Lust for Life: A Novel of Vincent Van Gogh

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Overview

Lust For Life is a fictionalized biography of the Dutch painter, Vincent Van Gogh and is based primarily on Van Gogh's three volumes of letters to his brother, Theo. Van Gogh was a violent, clumsy and passionate man who was driven to the extremity of exhaustion by his fervor to get life -- the essence of it -- into paint. Irving Stone treats the artist with great compassion and gives us a portrait that is sympathetic but fair.
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Overview

Lust For Life is a fictionalized biography of the Dutch painter, Vincent Van Gogh and is based primarily on Van Gogh's three volumes of letters to his brother, Theo. Van Gogh was a violent, clumsy and passionate man who was driven to the extremity of exhaustion by his fervor to get life -- the essence of it -- into paint. Irving Stone treats the artist with great compassion and gives us a portrait that is sympathetic but fair.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780452262492
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/28/1984
  • Edition description: Anniversar
  • Edition number: 50
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 150,871
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.12 (h) x 1.35 (d)

Meet 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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Table of Contents

Lust for Life Prologue - London
1. L'ange aux poupons
2. Goupil and Company
3. In its own image, love creates love
4. "Let's forget it, shall we?"
5. The Van Goghs
6. "Why, you're nothing but a country boor!"
7. Ramsgate and Isleworth

Book One - The Borinage
1. Amsterdam
2. Kay
3. A stuffy, provincial clergyman
4. Latin and Greek
5. Mendes da Costa
6. Where lies the greater strength?
7. Evangelical school
8. The Blackjaws
9. A miner's hut
10. Success!
11. Terril
12. Marcasse
13. A lesson in economics
14. Fragile
15. Black Egypt
16. Exit God
17. Bankruptcy
18. An incident of little importance
19. As one artist to another
20. Enter Theo
21. The old mill at Ryswyk

Book Two - Etten
1. "There's a living in that!"
2. Fou
3. The student
4. Mijnheer Tersteeg
5. Anton Mauve
6. Kay comes to Etten
7. "No, never, never!"
8. There are some cities in which a man is forever ill-fated

Book Three - The Hague
1. The first studio
2. Christine
3. Work in progress
4. A man needs a woman
5. "You must hurry and begin to sell!"
6. Goodness grows in curious places
7. Savoir souffir sans se plaindre
8. The merciless sword
9. Love
10. The Holy Family
11. Theo comes to the Hague
12. Fathers are funny
13. L'art, c'est un combat

Book Four - Nuenen
1. A studio in the vicarage
2. The weavers
3. Margot
4. "It's loving that's important, not being loved"
5. Whither thou goest
6. Inquisition
7. "Your work is almost salable, but..."
8. The Potato Eaters

Book Five - Paris
1. "Ah, yes, Paris!"
2. The explosion
3. "Why should anyone want to be a count when he can be a painter?"
4. Portrait of a primitive
5. Painting must become a science!
6. Rousseau gives a party
7. A poor wretch who hanged himself
8. Art goes amoral
9. Pere Tanguy
10. The Petit Boulevard
11. Art for the workingman
12. The Communist Art Colony
13. Southward, ever southward, to the sun!

Book Six - Arles
1. Earthquake or revolution?
2. The painting machine
3. Le Pigeon
4. Postman
5. The Yellow House
6. Maya
7. Gaugin arrives
8. The sound and the fury
9. Fou-rou
10. "In existing society, the painter is but a broken vessel"

Book Seven - St. Remy
1. Third Class Carriage
2. The fraternity of fous
3. An old crock is an old crock
4. "I discovered painting when I no longer had teeth or breath"

Book Eight - Auvers
1. The first one-man exhibition
2. A specialist in nervous diseases
3. One cannot paint goodbye
4. A more resilient earth
5. "And in their death they were not divided"

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2007

    Lust for Stone's 'Life'

    There is only so much one can say about 'Lust for Life' without tainting it with all of our grimy words. It is a masterpiece, much like van Gogh's paintings, and is the poetic embodiment of Vincent's work. I found this novel mesmerizing and an almost spritual experience. Vincent van Gogh's arduous journey through life was detailed perfectly and painstakingly by Stone- I could feel the bruises on my arms every time one of Vincent's intense crushes denied him, every time ignorant critics laughed at his work. Stone wrote him as a man that was soon woven into the reader's life, and I found myself thinking of that broad Dutch forehead and those passionate blue eyes as I went about mundane tasks and life's trivial pursuits. It was as if van Gogh was a part of me, as if finally someone understood. 'Lust' was a catharsis in that way. It confronted the problems I deal with (doing what you really love to do) as well as the hurt of life. I can't express how much Vincent spoke to me, how Stone's characterization sent me falling for the quiet, intense artist. I still think of him as if he was living, as if I could simply think of him as a friend on a first name basis. Vincent. 'Lust for Life' was a beautiful canvas, to put it in artistic terms. The robust but intense description of the blinding color in Arles and the subdued, melancholy sketches of the Borinage are seen clearly in the mind of the reader. Vincent's face rubbed raw and bleeding by the sun, his blood shot eyes and burning absinthe create all to clear a picture of a man so elusive and ostracized in his time. Stone treats his suicide honorably and explains the reasons behind the ear laceration and asylum. He isn't the crazed manic many people picture him to be, merely a misunderstood, sick one. Stones line 'One cannot paint good-bye' on van Gogh's suicide won me over. AT that moment, my life was completely knotted to the book and Vincent's life. I look out at our world and see it with Vincent, sometimes through his pale blue eyes, and thank Stone for letting me understand him. This truly was an outstanding book that everyone should read. It will leave you changed.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2005

    Lust for Life

    (Lust for life By Irving Stone) Have u ever felt the need to be loved? In the biography, Lust for Life, by Irving Stone, Vincent Van Gogh suffers a lot of heart ache and sadness. For example the biography begins with Vincent living in a house owned by an older woman and her daughter. He falls in love with her and asks her to marry him. She rejected him and after that he became sort of a stalker. He went by her house as much as he could, even after they kicked him out. He does things like this throughout the book. He also can¿t hold down a job. He tries to follow in his relatives foot steps but, just can¿t seem to do it. I recommend this biography because it is a great adventurous story. Also I would recommend this story to artists more so than other people because the biography shows the struggle a famous went through to eventually become one of the greatest artists there ever was. It shows that people can over come failure and succeed. So yes I would absolutely recommend this book to all ages, races, and cultures.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2014

    I read this book many years ago and I can relate to  the first l

    I read this book many years ago and I can relate to  the first letter here'
    . As the letter said it felt like you were woven into the book and his life, I  felt i would call him Vincent
    I locked myself away from all of mudane tasks and consentrated on copying his paintings I had in the book and the cover
    showed corn  fields to that..I had  to try and paint it.. 
    when I was done I quit with thee three i did
     I have the paintings on my wall and I am pleased with them.. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2000

    intriguing

    This was one of the best books I have ever read. After reading, I had a newfound respect for Vincent Van Gogh and the artists of that time

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted June 2, 2011

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    Posted October 10, 2009

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    Posted December 1, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2009

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