Picture This

Joseph L. Heller, Author Putnam Publishing Group $19.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-399-13355-8
In a radical departure, Heller has concocted a clever, strange piece of experimental historical fiction. As the novel begins, slovenly, debt-ridden Rembrandt van Rijn is painting his now-famous Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer. Suddenly, we are whisked from 17th century Holland to ancient Greece, where an exiled, weary Aristotle clairvoyantly watches Rembrandt doing his portrait. Not much has changed, the philosopher concludes as he gazes down the centuries at our dawning modern era of greed, wars and capitalism run amok. Written in a flat, reportorial style, omniscient in viewpoint, the narrative confusingly and annoyingly jumpcuts in time and spacebetween and within epochs. The chapters on Athens, where Plato pontificates while Socrates berates the belligerent youth Alcibiades, are occasionally wickedly funny. Best read in short takes, this startling parable about the degeneration of art into commodity and the survival of human values in a materialistic world demands total suspension of disbelief. For willing readers, it casts an undeniable spell. First serial to Playboy; BOMC featured alternate. (September)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 00/00/0000
Hardcover - 184 pages - 978-0-689-10673-6
Audio Product
Hardcover - 235 pages - 978-0-689-10689-7
Compact Disc
Paperback - 198 pages - 978-1-57059-122-8
Compact Disc
Hardcover - 191 pages - 978-1-57059-170-9
Compact Disc
Hardcover - 241 pages - 978-90-71712-82-1
Hardcover - 556 pages - 978-0-689-10728-3
Compact Disc
Hardcover - 239 pages - 978-0-689-10738-2
Compact Disc
Hardcover - 409 pages - 978-950-774-034-3
Compact Disc
Hardcover - 365 pages - 978-1-57506-050-7
Paperback - 978-5-555-55231-0
Paperback - 88 pages - 978-1-57950-064-1
Compact Disc
Hardcover - 312 pages - 978-0-689-10797-9
Show other formats
Discover what to read next