on 13 April 2010
I loved this book.
Simon Parke manages the impossible here - in one slim volume, the figure of van Gogh in all his messy and glorious humanity comes alive.
While Parke stands back, asks intelligent and sensitive questions, offers an occasional wry comment, and simply listens, the painter speaks about his life, family, art, beauty, love, God - in short, everything that matters.
It's a heartbreaking but inspiring story. But even if you thought you knew the story, it's the man behind the myth that we get to know and love. It made me want to be reckless and buy the new complete Letters of van Gogh (Thames & Hudson, in 6 volumes), but at £395 a set, common restraint prevailed.
Buy this instead, it's a little gem!
on 15 June 2010
Having enjoyed this book myself, I bought the hard back for a friend for her Birthday, unknown to me she had just been to a Van Gogh exhibition in London and had been reading the letters. My friend received the book with delight and has written to me since to say how, enjoyable, educational and interesting it is and now her children are also reading it.