The Swan Thieves

Version: Unabridged
Author: Elizabeth Kostova
Narrator: Anne Heche , Treat Williams
Genres: Fiction & Literature, Suspense
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Published In: November 2010
# of Units: 17 CDs
Length: 17 hours
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Psychiatrist Andrew Marlowe has a perfectly ordered life--solitary, perhaps, but full of devotion to his profession and the painting hobby he loves. This order is destroyed when renowned painter Robert Oliver attacks a canvas in the National Gallery of Art and becomes his patient. In response, Marlowe finds himself going beyond his own legal and ethical boundaries to understand the secret that torments this genius, a journey that will lead him into the lives of the women closest to Robert Oliver and toward a tragedy at the heart of French Impressionism.

Ranging from American museums to the coast of Normandy, from the late nineteenth century to the late twentieth, from young love to last love, THE SWAN THIEVES is a story of obsession, the losses of history, and the power of art to preserve human hope.

Reviews (14)

Written by Marsha Scanlan on August 13th, 2016

  • Book Rating: 5/5

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

Not very good

Written by Anonymous from Cotati, CA on August 1st, 2014

  • Book Rating: 2/5

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

Written by Victoria Beaumont on January 12th, 2014

  • Book Rating: 4/5

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.

Two world collide

Written by Sharon from Piscataway, NJ on November 7th, 2013

  • Book Rating: 4/5

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.

The Swan Theives

Written by Anonymous from Kansas City, MO on February 11th, 2013

  • Book Rating: 4/5

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.

Long with little payoff

Written by Anonymous on December 17th, 2012

  • Book Rating: 2/5

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.

I kept going back

Written by Anonymous on February 22nd, 2012

  • Book Rating: 3/5

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.

Artist will like this

Written by Gwen on October 23rd, 2011

  • Book Rating: 4/5

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.

Pass on this title

Written by Anonymous on May 29th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 1/5

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.


Written by K.Nelson from Sweetwater, TN on March 19th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 5/5

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!!!

Author Details

Author Details

Kostova, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Kostova graduated from Yale and holds an MFA from the University of Michigan, where she won the Hopwood Award for Novel-in-Progress for The Historian.