The painter

Peter Heller, 1959-

Sound recording - 2014

"Peter Heller, the celebrated author of the breakout best-seller The Dog Stars, returns with an achingly beautiful, wildly suspenseful second novel about an artist trying to outrun his past. Years ago, a well-known expressionist painter named Jim Stegner shot a man in a bar. The man lived, Jim served his time, and he has learned to live with the dark impulses that sometimes overtake him. Jim enjoys a quiet life in the valleys of Colorado. He works with a lovely model, he doesn't drink..., he goes fly fishing in the evenings. His paintings fetch excellent prices at a posh gallery in Santa Fe. He is--if he can admit it--almost happy. One day, driving down a dirt road, Jim sees a man beating a small horse. Jim leaps out of the truck, tackles the man, and bloodies his nose. The man is Dell, a cruel hunting outfitter notorious among locals. Jim cannot shake his rage over the little horse. The next night, under a full moon, telling himself he is just going night fishing, he returns to the creek where Dell has his camp and kills him. As Jim tries to come to terms with what he has done, he must evade the police, navigate his own conscience, and escape the members of Dell's clan set on revenge. And he paints the whole time; trying to make sense of his actions. Traveling from the rough adobe cottages and rivers of Colorado to the bright streets and galleries of Santa Fe, aching with grief and transcendent with beauty, The Painter is a story about art and love and violence, and using the remnants of hardship to create a rich life"--

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Location Call Number   Status
1st Floor FICTION ON DISC/Heller, Peter Checked In
New York, NY : Books on Tape p2014.
Physical Description
9 audio discs (approximately 11 hours, 30 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in
Main Author
Peter Heller, 1959- (-)
Other Authors
Mark Deakins (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Listeners will long remember narrator Deakins' subtle and haunting portrayal of a troubled, grief-ridden man desperate to find his moral center while overcoming his inner demons. Jim Stegner, a prominent painter whose outsider persona has only heightened his mystique, lives in self-imposed exile in rural Colorado. Deakins presents the flow of Stegner's inner narrative with an unvarnished raw immediacy. Conveying suppressed rage in one moment, shifting to luminous passion in the next, Deakins portrays the complex psychology of a man who murders in a moment of rage yet creates a masterpiece in a frenzy of artistic inspiration. The focus here is upon the author's gifted storytelling; Deakins' narration delivers a stream-of-consciousness range of emotions that never intrudes but rather draws the listener deep within Stegner's psyche. Deakins voices the external tension and suspense as Stegner flees retribution after killing a man—perhaps with justification—as finely tuned counterpoint, with a pace that engages and intensifies the audio experience. Deakins performed the memorable narration of Heller's literary postapocalyptic best-selling debut novel, The Dog Stars (2012), and fans of that engrossing tale will welcome this superb second pairing—a consummate match between authorial voice and audio interpretation. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

One of the most admired expressionist painters in the Southwest, Jim Stegner leads a private life divided by grief at the loss of his daughter, his passion for fishing, and a propensity for violence. The action of the story is initiated by Jim's encounter with a man abusing a horse, and it escalates as he is chased by brothers set on revenge. Mark Deakins's reading transports listeners to fishing spots and makes the brushstrokes of Stegner's paintings come alive. The female characters—his model, his holistic savior, and the imagined voice of his teenage daughter—are a grounded supporting cast in this memorable book. VERDICT Heller's title is especially rewarding for audiences who love adventure and art but also a very strong choice for general listeners. ["Difficult to define by genre, this novel embraces themes of personal loss and growth, drama and suspense, while also including plenty for those who enjoy art or nature fiction. Highly recommended," read the starred review of the Knopf hc, LJ 4/15/14.]—Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo [Page 35]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Struggling with dark impulses after serving time for attempted murder, a successful artist gives in to his obsessions to kill an abusive troublemaker before fleeing authorities and the man's vengeful clan.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Peter Heller, the celebrated author of the breakout best seller The Dog Stars, returns with an achingly beautiful, wildly suspenseful second novel about an artist trying to outrun his past. Jim Stegner has seen his share of violence and loss. Years ago he shot a man in a bar. His marriage disintegrated. He grieved the one thing he loved. In the wake of tragedy, Jim, a well-known expressionist painter, abandoned the art scene of Santa Fe to start fresh in the valleys of rural Colorado. Now he spends his days painting and fly-fishing, trying to find a way to live with the dark impulses that sometimes overtake him. He works with a lovely model. His paintings fetch excellent prices. But one afternoon, on a dirt road, Jim comes across a man beating a small horse, and a brutal encounter rips his quiet life wide open. Fleeing Colorado, chased by men set on retribution, Jim returns to New Mexico, tormented by his own relentless conscience. A stunning, savage novel of art and violence, love and grief, The Painter is the story of a man who longs to transcend the shadows in his heart, a man intent on using the losses he has suffered to create a meaningful life.