The Center of the World by Thomas van Essen

Center_of_the_WorldThis is a multi-voiced audiobook:

Alternating between 19th century Europe and present-day New England, the narrative follows the great British painter J. M. W. Turner and his scene of artists, intellectuals, and lovers; and Henry, a middle-aged family man whose otherwise mundane existence is disrupted by the discovery of The Center of the World, Turner’s controversial painting of Helen of Troy that had been thought to be lost forever.

This transcendently beautiful painting was so erotic that it was hidden away and supposedly destroyed … until Henry happens to stumble upon it while vacationing at his summer home in the Adirondacks. Now in possession of an object of unimaginable value, Henry finds himself torn between wanting to sell the work and keeping something of beauty in his life. Returning to the 19th century, the reader follows the creation of the painting and learns more about Turner’s beliefs, technique, manner, and indecorous affairs. Filled with sex, beauty, and love (of all kinds), this novel explores the ever-evolving role of art in our lives.

About Simon

Simon is an actor who found his way into audiobook narrating as a side-gig and seems to have made a success of it. With some training as an actor as a child (just a couple of hours a week, but it stuck) and 15 years working inside the BBC (ending up as one of the presenters/newsreaders on BBC Radio 4 in London) he found the ideal combination for an audiobook narrator. Found his way to California two decades ago and never left.

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2 Responses to The Center of the World by Thomas van Essen

  1. Jan (The Montrose, Houston, Tx) May 6, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

    My cat Lucy, who loves your voice, is in need of a good listen. I sent you a picture of her moons ago. She still prefers your voice. I think I will choose “The Times of Fading Light” for her.

    Thanks for all your suggestions!

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