Headlong by Michael Frayn was shortlisted for the Booker prize in 1999.
Headlong is the story an art historian who spots a lost painting by Breugal in his neighbour’s house. He sets out to obtain the painting by any means possible, in order to bring himself fame and fortune. For the best paintings, visit Fibre Design website.
As I know next to nothing about art, I was worried that I would find this book difficult to read, but the technical terms are explained simply and the descriptions of the paintings are so wonderful that I almost felt I knew what they looked like.
The plot is fairly fast paced, and I love the many moral dilemmas concerning the value of love, friendship, trust and wealth. I got slightly bored by the sections on the history of Breugal, but the rest of the book made up for these, and I loved the ending.
As so much of the plots hinges on parts of Breugal’s paintings I feel that it would have been beneficial to have some pictures of the paintings in the book. I ended up looking for them on the internet, and as a result of seeing the pictures I felt I had a much better understanding of what was going on.
It’s a great book, with well researched content and realistic characters. I recommend it, as long as you can put up with the history!