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Bouquet of Flowers in a Vase, by Van Gogh [Kindle Edition]

Douglas Smith
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Book Description

Aurora Award Finalist story from a multi-award winning author
Maroch, an expert in remote viewing and an ex-agent of the 'Company,' reluctantly agrees to coach a beautiful young woman "viewer," who bears an uncanny resemblance to his dead wife, in a scheme to locate lost paintings by Vincent van Gogh, setting off a chain of events that may alter the past and destroy both their lives.

Editorial Reviews


Aurora Award Finalist story from a multi-award winning author.
"Doug Smith is, quite simply, the finest short-story writer Canada has ever produced in the science fiction and fantasy genres, and he's also the most prolific. His stories are a treasure trove of riches that will touch your heart while making you think." --Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Hominids and FlashForward
"A great storyteller with a gifted and individual voice." --Charles de Lint
"One of Canada's most original writers of speculative fiction." --Library Journal
"One of the best and most moving novellas I have read. Haunting and evocative... Just astounding." --Fantasy Book Critic
"An important story, a story that matters, and I hope that many, many people will read it. ... A beautifully written, brilliantly crafted story in which Smith raises the bar even higher than his previous works. Doug's characteristic vivid settings and compelling characters are present, driven, as always, by love, and by a mystery which keeps the pages turning as the reader is drawn ever deeper. ... Don't miss this one!" --Rainbow Dragon Recommends
"The revolution of themes and words is very fluid throughout this story, making the pace almost rhythmic, drawing you along... The ending is a perfect resolution of the paradox of backward time travel." --SF Crowsnest Book Reviews
"Right up to the story's surprising conclusion, Smith keeps his readers guessing ... It's an ending that shouldn't work but somehow does, and it's a testament to the writer's skill that their fate seems entirely fitting." --The Fix

About the Author

Douglas Smith is an award-winning author of speculative fiction, with over a million words of fiction sold and over a hundred and fifty story publications in thirty countries and two dozen languages.

He has published three short story collections: Chimerascope (ChiZine Publications, Canada, 2010),Impossibilia, (PS Publishing, UK, 2008), and La Danse des Esprits (Dreampress, France, 2011).

Doug has twice won Canada's Aurora Award for speculative fiction, and have been a finalist for the international John W. Campbell Award, the Canadian Broadcast Corporation's Bookies Award, Canada's juried Sunburst Award, and France's juried Prix Masterton and Prix Bob Morane
His website is and he tweets at

Product Details

  • File Size: 3041 KB
  • Print Length: 59 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Lucky Bat Books (May 3, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004Z88OMY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #464,519 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This one needs a Sixth star August 5, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a story about love - both healthy and unhealthy. It is a 'time travel' fantasy revolving around the art and life of Vincent Van Gogh. I had a little trouble understanding the story at first since it starts in the middle, with flashbacks explaining the background. Still, thinking back over the story as a whole after I finished, I see that this format was the best way to tell this story. The story deals (briefly) with some painful topics including the death of a spouse, incest, and suicide. Despite this, the ending is a happy one. I simply loved it. Apparently this author has written dozens of short stories. I can't wait to go out and find them.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Somber but interesting and very well written August 7, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The only woman Maroch has loved since the death of his wife lies dead on the museum's floor at the foot of Van Gogh's last painting. A Van Gogh painting that the museum's Director can't remember seeing before hangs on the museum's wall. Maroch takes in the scene as his deceased wife comments on it in his mind, or is she only his imagination?

"There is pain in beauty," his wife said. As Maroch reviews the events that led to this day, we see that pain. It is reflected in Van Gogh's disturbingly beautiful paintings and in the lives of the characters as they embark on a remote viewing project to find an as yet undiscovered work by the artist.

This is a paranormal love story in which the mysteries of the mind parallel the mysteries of the action. Each tantalizing clue brings the past into clearer focus and leads Maroch closer to a surprising solution.

The book is somber until the ending, unlike what I normally enjoy reading, but I appreciated Douglas Smith's insight and truly masterful execution of the plot. I wholeheartedly rate Bouquet of Flowers in a Vase, by Van Gogh, 5 stars. Included are excerpts from many of Smith's other stories, some of which sound equally enticing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful and troubled story August 7, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It is stories like this one that move readers to set their sights on good writing and higher standards. "Bouquet of Flowers in a Vase, by Van Gogh" by Douglas Smith is a very well-written and quite a lovely story about a man named Maroch, a woman named Laure, Maroch's wife Elise, and a businessman called Karsh. Karch makes a deal with Maroch that he will find a viewer, a person who can look at a piece of art, for example, and someone like Maroch will guide that person back in time to see the painting and where it was originally painted and where it is located now, if that information isn't known. Karsh knows that there are several Van Goghs that exist, but are not in museums anywhere and he would like to find them, because there is a lot of money in such a discovery.

Karsh knows that Laure is an excellent viewer and that she is obsessed with Vincent van Gogh. She prefers to go to the places where he painted, and so Karsh, Maroch and Laure go to Auvers, France where van Gogh did the last of his paintings and where he also killed himself. He is buried there as well. As Maroch thinks over things, including the death of his wife, Elise, he hears her voice in his mind giving comment on just about everything. She still seems to be with him. Mardoch is also falling in love with Laure, who is French-Canadian and has a police record in Canada. She is a very broken person, and so is Mardoch, and in their own ways, they help each other and fall into a love relationship that is very tender, but fragile.

The story starts at nearly the end, then goes back to the beginning as Mardoch is trying to get out of making the deal with Karsh to go along with Laure as the viewer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I remember this one September 18, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I got and read this story when it first came out. That was several weeks ago.

If I had rated it immediately, it would have recieved 4 stars. I read quite a lot, and view most books as being the print equivalent of TV -- interesting enough at the time, but not memorable.

To my surprise, I remember this one. I see the title and know exactly what the plot was, most of the details, and my reactions to the characters. That makes the story worth 5 stars to me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars art/mystery/romance August 7, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
douglas smith has written an engrossing book. i cannot believe that it is a kindle freebie.maroch and laure/elise make an interesting story. the van gogh vase of fliwers painting is a favorite of mine.
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More About the Author

"His stories are a treasure trove of riches that will touch your heart while making you think." --Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Hominids and FlashForward

"One of Canada's most original writers of speculative fiction." --Library Journal

"A great storyteller with a gifted and individual voice." --Charles de Lint

Hi! I'm an award-winning Canadian author of fantasy, SF, horror, supernatural, and the ever popular "undefinable", with over a hundred story sales in thirty countries and twenty-five languages around the world.

I have won Canada's Aurora Award for speculative fiction three times (most recently in 2013), and have been a finalist for the international John W. Campbell Award, Canada's juried Sunburst Award, the CBC Bookies award, and France's juried Prix Masterton and Prix Bob Morane. I've been an Aurora finalist nineteen times and have several honourable mentions in The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror.

My book length works include:

THE WOLF AT THE END OF THE WORLD (Lucky Bat Books, 2013) - Urban fantasy novel

CHIMERASCOPE (ChiZine, 2010) - Collection - Finalist for the Sunburst Award, Aurora Award, and CBC Bookies Award

IMPOSSIBILIA (PS Publishing, 2008) - Collection - Finalist for the Aurora Award

LA DANSE DES ESPRITS (Dreampress, 2011) - Collection - Finalist for France's Prix Masterton and Prix Bob Morane

In 2010, an independent film producer released a multi-award winning short film based on my story "By Her Hand, She Draws You Down." Films based on my stories "A State of Disorder" and "Memories of the Dead Man" are also in the works.

Twitter: smithwrtr


"Smith's writing, evocative yet understated, gracefully brings to life his imagined realms." -- Quill and Quire *Starred Review*

"Smith paints his worlds so well that you are transported within a paragraph or two and remain in transit until the story ends." --Broken Pencil, The Magazine of Zine Culture and the Independent Arts

"Echoes of Stephen King, Richard Matheson, and Clive Barker haunt the halls of Smith's work, but the end result is completely original, and always enthralling." --Cory Redekop

"Douglas Smith is an extraordinary author whom every lover of quality speculative fiction should read." --Fantasy Book Critic

"Smith is definitely an author who deserves to be more widely read." --Strange Horizons

"I've yet to read a work of his that wasn't beautifully written, but more than that, his stories resonate with a deep understanding of the human condition as well as a characteristic wry wonder... Stories you can't forget, even years later." --Julie Czerneda, award-winning author and editor

"An ambitious and adventurous new writer." --Gardner Dozois, author and editor

"Smith is a master of beginnings ... some of the most well-crafted hooks you'll find anywhere: deft introductions to the characters and their not-quite-familiar worlds packed into just a sentence or two that draw the reader in. As for the endings ... Smith's tendency is to forego the shocking twist for endings that feel satisfying and right, a trade-off that I'll take any day." --Canadian Science Fiction Reviews


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