You can brood over the ethics later. ” Vaguely reminiscent of Patricia Highsmith ’ s The Talented Mr. Ripley but starring two much more sympathetic, and empathetic, protagonists, A Beautiful Crime follows a tense cat-and-mouse game in which readers are never sure who is deceiving who.Nick is a twenty-five year old from Ohio whose move to New York didn ’ t exactly result in a clearer notio of who he is or what he wants to do.
When Alex meets Clay, who is just two years older than him and from New York, sparks fly.
It just so happens that the person Clay hates most in the world fits the bill.In order for their plan to succeed they go to Venice since it is where Richard Forsyth West, aka their mark, is currently staying.Christopher Bollen maintains a taut tension throughout the course of his storytelling.
Time and time again, in both New York and Venice, Nick and Clay wrestle with their morals as well as their greed, ambition, love, and any personal vendettas they may or may not harbour.
Although both Nick and Clay view Venice through the lips of an outsider, the Venetians we encounter along the ay, from Daniela to Battista, give us an insight of the ‘ real ’ Venice. “ What would Venice be like without any Venetians living in it?
There were only fifty-three thousand of these rare humans left, and the number was shrinking by a thousand each year. ” Venice is much ore than the glamorous backdrop to Nick and Clay con as in many ways it plays a central role in the tale.
At times it was usefu to discern whether someone 's intentions were good or bad which made the story all the more compelling. “ These monsters, Nick thought, and at the same exact moment, These wonderful people. ” Bollen does a errific job in rendering the ‘ artsy ’ community of Venice and of giving us an amusing impression of the ‘ inglese italianato ’ ( or perhaps in this case the Americano italianato/the Italianised American) those types of art and cultural enthusiasts who like to play at being intellectual.I also appreciated the novel ’ s engagement with issues such as racism ( Clay is black), class, and rivilege.
Bollon not only captures Venice but he also mentions the Venice-Mestre dynamic.Bollon 's engaging prose offers plenty of amusing descriptions ( “ the silent brag of an attractive companion ”), easily renders a beautiful landscape, and provides thoughtful character studies.
Through striking depictions of love, friendships, and, of course, Venice A Beautiful Crime is a thrilling read.Some of my favorit quotes “ He believed in friendliness the same way he believed in his youth: he thought both could save him.