Monday, 22 April 2013

The Studio Game by Peter Burnett

Review by The Mole

Liska is a young artist with her future mapped out. She will produce 58 paintings that will constitute 1 single work and they will be seen as a single work and viewed in a specific configuration. The trouble is that she believes that selling art is wrong and it will destroy the art. She also believes that people looking at art is wrong and destroys any  pieces that people see. So what after she has finished the last piece, what then? Then she will die, by her own hand. This is her future. Guy, her lover, doesn't disagree and together they leave their collected works, with very specific instructions on it's future, and catch a ferry where they intend to leap into the sea and thus end their lives. Unfortunately Guy can't go through with it and when he returns to Aberdeen he finds that Liska's instructions have been totally ignored, her work split up and sold for very large sums of money. Haunted by guilt for his lover alone in the watery depths and anger at the way Liska's work has been treated means he has to do something - but is he really capable of doing anything?

While I found I couldn't put this book down I also found it relatively slow to read because it was very thought provoking. Many of the arguments the author put forward I had already thought about and he gave much more reason to think on those and other aspects of the art world.

The idea of suicide is always one that will be controversial but here it is an accepted 'is' - I didn't understand the feelings behind it so couldn't argue against it and it just becomes an accepted part of the story. But one of the biggest underlying themes has to be Guy's guilt at not joining Liska and the only reason he has that guilt is because he is so in love with her and therefore this is a love story and about how it is tearing Guy up.

An extremely well told story that is difficult to classify as any one thing except as literary. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it left a big impression on me.

Publisher - Fledgling Press
Genre - Literary Fiction 

Buy The Studio Game from Amazon

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