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  • The Collector’s Apprentice

  • A Novel
  • By: B. A. Shapiro
  • Narrated by: Xe Sands
  • Length: 10 hrs and 21 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

It's the summer of 1922, and 19-year-old Paulien Mertens finds herself in Paris - broke, disowned, and completely alone. Everyone in Belgium, including her own family, believes she stole millions in a sophisticated con game perpetrated by her then-fiance, George Everard. To protect herself from the law and the wrath of those who lost everything, she creates a new identity, a Frenchwoman named Vivienne Gregsby, and sets out to recover her father's art collection, prove her innocence - and exact revenge on George.   

When the eccentric and wealthy American art collector Edwin Bradley, who is based on real-life museum founder Albert Barnes, offers Vivienne the perfect job, she is soon caught up in the Parisian world of post-Impressionists and expatriates - including Gertrude Stein and Henri Matisse, with whom Vivienne becomes romantically entwined. As she travels between Paris and Philadelphia, where Bradley is building an art museum, her life becomes even more complicated: George returns with unclear motives...and then Vivienne is arrested for Bradley's murder.   

B. A. Shapiro has made the historical art thriller her own. In The Collector's Apprentice, she gives us an unforgettable tale about the lengths to which people will go for their obsession, whether it be art, money, love, or vengeance.

©2018 B. A. Shapiro (P)2018 HighBridge Company

What listeners say about The Collector’s Apprentice

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for ibillinsly@gmail
  • ibillinsly@gmail
  • 29-01-19

4.09 stars

I've learned much of what I know about art history from fiction novels. This is the second audiobook I've listened to by B.A. Shapiro. Obviously, she is very knowledgeable when it comes to art and art history. The Art Forger is my favorite novel by her, but The Collector's Apprentice is also a good read/listen. XE Sands narrates both novels, and she does a good job in each instance. If you like art and you like fiction, it would be hard not to like this author's work.

Overall rating: 4.09 stars

10 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Kim Padan
  • Kim Padan
  • 05-12-20

Disappointing

I really enjoyed the 2 previous B.A. Shapiro novels involving the art world. This one had too much bad romance and unbelievable twists. I didn't even like the characters. I was curious enough to finish, to find out "whodunit" but I should have stopped listening. At least I could do other things while listening, as opposed to reading the first 2 on my Kindle, so time was not completely wasted.

3 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Margaret M Decker
  • Margaret M Decker
  • 30-10-18

Not as good as first 2 books

Third book of hers I have read. I really didn’t like George ‘s character. I don’t really like reading about deceit and cheating and stealing. As far as the prose goes. I feel like it want back and forth to much. Hard to keep straight what country an time frame it was. Just didn’t interest me and then thank goodness the way it ended for if she would have ended up with George I would have been disappointed.


3 people found this helpful

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  • Beth
  • 27-04-20

Really quite boring

I kept giving it the benefit of the doubt and continued listening despite its tedious story line and uneventful plot. The ping-pong back and forth between timelines was pointless and seemed done purely for the sake of doing it because it’s popular. The narrators voice and cadence was annoying but I could have overlooked it if the story had drawn me in.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Carole J. Davis
  • 12-05-19

Excellent Book

I found this to be an excellent topic. It was filled with an artful story; an interesting plot; an ending, surprising yet justified. I loved the readers voice which seemed to add depth to the story. Bravo!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-03-19

Don’t waste your time

The woman who read this had an extremely annoying cadence. The story was extremely predictable. I was not impressed.

2 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Judith Coulson-Geissmann
  • Judith Coulson-Geissmann
  • 22-10-18

Boring

Did not finish. I really did enjoy previous books of the author but the story in this book moves to slow, with adding dimensions that don't contribute to the story as such. Appriciate the historic background.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Stacey
  • Stacey
  • 30-07-22

Captivating!

Love the tone and overall performance of the narrator.

Great story line that keeps the reader engaged throughout.

The wry and artists came alive through the storytelling.

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Profile Image for DFK
  • DFK
  • 23-05-22

Too many holes in the story, not convincing

I enjoyed The Art Forger and The Muralist. Those two were excellent stories, though I was never enthralled with Xe Sands as a narrator. She’s not great with men’s voices (though in this one she improved a bit on that score). This time, I found the constant back-and-forth in time an unnecessary device, causing a sense of discontinuity and confusion. The story itself has some holes in what is credible - I don’t want to write any spoilers, so I’ll leave it at that. This book did not measure up to those two art-themed books, and I suspect I will not bother with her recently released new book.

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Profile Image for Avi Stachenfeld
  • Avi Stachenfeld
  • 02-05-22

A Great Disappointment

I purchased this book upon my good opinion of Ms Shapiro's two other books, but was soundly disappointed by everything about this effort. A tired story...rather amateurish writing...and a desultory reading by the generally excellent Xe Sands...and I decided to value my time more than my normal dogged drive to complete and justify the expenditure of money. In this instance, the waste of time to complete a listening would have been the bigger loss.