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Lust for Life Paperback – Jan 1 1981


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; 50th edition (Jan. 1 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452262496
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452262492
  • Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 13.5 x 3.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #47,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
VICE-ADMIRAL JOHANNES VAN GOGH, highest ranking officer in the Dutch Navy, stood on the stoep of his roomy, rent-free residence at the rear of the Navy Yard. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

By Claudette Hamel on Feb. 6 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book over thirty years ago and remebered that I just loved it.... so because I just painted two of Van Gogh's paintings (paint bty number kits) I wanted to read Lust For Life again and enjoyed it as much as the first time.... Irving Stone does so much research for us readers so that we can take a course in art by reading his work.... I've read almost all his books and eventhough it was so many years ago..... the joy of remembering is still fresh in my heart.... Thank you Mr Stone.... Clo from Beauce in Canada
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Z. Blume on June 11 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a beautiful novel. It is extremely well written, the story flows smoothly and the characters are all life like. Of course, it is a biographocal novel, so most of the events and characters are drawn from real life, which makes the task of creating the story easier, but Stone breathes incredible vitality into Van Gogh and those surrounding him. It would be hard to recreate van Gogh's intensity and passion (as well as his descent into madness), but Stone does an admirable job of it. Also, through incredible research Stone takes the reader to the settings of many of Van Gogh's landscapes and introduces many of the subjects of his portraits, which helps someone as ignorant about art as me understand his vision and motivations. I don't see a problem with Stone making up dialogue and some of the scenes in the book, because they make it a richer story and even in authentic biographies, no one has perfect recall of exactly what took place.
I would say this book is not as good as The Agony and The Ecstacy, which is an absolute must read for anyone, but it is a brilliant novel and I will recommend it to everyone, even if you know nothing about art or no particular interest in Van Gogh. You will not be disappointed after reading this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on July 7 2008
Format: Paperback
Irving Stone is one rare biographers who captures the essence of an artist's efforts to discover his or her real talents in life. In this case, it is the tribulations and triumphs of Vincent Van Gogh which come under the microscope of literary analysis. The story Stone weaves follows the all-too brief life of Van Gogh in mid-19th century Holland as he tries to become the artist that nobody wants him to be: creative, daring, assertive, original and, above all else, true to his own sensibilities. The reader, when embarking on this story, should be aware that Van Gogh is one uneasy character right from the getgo. His tortured mind reveals a classic disposition of wanting to please others before looking after his own personal needs. There were many moments, especially in the earlier parts of his life, when Van Gogh tried to conform to the social and religious mores of his family and community but failed because there was always a little part that held out. Stone spends considerable time defining the intrinsic aspect of Vans Gogh's life - his stubborn artistic temperament - that refused to yield to parental and societal expectations. The story is written in such engagingly casual prose that the reader should have little problem traveling along with Van Gogh as he atttempts to find the medium that would best represent his portrayal of life's mysterious forms. But don't be deceived; there will be moments of high drama and frustration facing the man as he decides to venture further out into realms untested. How mad, or disconnected from reality, does Van Gogh become in this journey? Stone allows the reader a certain latitude in answering that one. A marvelous read that has the potential to raise all kinds of issues as to how modern society tolerates the artists and their various styles of expression.
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By scott on June 1 2004
Format: Paperback
I was skeptical of the biographical novel, was it going to be cheap Hollywood style melodrama with graphic descriptions of Van Gogh's ear mutilation. No, it was a brilliant book, which illustrated the price for great art better than any book i have ever read. Van Gogh paid a heavy price indeed, his sanity, a normal life , and ultimately his life. It was his passion, his manic passion to create, not to imitate, that fueled his artistic genius. But what was it that inspired his passion to express his true feelings, celebrity, no, money, no he was indifferent ( though a serious sponge) , no it was alienation from the society, rejection by women, perhaps underlying his suffering a deep sense of emptiness. it was this emptiness that ignited his unquenchable passion to create, to express his perception of the world. However, when he had lost his passion for art, he was forced to reencounter his own emptiness, and as you will see, he could not handle this reality.
This book is well written, though at times unrelentlessly depressing, you wait for some small good thing to happen and it never does, or rarely does. You also get a good impression, no pun intended as to how Impressionism was quite a revolutionary art form, ( though now its sadly becoming cliche and yuppiesaque)it avoids technicality while giving a good description of what Impressionism was or i suppose is.
This book left me in tears, and i think anyone would enjoy reading this book .
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By Monamigabi on Feb. 28 2004
Format: Paperback
A masterpiece by Irving Stone. You admire this book more if you have seen van Gogh's paintings. But I really wonder, does this book truly depicts van Gogh's life? It seems to me that Irving Stone has romanticized van Gogh's life. His life might have been as dull as mine or yours. But Irving Stone's presentation has made a whole lot of difference. This is an amazing book, inspiring and I feel one can relate to this very easily.
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