Run Amok books reached out to me to review Stealing the Scream by Theodore Carter. It is unlike anything I have read before.
Stealing the scream ushers us in with a robbery scene, consequently followed by introducing us to the life of Percival Davenport who resigns from being the CEO at a top firm to pursue other interest. Divorced with a child, Percival lived an uncanny life with his housekeeper, Lucinda.
Percival Davenport’s resignation gifts him the luxury of flexing his artistic side; painting. This artistic side of Percival also comes with a bad face. He moves to London, sold himself to painting, became enthralled with seeking validation from others, faces disappointment and eventually becomes obsessed with Edvard Munch’s painting; The Scream which later becomes his undoing.
Edvard Munch’s painting becomes a huge part of Percival’s life to the point that he decides to obtain it for himself when he identifies with it to the point of delusion.
Percival Davenport merges himself with The Scream, it became difficult to separate both of them. His relationship with the painting and others became psychological questionable.
While reading the book, I kept asking myself how I was going to review it. I knew what the book was about and I must say that as I turned a new page of the Stealing the Scream, it sunk me deeper than the last.
First, this book is an appraisal of art; painting in particular. I love paintings but just on the surface level, I could care less about the technicalities but Stealing the Scream highlights and extensively talks about art, painting, and artists. I felt this book was a love letter to art and I am grateful to the writer for my new found knowledge in art.
I must commend the writer for carefully writing about the technicalities of art which still made it enjoyable to those (like me) who know close to nothing about it.
At a point in the book, I felt that there were a lot of things going on in the book which were (sometimes) tiring to me. I understand that people are different with various personalities but I felt that Percival’s behaviour was becoming questionable and I was hoping to see psychological help being introduced at a point, which did not happen.
While reading the book, I paid attention to how Percival frequently traveled and it reminded of the privileges of having a passport that afforded the opportunity to travel easily without having to go through the hassle of terrific visa procedures and immigration issues.
In summary, Stealing the Scream is an intriguing book that appreciates art even till its smallest form.
SHOULD I READ?
Yes, I recommend this book for lovers of art, painting, art history and crime books. I think if you enjoy painting or art, you will connect with this book on a deeper level. However, even if you are not one of those I mentioned and you want to read something intriguing, read Stealing the scream. It is a 3.5/5 for me.
Title: Stealing the Scream
Author: Theodore Carter
Publisher: Run Amok Books
Source: Run Amok Books
Pages: 227 pages
Stealing the scream will be published in September 2019.
This book was sent by Run Amok books in exchange for an honest review.
In 2004, masked thieves stole Edvard Munch’s The Scream from an Oslo museum. Norwegian police recovered the painting two years later but never explained how or where they’d found it. This 70,000-word literary-leaning, humor-laced, crime novel Stealing The Scream tells what may have happened.
Retired CEO-turned-painter Percival Davenport’s criminality starts when, fueled by insecurity, he hires a whiskey-drinking thief to break into museums and hang his paintings. If Percival can pass off his art as museum-quality, he will know he’s attained mastery. The “donations” attract the attention of Leonard, a Smithsonian guard and amateur sleuth.
As Leonard begins collecting the unwanted paintings and searching for the artist, Percival’s studies intensify. He develops an obsession with Edvard Munch’s The Scream and steals it. When Leonard and law enforcement agents come knocking at Percival’s door, his Tell-Tale-Heart-like anxiety causes him to turn his mansion, and the famous painting, into a roiling inferno. This forces the police into creative means of art restoration.
Theodore Carter is the author of The Life Story of a Chilean Sea Blob and Other Matters of Importance (Queens Ferry Press, 2012), Frida Kahlo Sex Dreams and Other Unnerving Disruptions, and Stealing ‘The Scream’ (Run Amok Books, 2019).
His fiction runs the gamut from humor, to literary fiction, to horror. He’s appeared in several magazines and anthologies including The North American Review, Pank, Necessary Fiction, A capella Zoo, The Potomac Review, and Gargoyle.
His street art projects have garnered attention from several local news outlets including NBC4 Washington, Fox5 DC, and the Washington City Paper.
Carter lives just outside Washington, DC in Takoma Park, MD.