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THE BLUE HORSE PHILIP MILLER

March 30, 2015

9781910449042

THE BLUE HORSE PHILIP MILLER

I loved the way Philip Miller told this story. He clearly has a gift for telling a story in simply art form. Readers can tell from the way Philip writes he is full of ambition with descriptions from page to page.

A HIGHLY ATMOSPHERTIC, UNSETTLING LITERARY NOIR ABOUT PAIN, LOSS AND RECOVERY SET IN THE CONTEMPORARY ART WORLD.

Recently bereaved, George Newhouse, is an art historian and newly appointed curator at the National Gallery who becomes increasingly obsessed with a lost minor Dutch masterpiece, The Blue Horse by Van Doelenstraat. The mysterious painting’s provenance is disputed and many doubt its existence at all. But Newhouse has uncovered a letter by Rembrandt where the master states, ‘That damned painting vexes my mind’s eye’.

As Newhouse struggles with his grief, his grip of reality slowly loosening, he embarks on surreal journey of loss and self-discovery, fuelled by alcohol, drugs and self-destructive behaviour. As the lines between reality and imagination blur, will George lose himself in his obsession or return from the brink of destruction in time?

Highly atmospheric and exploiting many of the tropes of art appreciation, this is a compelling literary noir and remarkable debut by one of Scotland’s leading art correspondents. ‘There were times in Philip Miller’s The Blue Horse when I had to look away from the twilight art world his lyrical prose so effectively eviscerates. There is a tremendous sense of darkness here. And yet his strength as a storyteller, his ability to create multiple narratives of greed and grief; of blurred desire, pulled me back. There is an intoxication about this writing, a narcotic lure to its descriptions of ambition and decline but it never strays far from the simple art of a good story well told.’ Tony Davidson, author of Scar Culture and My Gun Was As Tall As Me. ‘I was disturbed…interesting and convincing.’ Alasdair Gray

 

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