Celebrated for his playwriting, British author Michael Frayn has also written screenplays and several acclaimed novels. Headlong, a Booker Prize finalist, combines a heavy dose of humor with a fascinating glimpse into the world of priceless art. When Martin Clay and his art historian wife are asked to appraise the private collection of a loutish man, it is Martin, not his wife, who believes he has discovered a lost masterpiece from Dutch painter Bruegel. Keeping his thoughts closely guarded, he embarks on a fast-paced quest to confirm his suspicions. In an effort to swindle the painting away from its owner, Martin heads down a trail of lies and scams that has hilarious and unexpected results. Frayn's novel is both an entertaining, slapstick romp through one man's personal odyssey and a fascinating glimpse into the world of art history. Narrator Steven Crossley captures each moment of discovery without missing a beat through all of Martin's bumbling and scheming.
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"British playwright Michael Frayn's ability to set a scene is finely tuned, and he sets this stage for art historian Martin Clay's obsession with a lost Brueghel masterpiece. Stephen Crossley is our brilliant host, delivering a first-person reflection that is articulate, self-deprecating, sad, hilarious, and introspective. The story may offer more than most people want to know about fifteenth-century Dutch painting and culture, but students of art history will be enthralled. Crossley's performance is well worth the time as he masterfully balances the ludicrous scheme and its results with Frayn's astute writing. Crossley never lets the characterizations get away from him and delivers Frayn's amusing blend of satire. R.F.W. (c) AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine"
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