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Iain Pears was born in 1955, educated at Wadham College, Oxford and won the Getty Scholarship to Yale University. He has worked as a journalist, an art historian and a television consultant. He is the author of many books, including the bestselling An Instance of the Fingerpost and The Dream Of Scipio.
He lives with his wife and son in Oxford.
This is a captivating adventure story with huge heart and dazzling imaginative power, from the best-selling author of An Instance of the Fingerpost. Three interlocking worlds. Four people looking for answers. But who controls the future - or the past? In the basement of a professor's house in 1960s Oxford, fifteen-year-old Rosie goes in search of a missing cat - and instead finds herself in a different world. Anterwold is a sun-drenched land of storytellers, prophecies and ritual. But is this world real - and what happens if she decides to stay? Meanwhile, in a sterile laboratory, a rebellious scientist is trying to prove that time does not even exist - with potentially devastating consequences.
Featured on The TV Book Club on More4 on 25 July 2010. Shortlisted for the inaugural Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction 2010. A brilliantly plotted novel tracing back through John Stones’s life in three distinct segments allowing the reader to slowly unravel the mystery behind John’s death at the beginning of the novel. An exceptional book, both fascinating and gripping.
Coming straight into paperback only, a beautifully produced book with flaps and coloured pictures of some of the paintings brushed over in this extraordinary monologue. Powerful, erudite, menacing, dark, disturbing and strangely gripping, this is a short (224 pages), atmospheric, psychological mystery. Set in the early 20th century, a once feted artist, self-exiled, paints the portrait of his old mentor, a renowned critic and so their lives unfold with startling revelations. I was totally enthralled throughout. It is extraordinarily good.Comparison: Sarah Waters, Ian McEwan, A S Byatt.Similar this month: None, but try Gerard Woodward or Tash Aw.
Ein witziger, spannungsreicher Krimi vor einer faszinierenden Szenerie: der vierte Teil der Kunstkrimi-Reihe um Taddeo Bottando, seine Assistentin Flavia di Stefano und Jonathan Argyll. Jonathan Argyll ist ein englischer Kunsthndler, mit einer kleinen Schwche fr Rom und einer groen fr die hbsche Polizistin Flavia di Stefano. Aus Geflligkeit transportiert er ein Historiengemlde, dass den Tod des Sokrates darstellt. Doch das Bild zeigt schreckliche Wirkung - zwei potentielle Kufer werden ermordet. Was ist an diesem unbedeutenden Bild so interessant?
Der neue Fall fur die attraktive Flavia die Stefano und den Kunstfachmann Jonathan Argyll, rund um die legendare Bernini-BusteDer Kunstexperte Jonathan Argyll hat einem kalifornischen Museum einen unbedeutenden Tizian verkauft . Zuerst erstaunt ihn nur der berhhte Preis , der ihm geboten wurde. Dann stirbt der reiche Kufer eines unnatrlichen Todes und auch Jonathan wird zur Zielscheibe des Mrders. Zum Glck sind Flavia di Stefano und Generale Bottando unterwegs in die USA um eine legendre Bernini-Bste aufzuspren.
Ein spannender, witzig-eleganter Kriminalroman von Iain Pears aus der schillernden italienischen und internationalen Kunstszene: Der Auftakt zur Krimireihe um das ungleiche Duo Flavia Di Stefano und Jonathan ArgyllAls der junge Kunsthistoriker Jonathan Argyll in einer heruntergekommenen rmischen Pfarrkirche aufgegriffen wird, tischt er den Behrden eine abenteuerliche Geschichte auf: Das Altarbild aus dem 18. Jahrhundert, scheine wertlos, sei in Wirklichkeit aber ein bermalter Raffael - und man kann nicht sagen, dass jeden Tag ein neuer Raffael entdeckt wird. Doch nun ist es verschwunden und irgendwer ist bereit ber Leichen zu gehen... Ein bislang unbekanntes Meisterwerk Raffaels wird zur Sensation des internationalen Kunstmarktes und bald darauf zum Schrecken fr das Kunstraubdezernat in Rom...
Ein neuer Fall fur das erfolgreiche Team des romischen Kunstraubdezernats: der schlaue Taddeo Bottando, seine schone Assistentin Flavia di Stefano und der verklemmte britische Kunsthistoriker Jonathan Argyll. Geld spielt keine Rolle bei der Tagung des Tizian-Komitees in Venedig. Die Kunstexperten beschftigen sich mit Tizian Gemlden und solchen, die dafr gehalten werden. Und sie beschftigen sich mit Neid und Eifersuchteleien untereinander. Als ein Grtner eine der Professorinnen ermordet in einem Blumenbeet auffindet, greift das erfolgreiche Team des rmischen Kunstraubdezernats ein: Taddeo Bottando, Flavia di Stefano und der britische Kunstistoriker Jonathan Argyll. Schlielich gilt es, die Ehre Tizians zu retten!
Three interlocking worlds. Four people looking for answers. April, 1960: In the cellar of a professor's house in Oxford, fifteen-year-old Rosie goes in search of a missing cat -- and instead finds herself in a different world. Anterwold is a sun-drenched land of storytellers and prophecies. But is this world real -- and what happens if Rosie decides to stay? Meanwhile, a rebellious scientist is trying to prove that time does not even exist -- with potentially devastating consequences. As the three worlds come together, one question arises: who controls the future -- or the past...?
From the author of the international best sellerAn Instance of the Fingerpost,Arcadiais an astonishing work of imagination.Three interlocking worlds. Four people looking for answers. But who controls the futureor the past? In 1960s Oxford, Professor Henry Lytten is attempting to write a fantasy novel that forgoes the magic of his predecessors, J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. He finds an unlikely confidante in his quick-witted, inquisitive young neighbor Rosie. One day, while chasing Lytten's cat, Rosie encounters a doorway in his cellar. She steps through and finds herself in an idyllic, pastoral land where Storytellers are revered above all others. There she meets a young man who is about to embark on a quest of his ownand may be the one chance Rosie has of returning home. These breathtaking adventures ultimately intertwine with the story of an eccentric psychomathematician whose breakthrough discovery will affect all of these different lives and worlds. Dazzlingly inventive and deeply satisfying, Arcadia tests the boundaries of storytelling and asks: If the past can change the future, then might the future also indelibly alter the past?From the Hardcover edition.
Paris can do strange things to a man's mind-like make him agree to an apparently harmless favor of escorting a picture to Rome. It seems routine work, and art dealer Jonathan Argyll gets to meet his girlfriend, Flavia, who works for Rome's Art Theft Squad. "e;The Death of Socrates"e; is a particularly nondescript piece, so Jonathan can sympathize when its recipient refuses to accept delivery. But in an unusual twist, the same man is found dead a few hours later. Surely the painting wasn't that bad? Now caught up in a murder investigation, Jonathan recalls an attempt to steal the artwork while he was at the train station. Could this be the killer? What is so special about this painting? The bodies start piling up and Jonathan must uncover the dark wartime secret at the heart of the mystery-before someone puts him out of the picture for good. With customary wit and panache, Jonathan and Flavia embark on a breathless chase to capture a killer who has been refining his own particular art for many years.
A return to the form that launched Iain Pears onto bestseller lists around the world: a vast historical mystery, marvelous in its ambition and ingenius in its complexity.In his most dazzling novel since the groundbreaking New York Times bestseller An Instance of the Fingerpost, Iain Pears tells the story of John Stone, financier and arms dealer, a man so wealthy that in the years before World War One he was able to manipulate markets, industries, and indeed entire countries and continents. A panoramic novel with a riveting mystery at its heart, Stones Fall is a quest to discover how and why John Stone dies, falling out of a window at his London home.Chronologically, it moves backwardsfrom London in 1909 to Paris in 1890, and finally to Venice in 1867 and in the process the quest to uncover the truth plays out against the backdrop of the evolution of high-stakes international finance, Europes first great age of espionage, and the start of the twentieth centurys arms race.Like Fingerpost, Stones Fall is an intricately plotted and richly satisfying puzzlean erudite work of history and fiction that feels utterly true and oddly timelyand marks the triumphant return of one of the worlds great storytellers.From the Compact Disc edition.
A dark and disturbing tale set at the turn of the 20th century, by the bestselling author of An Instance of the Fingerpost.The windswept isle of Houat, off the coast of Brittany, is no picturesque artists' colony. At the turn of the twentieth century, life is harsh and rustic. So why did Henry MacAlpine forsake London - where he had been feted by critics and gallery owners, his works exhibited alongside the likes of Cezanne and Van Gogh - to make his home in this remote outpost?The truth begins to emerge when, four years into his exile, MacAlpine receives his first visitor. Influential art critic William Nasmyth has come to the island to sit for a portrait. Over the course of the sitting, the power balance between the two men shifts dramatically as the critic whose pen could anoint or destroy careers becomes a passive subject. And as the painter struggles to capture Nasmyth's true character on canvas, a story unfolds - one of betrayal, hypocrisy, forbidden love, suicide and ultimately murder.
Witty and clever art history-mystery featuring Jonathan Argyll, from the author of the bestselling masterpiece `An Instance of the Fingerpost'. General Bottando of Rome's Art Theft Squad is in trouble: his theory that a single master criminal, dubbed `Giotto', is behind a string of major art thefts has aroused the scorn of his arch enemy and rival, the bureaucrat Corrado Argan. He needs a result, and the confession of a dying woman may just provide the vital clue. In pursuit of the elusive Giotto, Bottando's colleague, Flavia di Stefano, sets off hotfoot for Florence, and English art dealer Jonathan Argyll is dispatched to London and then on to rural Norfolk - only to discover a body and a mystery which could lead to the greatest art find of his career...
Clever and witty art history-mystery featuring Jonathon Argyll, scholar and sleuth, from the bestselling author of `An Instance of the Fingerpost'. How do you resolve a scandalous kidnapping without paying the ransom or attracting any attention? It's not a question Flavia di Stefano, acting head of the Italian Art Theft Squad, would normally need to answer. Unfortunately, the Italian prime minister is asking it. As Flavia begins a desperate search for the Claude Lorrain landscape, snatched while on loan from the Louvre, her husband embarks on a rather more leisurely quest. Jonathan Argyll is keen to discover the provenance of a small Renaissance painting, titled The Immaculate Conception, as a favour to its owner. His enthusiasm wanes when the investigation brings him into unexpected danger. There's no turning back, though, and soon husband and wife are uncovering shocking secrets that will bring them into the path of some very dangerous enemies indeed...
First in the Italian art-history crime series featuring English dealer and sleuth Jonathan Argyll, from the author of the best-selling masterpiece 'An Instance of the Fingerpost'. Flavia di Stefano is the kind of Italian beauty that art dealer Jonathon Argyll doesn't normally get to meet in his line of work. But, it turns out, all he had to do was get caught breaking into one of Rome's churches - for Flavia is the Art Theft officer tasked with interviewing Jonathon. A strange way to meet, perhaps, but then Jonathon has an even stranger tale to tell. His claim that the church contains a lost classic, hidden under another painting, is treated with cautious scepticism. But when the picture first vanishes, then turns up in the hands of a British art dealer claiming it's a newly discovered Raphael, it's clear there's more to it than meets the eye. When vandalism is followed by murder, it's up to Jonathan and Flavia to discover just how much more - a quest for the true nature of a painting with a lethal history...
Dark, erudite and like An Instance of the Fingerpost, utterly compelling, The Dream of Scipio confirms Iain Pears as one of Britain's most imaginative novelists Set in Provence at three different critical moments of Western Civilisation - the collapse of the Roman Empire in the fifth century, the Black Death in the fourteenth, and the Second World War in the twentieth - The Dream of Scipio follows the fortunes of three men: Manlius Hippomanes, a Gallic aristocrat obsessed with the preservation of Roman civilisation, Olivier de Noyen, a poet, and Julien Barneuve, an intellectual who joins the Vichy government. The story of each man is woven through the narrative, linked by the classical text that gives the book its title, and by each man's love for an extraordinary woman. 'Irresistibly seizes the imagination' Evening Standard
Set in Oxford in the 1660s - a time and place of great intellectual, religious, scientific and political ferment - this remarkable novel centres around a young woman, Sarah Blundy, who stands accused of the murder of Robert Grove, a fellow of New College. Four witnesses describe the events surrounding his death: Marco da Cola, a Venetian Catholic intent on claiming credit for the invention of blood transfusion;Jack Prescott, the son of a supposed traitor to the Royalist cause, determined to vindicate his father; John Wallis, chief cryptographer to both Cromwell and Charles II, a mathematician, theologian and master spy; and Anthony Wood, the famous Oxford antiquary. Each one tells their version of what happened but only one reveals the extraordinary truth. Brilliantly written, utterly convincing, gripping from the first page to the last, An Instance of the Fingerpost is a magnificent tour de force.