The Painter


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His marriage disintegrated.

Everything Deck

He grieved the one thing he loved. In the wake of tragedy, Jim, a well-known expressionist painter, abandoned the art scene of Santa Fe to start fresh in the valleys of rural Colorado. Now he spends his days painting and fly-fishing, trying to find a way to live with the dark impulses that sometimes overtake him.

He works with a lovely model. His paintings fetch excellent prices. But one afternoon, on a dirt road, Jim comes across a man beating a small horse, and a brutal encounter rips his quiet life wide open.

Fleeing Colorado, chased by men set on retribution, Jim returns to New Mexico, tormented by his own relentless conscience. A stunning, savage novel of art and violence, love and grief, The Painter is the story of a man who longs to transcend the shadows in his heart, a man intent on using the losses he has suffered to create a meaningful life. This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.

A darkly suspenseful page turner. A brilliant page-turner about an artist with a dark streak. The contrast between serene nature and extreme action made The Dog Stars such a sensation. Heller uses it again well in The Painter.

Albrecht Dürer: The painter with 'a magical touch'

Beautiful near-visionary descriptions. Yet at heart, these men are not so different than those we know. Heller creates in Stegner a. The paintings were wonderfully described; I would really like some of these paintings on my walls. The women are one dimensional and are all physically beautiful and have large breasts; they all love the protagonist in some way. The protagonist is an emotional mess: passionate about painting, fishing, drinking; angry with little control.

He's a man haunted by his past, yet keeps on the same path. At times I was drawn into the story. At other times I lost some interest. In the end, I'm wondering at the point of the story. It seems to end where it began. Is that the point? We are who we are and change is minimal at most? Good writing.

I would try another book by this author. I'm just not convinced about this story.


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The painter, though, does paint interesting and whimsical paintings. The downfall of high expectations. The expectations inherent in the sophomore book from an author with a magnificent debut. How did Peter Heller fare? Like his magnificent debut novel, "The Dog Stars", " The Painter" has a palpable mood; an ambiance that is set by the words on the page. Both novels explore lonely places; sad situations, dark frames of mind, last resort scenarios, best-left-avoided emotions. Both novels are infused, however with the right amount of light.

Enough light can b The downfall of high expectations. Enough light can be seen to bring hope, to ignite love, to nurture redemption for the characters.


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In turn, readers can turn the last page with the satisfaction that they have ventured into the depths of the human psyche, but returned. And are that much the better for it. The difference, for me, was how well each of the novels did the above. Like the chef whom combines all the necessary ingredients for the perfect dish, "The Dog Stars" was executed with finesse. For "The Painter", though, some measurements were imprecise; timing was not perfect. And like the perfect dish requires the chef to orchestrate the entire operation, the perfect novel requires the same of the author.

And if one ingredient is slightly off, it causes the domino reaction. The dispersion of storytelling was unbalanced. The present focuses on Jim Stegner's second murder, Dellwood Siminoe, a little liked leader of a poaching ring whom he witnesses abusing a horse. Siminoe's brother, Grant, and the brothers' nephew, Jason, seek revenge. Stegner begins to run from them, the law- but, most of all- from himself and his past. I wish Jim's relationships with others were examined, explored, narrated, discussed more.

These are relationships that made Him who he is today, e. Unfortunately, much of this was replaced by long monologues, stream of consciousness style, regarding his fears, dreams, philosophies, thoughts, feelings. By no means is this a negative thing, thus my utilization of the word "replaced" rather than "sacrificed". At some point, however, it became repetitive, made more so by the lack of discussion about his relationships outside his own mind. Again, these things, the behind-the-scenes glimpse into the life of a painter, to see how fishing can have such profound effects on someone, are actually what makes this novel moving.

Peter the Painter - Wikipedia

It is only when read in contrast to the little explored world outside Jim's mind and the present murders he is involved in that these prolific insights begin to seen excessive. This novel would have been better written as two separate ones, one that beautifully and picturesquely explores the mind of a troubled painter and fisherman, the other describing the suspenseful man running from his past. An amazing book!


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  4. To listen to it narrated by Mark Deakins no doubt made it more enjoyable than if I had read it. I'm afraid the many fly fishing facts at the beginning would have otherwise bored me, a non-fisherperson, to sleep. But the narrator added a sexy smoothness to the listening experience, no matter what he was saying. The prose on its own, with a multitude of vivid and evocative descriptions of nature, was luminous and clear as the Colorado sky under which the story unfolds.

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    Contrast th An amazing book! Contrast that to the story, which was gritty and turbulent. Jim Stegner, the painter, is a damaged man with a disturbing violent streak that he struggles to control, yet often fails. His art seems to feed off the various times in his life when he inflicted damage or experienced grief from the violence of others. Despite his boyhood in a trailer park, or because of it, Jim has become quite successful. I couldn't get enough of this character who, despite his very serious shortcomings, was very endearing to me in a twisted sort of way.

    I think I have a litte crush on Jim Stegner, a bad boy with good intentions. And a big crush on Mark Deakins. May 24, Ann rated it it was amazing. Beautiful, poetic, emotionally gut-wrenching. I underlined sentences. Oh, did I underline sentences! But this book goes well beyond pretty sentences. It has character. It has plot. And it has gorgeous, beautiful writing. It also has some wonderful meditations on art that I think hold true for writing as well. May 31, Trish rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction , america , crime , fishing , art , audio , western.

    We move it closer to the realm of the dead, if not outright kill it. T "The way death is both near and infinitely remote, the way it freezes and somehow kindles the heat of something grotesque and maybe irresistible and sexy, which is life at its most desperate…. The word has all the resonance of a bell, signaling the moment we must think for ourselves, decide its inflection, trust our narrator or not. Because we have here an artist who sees the world uniquely and reacts quickly, almost instinctively, to what he sees, to what he senses.

    After reading this novel I conclude that I am simply susceptible to his writing.

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