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Lust for Life Paperback – June 1, 1984
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The book is considered a 'biographical novel' because, although it is rooted in fact, the author has fictionalized certain details, as well as dialog that can only be imagined. Stone, however had quite an advantage when writing "Lust for Life." He had at his disposal the massive three volume set of "The Complete Letters of Vincent Van Gogh." Van Gogh, after all, was not only one of the greatest painters in history, but also one of most prolific and eloquent writer of letters. When reading "Lust for Life," one can easily find Van Gogh's own words liberally sprinkled throuhgout the dialog, giving a depth of insight into his art and philosophy that no author could ever dream up in a work of pure fiction. Stone seamlessly weaves a literary portrait of Van Gogh that can honestly be called a masterpiece.
Stone opted to skip over undramatic events in Van Gogh's life, such as his brief stay in Drenthe. Instead, he keeps the story moving steadily and sometimes swiftly, over the pricipal events in the artist's stormy life. Such ommisions have unjustly drawn harsh criticism from Van Gogh scholors, who question the wisdom of tampering with history. It must be remembered, however, that the purpose of "Lust for Life" is not to read as a dry, historically accurate biography, but as an entertaining story, which works wonderfully at emphasizing the drama without resorting to prepetuating myths about the artist.
"Lust for Life" works best as pure escapism for anyone wanting to transport themselves into another time.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Loved it, love van Gogh so it was a done deal. Great writing, keeps you involved.Published 14 days ago by Shannon Bielke
It was not in as good condition as described, a little dirty, dog-eared. But perfectly readable so it didn't matter really.Published 1 month ago by Pam Treacy
A very informative story about a troubled man who never really was successful or earned a living. His brother was devoted to him and supported him and his wife and family all his... Read morePublished 3 months ago by martin himmelfarb
Lots of insight about a famous painter was gained by reading this well-written bio.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Hsven't read this book in many years. It still holds up. A great but tragic life, well told.Published 9 months ago by Mickeymc40