The Connoisseur

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What to expect

Acclaimed author Evan S. Connell sends us through the complete experience of a man initially intrigued and then enslaved by art: a curious interest, a rapt fixation, and the becoming of a connoisseur. The Connoisseur trails the evolution of Muhlbach, an insurance executive on a business trip in Taos, New Mexico, who develops an obsession with pre-Columbian figurines after meandering through a curio shop. Entranced yet bewildered by his sudden affinity for a little figurine, Muhlbach succumbs to his intrigue and, thirty dollars later, begins his journey as a connoisseur.

With superb delivery and subtle clarity, Connell allows us to see and feel Muhlbach’s emerging mania, with its impending tension and sudden exhilaration. He illustrates how a new fixation alters our lens on life and shapes our actions.

Critics Review

  • “Perhaps you won’t recognize—in yourself—middle-aged, conservative, really formal Mr. Muhlbach as readily as you did Mr. or Mrs. Bridge — he’s really the disembodiment of any obsession which can and often does overtake us at any time…He is last seen looking at a little hunchbacked dwarf in a window who expressionlessly returns his gaze, speculating on how dangerous is that little knowledge and how insidious that impulse to acquire...The Connoisseur is for fastidious others like him — a finely drawn, hooded entertainment which teases and appropriates the reader.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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