Book 14: The Detour by Andromeda Romano-Lax

It is no secret that Hitler was a fan of art. His personal collection is said to have included nearly 5,000 works of art. Some of the pieces were acquired via not-so-legal means. Author Andromeda Romano-Lax wrote of one such fictional instance in her 2012 novel The Detour, the second most expertly-crafted novel I have read this year (second to this novel).

The story followers Ernst Vogler, a young art historian who was given the task of traveling to Italy to acquire Discobolus, or, “The Disc Thrower”. Italians were enraged that their government would permit the sale of such a masterpiece, and Ernst was told to work under the strictest of timelines, or his safety could not be promised. Very quickly Ernst realizes that he is not working with the most capable of men, and that his fellow collectors and sellers are not who they claim to be. This is a novel of mystery, romance, friendship, and family…all for good and for bad.

I flew through this novel and did not write down memorable passages, but I can promise you that this book is full of lines worth reading twice, or even three times. Furthermore, I am not sure how much of the history is real vice fiction, so I am soliciting for recommendations on Hitler’s art collecting in an attempt to decipher between fact and fiction. For example, the author called Hitler’s art collecting project Sonderprojekt but I found nothing under that title. What I did find was the name “Linz Collection”. I will read into that. I stumbled upon this article from the Huffington Post as well; apparently someone found 16 Hitler-owned paintings in the Czech Republic.

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