The Opposite of Art (Book Review)

Here is a recent novel that I have read and placed on my virtual shelf, the “…And Writers Read” page. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

Dickson, Athol. The Opposite of Art. Howard Books, New York, 2011. (Novel)

How do you express the ineffable? After a near-death experience, a gifted artist spends 25 years obsessively trying to paint what he had seen during those minutes while his heart was stopped. Supporting himself by painting masterpieces that he himself scorns, the artist works his way around the world. He desperately seeks a spiritual mentor who can help him, or at least an existing piece of art that can inspire him. His pilgrimage finally leads him to a remote desert area of the US, where the unknown threads of his past come together in a suspenseful climax that kept me turning the pages at top speed.

Dickson weaves a tight story with rich symbolism, present action, flashbacks and surreal sequences all meshing perfectly. This is one of the few novels that, immediately upon finishing the last page, I wanted to re-read from the beginning.

Seriously, read this book. You can even borrow my copy, but you have to give it back.

On second thought, don’t borrow mine because you’ll want your own copy.

Thanks for reading,
Jan

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