4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lust for Stone
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...
Published on June 11 2004 by Z. Blume
3.0 out of 5 stars The Woe of Van Gogh
Irving Stone, a pioneer of the biographical fiction genre has produced a solid work. Depictions of Van Gogh's obsession with his art as well as depictions of the artistic personalities of the time including Toulouse-Latrec, Cezanne and Gaugin are flawless; the trite love affairs and his spiraling descent into madness are not as detailed or compelling. Still, if you love...
Published on Jan. 10 2002 by seanrahan
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lust for Stone,
This review is from: Lust for Life (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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Remarkable Story of Passion and Turmoil,
This review is from: Lust for Life (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.
5.0 out of 5 stars is art worth it,
This review is from: Lust for Life (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 .
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book,
This review is from: Lust for Life (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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense, wonderfully written,
This review is from: Lust for Life (Paperback)The book takes you to the level where one forgets being only a reader. Gogh lived a deep, intense life and the book does justice by bringing out his personality very well. Even the other characters are well written. After reading the book, the experience tinges on for weeks.
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read,
This review is from: Lust for Life (Paperback)I found this book to be very inspiring. Van Gogh's life makes the average person's everyday life seem completely bland and uninspired. With little to no support or guidance from the outside world save for the financial backing of his brother Theo, Vincent continued to pursue his craft of painting with unparalleled fervor. In short, there was nothing that would stop Van Gogh from doing what he had to do-paint. In his personal life, Vincent comes across as almost a christlike figure by exhibiting a profound and deap love for humanity. Coming into the book I had no appreciation for the complexity of Vincent's life. After having read the book I feel as if I am only drifting through life with little regard for the consequences. I have no idea how accurate a portrayal this is and really don't care. Regardless, the book is a great read.
2.0 out of 5 stars But it's not real,
By A Customer
This review is from: Lust for Life (Paperback)Though this fairly well-written book tells A story about the possibilities in the life of Vincent Van Gogh, it's not what actually happened. There are real events and words from the painter, but it's strung together in the writer's imagination. I was left feeling empty, missing a real connection to what might have motivated Vincent Van Gogh during his life. Readers are left without the means to consider Van Gogh's actual life because this is just one person's guess-though an educated one-as to what happened.
3.0 out of 5 stars The Woe of Van Gogh,
This review is from: Lust for Life (Paperback)Irving Stone, a pioneer of the biographical fiction genre has produced a solid work. Depictions of Van Gogh's obsession with his art as well as depictions of the artistic personalities of the time including Toulouse-Latrec, Cezanne and Gaugin are flawless; the trite love affairs and his spiraling descent into madness are not as detailed or compelling. Still, if you love the art world, I would recommend this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars The standard by which all Van Gogh biographies are measured.,
This review is from: Lust for Life (Paperback)Lust For Life, first penned by Irving Stone over 60 years ago, still stands out as the definitive biography of Van Gogh despite all the years that have since brought us new books on this man and his art.
One little-known fact about this book is that in researching it back then, Stone was able to interview people who were acquaintances of Van Gogh, including his red-headed friend in Auvers, Dr. Gachet, who also sat for several of his portraits. This alone adds an authenticity to this work which subsequent bios find it tough to equal.
Last summer I vacationed in France, and made a point of visiting several of Vincent's haunts, including Arles, St. Remy and Auvers. I will always remember the bittersweet sight of his grave on the lonely hill above Auvers where Vincent lies next to his beloved brother Theo. Having just read Lust For Life added immeasurably to my experience and understanding of the man and his remarkable, albeit brief, life.
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read,
This review is from: Lust for Life (Paperback)This was probably the most spellbinding book I've ever read. From the moment Vincent arrived at the Barinage, I became absored completely in the story of this man and couldn't put the book down. The 500 pages that span a 10 year period are dense with some of the best story telling I've seen, of a life that was truly fascinating.
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Lust for Life by Irving Stone (Paperback - Jan. 1 1981)
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