The Italian Teacher

The Italian Teacher

Book - 2018
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"A masterful novel that moves from Roman apartments to SoHo galleries to the South of France and tells the story of the son of a great painter striving to create his own legacy, by the bestselling author of THE IMPERFECTIONISTS. Rome, 1955. The artists gather for a picture at a party in an ancient villa. Bear Bavinsky, creator of vast canvases, larger than life, is at the centre of the picture. His wife, Natalie, edges out of the shot. From the side of the room watches little Pinch - their son. At five years old he loves Bear almost as much as he fears him. After Bear abandons their family, Pinch will still worship him, striving to live up to the Bavinsky name; while Natalie, a ceramicist, cannot hope to be more than a forgotten muse. Trying to burn brightly in his father's shadow, Pinch's attempts flicker and die. Yet by the end of a career of twists and compromises, Pinch will enact an unexpected rebellion that will leave forever his mark upon the Bear Bavinsky legacy. A masterful, original examination of love, duty, art and fame, The Italian Teacher cements Tom Rachman as among this generation's most exciting literary voices"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, [2018]
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780735222694
073522269X
Branch Call Number: FIC RACHMAN
Characteristics: 341 pages ; 24 cm

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MARTHA C BENNER
Sep 20, 2018

Could not get into this one at all. I kept trying but it seemed weird to me or I am missing something.

suzannethomas Jul 23, 2018

Not knowing this author, I was attracted to this book by its description; a story about art, artists, art critics -and it didn’t disappoint! But it’s also a morality tale about fame and family, the power of art and perils of progeny.

VaughanPLAlyssia May 27, 2018

I’m of two minds about this book, because I loved the first three quarters or so but found it went in a weird and, quite frankly, boring direction towards the end. I don’t know how it happened so quickly. I think it’s because Pinch becomes more isolated, and I just don’t find him a compelling character on his own. He’s a man who’s never grown out of father’s shadow; all of his self-identity is tied to his relationship with his father. As Pinch gets older it becomes harder to root for him when he is still so dependent. But aside from that, I greatly enjoyed most of this novel. I’m a sucker for books about artists, and I won’t lie and say I wasn’t drawn to this book by its gorgeous cover. Tom Rachman’s writing is perfunctory (no frills) but his characters (aside from Pinch) are all vivid, from Bear to Natalie to Pinch’s friends in Toronto. He also really brings to life a sense of place, particularly the segment in Rome.

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KSpaulding
May 23, 2018

Is the Art great enough to forgive the artist his trespasses? Should a person earn respect as a human being before deserving attention for his work? Bold, handsome, charismatic, Bear Bavinsky is the Sun, the Moon and the Stars to his son. Unfortunately, the Great Man not only is not so great, he does not deserve the love and support, nor the time, energy and oxygen that his acolytes sacrifice to make his life easy. You feel sorry for Pinch Bavinsky, empathize with his blindness to his father’s flaws, and become angry and frustrated with him for being so dismissive of the kindness and goodness of the other people in his life. We are all lacking in perception from time to time, sometimes fatally so. In Pinch’s case, he could easily live a lifetime of fear and furtiveness, ashamed of his own talent and unable to express himself freely. Will he survive? With humor and compassion, Rachman’s novel delves into the power of the forceful creative personality, the rules of family loyalty, and forgiveness it takes to be true to yourself at last.

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ownedbydoxies
May 22, 2018

This one really grew on me. The main character, Pinch, seemed so almost cartoonishly unsure, hesitant and mistrustful of not only others, but himself, that I almost put the book down for good. But I found that his story then echoed with me and I had to see how it finally resolved itself. A good book. Involves interesting questions about art and what makes great art: is it talent alone or does personality and confidence mean almost as much?

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