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Lust for Life Paperback – Jun 1 1984

4.8 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; 50th Anniversary ed. edition (June 1 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452262496
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452262492
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 3.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #83,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Irving Stone was born in San Francisco on July 14, 1903. He wrote several books in a genre that he coined the “biographical novel,” which recounted the lives of well-known historical figures. In these novels, Stone interspersed biography with fictional narrative on the psychology and private lives of his subjects. He also wrote biographies of Clarence Darrow and Earl Warren, and short biographies of men who lost presidential elections. He died on August 26, 1989.


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback
The accomplishment refers to the writing of Irving Stone. Starting from the collected letters Vincent sent to his younger brother Theo during his life, Stone does something very good: he writes a fictionalized biography without, at the same time, tampering with history. This is a novel as much as a biography. Stone invents dialogues, but they do not become fantasy. Anyway, the book is really moving, I read it 18 years ago and I still remember details of it, much more than some books I read last year. The most important thing about this book is that you get to be inside a great artist's life, being witness to his transformation, from a troubled but well-to-do art merchant (his uncles were among the most important in Europe, his father being a religious man), to his stay at the Netherlands trying to find his soul, to Belgium living in the midst of the terrible poverty of the coal-mine workers (and starting to draw), to Paris, where he dives into artistic life, learning very much in the way; to Arles and days with Gauguin, where his mind starts to go astray, to Auvers. [...] this book is very good indeed. Give it a try and you'll find a life you'll never forget.
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