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Breakfast at Sotheby's


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Comic, revealing, piquant, splendid and absurd, Breakfast at Sotheby's is a book of pleasure and intelligent observation.

About the Author

Philip Hook is a director and senior paintings specialist at Sotheby's. He has worked in the art world for thirty-five years, during which time he has also been a director of Christie's and an international art dealer. He is the author of five novels and two works of art history, including The Ultimate Trophy, a history of the Impressionist Painting. Hook has appeared regularly on television, from 1978-2003 on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow.


Hook's view of the art world is that of the professional auctioneer. In an A-Z format, it is an entire art education contained in under 350 pages. Wry, dry and completely beguiling -- William Boyd * Guardian, Books of the Year 2013 *
An auctioneer's alphabet of quirky reflections and off-beat lists such as 'middle-brow artists' and 'fictional artists': an ideal volume for the art-lover's bedside -- Martin Gayford * Spectator, Books of the Year *
How to nail the mad, bad, crazy contemporary art world in print? Sotheby's senior director Hook draws on 35 years' experience in this informal memoir. He unravels, with humour, piquancy and erudition, what drives the economics of taste * Financial Times, Books of the Year *
It's very hard to write an amusing book about art that has some serious things to say. But Philip Hook has done it. It's more a kind of Lonely Planet guide, written from the perspective of an auctioneer. In places it's a hoot, but it's also very wise here and there, and refreshingly irreverent. Sir William Russell Flint, for example, "painted like Augustus John commissioned by Playboy magazine" * Sunday Times, Books of the Year *
Reading it is like participating in a hugely enjoyable personal tutorial given by a cultured, witty, clear-eyed, world teacher with a fully functioning sense of humour. A real delight -- William Boyd * Spectator *

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