One of the other reviewers has described this book as "arduous". Another preferred "opaque". I think I know what both of them are getting at.
For all his undoubted authorial flair, Jacobson can be a self-indulgently literary writer at times, intent on admiring the brilliance of his own ideas and far more interested in method than substance. That is of course likely to make him appeal to a certain breed of Booker Prize judge.
This book starts from an interesting premise, all the better for its apparent enigma, the trick being that the reader thinks he/she has a pretty good idea of what lies behind "what happened, if it happened". Unfortunately,… Read more
Hustvedt brings the art world to vibratnt life. She has a great ear for different voices but the self-consciously literary nature of the book makes for a tough read at times. For all the wit of the piece and although she has much to say about interpretation, perception and prejudice, the welter of footnotes and references comes across as a little too clever clever and the book runs the risk of disappearing in a fog of the same pretentiousness it sets out to satirise.