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Van Gogh, Encore [Kindle Edition]

John A. Karr
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Imagine Vincent van Gogh in our modern world.

Suppose, during the last year and a half of his life, when he severs part of his ear and commits himself to the insane asylum, he stumbles into the very circumstance he has longed for his entire adult life -- a family. Would his life change for the better, or would his self-destructive tendencies again prevail?

Van Gogh, Encore is a speculative novel based upon the last year and a half of Vincent van Gogh's life.

Set in the United States, the tale presents an alternative dimension to the complex and fascinating artist who died impoverished and unappreciated ... while the images he created went on to have global impact, and can be found on everything from vodka bottles to vehicle dashboard covers, television commercials to t-shirts, and whose original works now sell for millions.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Author's bio: Fiction writing each day helps keep the demons at bay. Author of a handful of novels: Death Clause, Shattered, Rhone, and Van Gogh, Encore. Novellas Xeria and Ujahwek. Short stories have appeared on webzines Allegory, The Absent Willow Review and Danse Macabre. More works are in progress and in the marketing queue.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1094 KB
  • Print Length: 396 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0041VYNP2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,291,731 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars alternate reality/alternate dimension/alternate history October 29, 2010
By jaye
I finished the book a few days ago and REALLY liked it!
But,I'm having a hard time writing a review that does it justice.
Vincent Van Gogh living in modern times,tries to cope with mental health problems,paints,and rides a Harley!
I'll list a few things I thought about while reading. And after.

1.) The story is very believable and interesting in it's contemporary form.
2.) The dialogue flows right along so that I got caught up, not noticing page turning ! And I didn't have to keep looking back to see who was speaking.
3.) I wondered if the author paints, because the techniques are so well described that I thought he must paint, or is fantastic with research.
4.) The story is very imaginative and works very well with what I thought was Vincent's mental health problem (bi-polar disorder?).
5.) The quality of writing is exceptional in that I could picture everything in my mind without having to concentrate on it.
6.) I thought it to be an unconventional topic that would be popular on many levels,i.e. "alternate reality" type story, et al.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting idea expertly handled October 11, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
I tend to approach with caution any book which starts with a rather original and interesting premise - in this case re-examining the last year and a half of Van Gogh's life in the context of modern America and with the benefit of a genuinely loving female companion - because I often find that the promise of that idea is not always explored with enough thought and sensitivity. In this case, however, Karr as both writer and thinker is well up to the job. Van Gogh, Encore makes for a sometimes gritty, challenging read, - inevitably because we are being invited inside the mind of a troubled, possibly mentally ill and certainly disillusioned genius. We are also witnessing the difficulties encountered by anyone considered an outsider and a failure with all the issues of identity and self-worth that this raises. The balance of the book is good, however, and we are given some lights to offset the darks in the course of the narrative and there are some enjoyable and charming descriptions of how Van Gogh relates to Lynn and her son David. I was also interested to see how Karr handled the tricky job of transporting Van Gogh to modern times whilst keeping the integrity of his life and character and also allowing himself some room for manoeuvre in making the story his own. In this I think Karr was masterly and I found the characters and happenings at all times credible. We follow Van Gogh through familiar episode in his life (Gauguin's visit, Van Gogh's mutilation of his own ear) but there was scope for significant changes and I must confess that right up until the end I wasn't sure how the book would conclude. Suffice is to say that I had tears in my eyes at the end, but whether they were tears of joy or sorrow, I will not reveal.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and fun look at Van Gogh in today's times December 25, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
What if... what if Vincent Van Gogh were alive today, in modern times? What if his life took a different turn, if he met someone he could love? What might be in store for him? Van Gogh is famous for his powerful works of art, and infamous for his mental health issues and resulting bizarre behavior. How would that play out in the context of today?

In this work of speculative fiction, John A. Karr portrays the last 18 months of Van Gogh's life in the United States, and presents possibilities of a different future for the troubled, but gifted, artist. Given a different setting and nationality (Van Gogh is Canadian in this book), and a blossoming love with a vivacious woman, Van Gogh gets another chance at life. The book stays true to many facts of Van Gogh's later life- his brother Theo's support, his relationship with Gauguin (including the knife threat and Van Gogh's plan to start an artists' colony), cutting his ear off and offering it to a prostitute, and his battle with mental illness and epilepsy. The author seamlessly and realistically weaves these facts into the new context, creating an engaging read.

At nearly twice the size of the average ebook, this was a page-turner. Descriptive and eloquent, this book really allows you to feel what it might be like to be Van Gogh, to live inside his tormented mind as he attempts to make sense of contradictory stimuli. The author uses carefully selected words and phrasing to portray Van Gogh's thoughts in a way that really highlights his inner turmoil, as well as his artistic passion. The characters were nicely drawn, but the star of this story is really Vincent, whose character is well-established. With regards to other characters, I did find a little hard to believe the love Lynn obviously felt for Vincent.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Gogh get an Editor! July 6, 2014
By LauraK
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoy historical art fiction, and Van Gogh, Encore fit the bill. The premise was interesting and the characters were well developed and believable. However, the book appears to have been unedited and I found that very distracting, so much so that I began reading with a red pen to correct things! I now know how much good editing job contributes to the enjoyment of a story, including justifying the margins. If there is an Encore printing, make sure it's edited first! Good story, too many distractions to enjoy fully.
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More About the Author

The writing thing. Exerciser of the imagination and physical manifestation. Family guy. IT worker. Patriot. MOLON LABE. North Carolina resident.

Fiction writing each day helps keep the demons at bay.

Karr is the author of a handful of novels: Ghostly Summons, Death Clause, Shattered, Rhone, and Van Gogh, Encore. Novellas include Ujahwek and Xeria. His short stories have appeared in Onyx Neon Shorts, Dark Gothic Resurrected magazine, Danse Macabre and Allegory. More works are in progress and in the marketing queue.

He is an ardent believer in the quote by Carl Van Doren (1885-1950), U.S. man of letters: Yes, it's hard to write, but it's harder not to.


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