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Underpainter Hardcover – Oct 1 1997

3.2 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Oct 1 1997
CDN$ 28.97 CDN$ 1.96

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Viking USA; 1st American ed edition (Oct. 1 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670877263
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670877263
  • Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 3 x 22.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,929,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By EJW on April 5 2002
Format: Paperback
One way I measure a book is by how much it makes me think - and for how long after I've finished it. I first read this book two years ago, and still it haunts me. The characters are not especially sympathetic - least of all the artist - but what is disturbing is how well they are drawn from real life. The author has as remarkable an eye for character and human nature as a fine painter for his or her subject. I've recommended this book to many, but only to those who can appreciate a story of quiet depth. It's also a story that demands rereading.
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Format: Paperback
I found Jane Urquhart's novel to be quite compelling and well-written. Being an artist myself, I was eager to read a novel whose main character was an artist. The author captured the way in which art (any art) training is abjectly consuming at the expense of individual development. Artists and musicians tend toward the egocentric . . . partly because of the intensity of their training. Austin certainly fell into that category.
I was also pleased that Ms. Urquhart was able to depict with sensitivity the effects of trauma on the human psyche. She was not only sensitive but very graphic if one was able to travel with her during the story's telling. It is rare to find such idiosycratic topics dealt with in the context of a novel much less to find them dealt with really well.
The most compelling thing about the novel, however, is the warmth and compassion that she develops and portrays in her characters. In spite of their very human frailties, they are lovable if not always likeable.
I look forward to reading other Jane Urquhart works!
An artist/musician/reader
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By A Customer on Sept. 19 1999
Format: Paperback
an amazing novel. the narrator- Austin Fraser is cruel, vain, afraid, human. this novel depicts his story- the story of a man who was afraid of his own self. the story of the underpainter. the artist who flooded the underpaiting in his art with his own life, his melancholy, his passions, his all, then blurring it out. the plot takes erratic jumps all over a half century, yet most of the story takes place during the '20s and '30s. this book tells the story of Austin's life. it tells how many of the special, tender relationships in his life ended, either gradually, or abruptly. it tells of this man's struggles, his passions, his failures. it tells of how he ran away from happiness in the face of his own fear and vanity. the plot is filled to overflow with his life, and the lives of those who came to know him, those who's lives intertwined with his own, or not at all. those who's lives Austin kept carefully stored away in his photographic memory. all throughout the book he tells of how well he remembers it all, how picturesquely it is all stored in this now old man's mind, so well he could paint it. relationships spanned over decades, people whom he's pushed away, people who died far away, yet right before his eyes. ghosts of the past, his own and others'. this is the story of Austin Fraser.
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Format: Paperback
"The Underpainter" is a very beautifully written book...as it should be as it is about an artist looking bakc on his life and the love he left behind; and should have held on to. It is a book full of beautiful imagery and would appeal to even those who do not now anything about art...the story was very interest keeping and the characters were fleshed out quite nicely. A all round pleasant read.
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Format: Paperback
"The Underpainter", is a magnificent work of art.

Luminous landscapes inhabit the psyche of the artist, Austin Fraser, like pulsing echoes which haunt the desolate, frozen compartments of his heart.

I am mesmerized by the gripping power of this tale about a man unwilling and therefore unable to commit - neither to friends, nor love, nor landscape - nor even (and especially), to his own art.

His life - the love of a woman, the paintings, the landscape he inhabits - all of this detail and feeling - he obscures and obliterates with surgical acts of "Erasure".

I highly recommend reading this powerful and moving story by Jane Urquhart.
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