Date: January 2010

Duration: 18 hours 0 minutes


Psychiatrist Andrew Marlow, devoted to his profession and the painting hobby he loves, has a solitary but ordered life. When renowned painter Robert Oliver attacks a canvas in the National Gallery of Art and becomes his patient, Marlow finds that order destroyed. Desperate to understand the secret that torments the genius, he embarks on a journey that leads him into the lives of the women closest to Oliver and a tragedy at the heart of French Impressionism.

Kostova's masterful new novel travels from American cities to the coast of Normandy, from the late 19th century to the late 20th, from young love to last love. The Swan Theives is a story of obsession, history's losses, and the power of art to preserve human hope.


  • Anonymous

    This wasn't the greatest book in the world by any means but I kept going back to it... As long as the story is, you would think these would be characters that you would start relating to and feeling something for but that just wasn't the case. Not exactly sure why I didn't stop listening to it. It was a bit boring and a little confusing but at least it was all explained in the end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Marsha Scanlan

    I really enjoyed this book. Very unusual plot which kept me transfixed.

  • Anonymous

    The male narrator was very boring. His voice drove me nuts

  • Victoria Beaumont

    I do love this aurthor. Although the story wasnt what i expected. Its a story about piecing togetger the psychotic delusion and mental break down of a painter through the women in his life and his psychiatrist. It did feel pretty romatized seeing the point of veiw of the women. And the historical second story took a long time to coinside with the ongoing one. But it was good especially for an artist and psychology enthusist. It just had more of an everyday tone to it.

  • Sharon

    Story seemed a bit drawn out; however I enjoyed how the author spun the events of two timeperiods together. The author explains the events of a earlier time with different characters and successfully intertwines them with the actions of characters today. She does a good of this; this is the second book I've listened by this author.

  • Anonymous

    This story kept me engrossed, but I'm not sure that I ever really got the answers to the burning questions that loomed throughout the story. I enjoyed the narration. Not a bad read.

  • Anonymous

    This story was too long for what it had to tell. I think it would have made a good short story or a much shorter novel. It had a good start, but then it never got more interesting.

  • Gwen

    If you are an artist you will enjoy this book. It covers many types of paintings and is a good review of the many styles of the century. The characters are interesting, but there is little plot.

  • Anonymous

    This book is simply awful. The reviews on this website are biased in favor of the author. Go to and read the numerous reviews posted there for more objectivity. The characters are insecure, boring and downright whiny - none of them are very interesting. The main character is never developed. He is a talented artist who has a physical presence that's about the development of his character. The present day female characters are whiny and insecure. In one passage a character vomits repeatedly for no apparent reason and this passes for action in this novel. In another passage a character compares bodily fluids to the stages of life. As if the present day characters were not bad enough; there is subplot that features characters from the 1800s. Ironically this story line has more action than the present day story line. The author is a master of description. She will describe minute details ad nauseum.The book is too heavy on description and too light on action.

  • K.Nelson

    What a journey!!! This novel took me through so many twists an turns and I loved every minute of it!! It's wonderful, but, I must warn the reader, you won't want to take a break from it!!!

  • Anonymous

    A thoroughly enjoyable book that has stayed with me days after I finished listening to it. The multiple performers enhanced the wonderful characters. The story is told by Marlow, the psychiatrist, intertwined with voices from Marlow's patient, the brilliant and troubled artist, the artist's ex-wife and ex-lover, as well as artists from the 19th century through their letters. The present dialogue and that from the 1870's is masterfully woven together into a compelling mystery and love story. It's a well-done book about art, passion, human needs and failings.

  • Seaweed

    I had such high hopes for this one. A good meaty book, many hours on CD (which I love since I spend about 12 hours a week in my car). Art, artists, Impressionism, ghosts, what wasn't to like? Well, the plodding pace for one. I ended up feeling absolute hatred for the main characters, all those that lived in the present. I was really annoyed that the book never explains how Robert becomes obsessed with Beatrice in the first place. Big gap, in my opinion. His character was central, but so under-developed.

  • Erin H

    This was my first read by Elizabeth Kostova, and I look forward to enjoying more of her work. The story crosses seemlessly between the Victorian era and present day, as well as between narrators. The transitions were smooth, and as the story moved from one perspective to the next, I found myself reluctant to leave each one, only to become engrossed in the next. Each voice is unique and distinct, but moving between them is not jarring. I was glad the book was as long as it was - I was reluctant to see it end. This was not an edge-of-your-seat thriller, but rather a work that draws you in to a different world.

  • Anonymous

    Elisabeth Kostova has written another wonderful tale.

Swan Thieves

by Elizabeth Kostova

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Swan Thieves, Elizabeth Kostova
Swan Thieves, Elizabeth Kostova
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This title is due for release on January 12, 2010
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