as a commodity in a historical society in which it was exactly that. The point is that every society sees the art produced in its own time as a commodity, and usually not a very valuable one at that. The 21st century is the same as the 17th in this regard. However, we do not know which of our commodities will be the art form of a future age.Neither did they.
Vermeer painted to live: whether he also lived to paint is the question. Exactly the question the book asks us to think about. His family depend upon him painting and upon patrons buying and commissioning his work. As a result, everyone is paying. And the symbol of all the payments is the pearl earring. Vermeer trades something to get it into the painting, where we think it should be, but then we are unaware of any paintings of the same girl without a pearl earring. His mother in law pays with treachery. His wife pays with suffering. And the girl pays with personal obscurity, and everlasting fame.
And only we benefit.
Makes you think, doesn't it?
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Format: Paperback
I did like the writting style used. It was clear, simple and it seemed to me as if it was really clean, if that makes any sense. It was an easy, almost straight to the point story that kept me entertained. I think there were some deep metaphors that passed me by though. I liked most of the characters but would have liked it better if they were given some more depth.
However, I can see how some people would not like this book. Not alot really happens and I imagin (though I haven't seen it) that the film version is rather slow and boring. As I read it in a day I dont think I had time to get bored with it. The characters are not particluary memerable and some seem very flat at times. It's supposed to be a book about passion but I didn't feel much between any of the characters. Although Griet may have felt it for her master, until he left her the earrings at the end I don't think I felt anything at all from him though out the whole book, and as a result I didn't care about this character. I don't know anything about the real Vermeer so I have no idea if he acted anything like he did in the story.
Despite it's faults I did really enjoy this book and as long as your someone who can relex and read something that's not packed full of action I think you'll probably enjoy it too.
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By A Customer on July 2 2004
Format: Paperback
I have just finished listening to the unabridged audio version of Girl with a Pearl Earring. It is narrated by Ruth Ann Phimister. As I listened to the novel, I was very emotionally involved with Griet. I felt her happiness, her sadness, her reluctance, her longings. But one has to remember that a Protestant in her times, especially a young girl, was meant to be reserved and to hold back her deepest desires. I think that is why Tracy Chevalier wrote as she did. The tone also echos the fact that Vermeer is very poor at showing his own emotions.
I loved this book! In fact, it is hard for me right now to go on to another book. I want to stay in Griet's world--I don't want to leave her. I think that is what a good book is supposed to do for a reader. In additon, it made me curious about Vermeer's life. Oh, I knew his paintings, but I wanted more. What was the real Vermeer like? I have searched out his biography and marveled at how Chevalier intertwined fact with fiction.
Perhaps my feelings for this story are because I listened to the audio version of this book. Ms. Phimister is a master at narration and is truly able to place the reader into the character of Griet. In any event, this book will always remain one of my all time favorites!
This review refers to the unabridged audiocassette edition.
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