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38 Reviews
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly brilliant
A Crisis of Brilliance is a group biography of five outstandingly talented young artists whose lives intertwine in the period leading up to the First World War. The achievement of this biography is that it manages to keep each of their individual stories going, while never losing sight of the wider context - the Slade, artistic movements, the build-up to the War and...
Published on 8 Dec 2009 by J. Hopper

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well researched but a dull read
Well-researched book but the pedestrian writing style makes the overall effect much less interesting than the subject matter merits. Where was the editor when needed ?
Published 9 months ago by Stevie D


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4.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 17 April 2012
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This review is from: A Crisis of Brilliance (Paperback)
a book about artists and the slade at the time of the first world war which reads like anovel and grips from first page to last
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Crisis of Brilliance, 18 Nov 2011
This review is from: A Crisis of Brilliance (Paperback)
I thought this book was a great read giving illuminating details of so many well known and highly rated SLADE students in the pre first WW1 period and in particular the achievements of the five most famous...Dora Carrington, Mark Gertler, Paul Nash, Richard Nevinson and Stanley Spencer. All came from very different backgrounds and led interesting lives, despite the sad, premature end of Dora and Mark.. The first World War and its aftermath opened up a whole new way of thinking and seeing the world around them. David Haycock researched his subject with great detail, fluency and charm. . Anyone interested in this prolific period of British Art could not fail to be fascinated by this book.I hope he will write many more and I look forward to his next work on the period up to and including the Spanish Civil War with great expectations.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic book., 3 Jan 2011
This review is from: A Crisis of Brilliance (Hardcover)
It started with a volunteer bringing this book into the gallery where I work. I got hold of a copy and read it in under a week. It is such an absorbing read, beautifully written and informative.

I showed the book to a few others and it just escalated form there. The Friends association of the Gallery asked for the author to come and talk to us about this book and it turned out to be one of the most popular events of the year. He is a great guy with a wealth of knowledge and passion about the subject.

For anyone interested in the human aspect behind the artist, this is the book for you. It has it all: murder, suicide, war, sex and above all, great British artists producing great art.

I recommend it to everyone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A crisis of brilliance, 12 Dec 2010
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C. Dolan "susan" (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Crisis of Brilliance (Paperback)
I highly recommend this book. It deals with the time that Spencer, Gertler, Nevison and Carrington spent at the Slade and the years afterwards. Each artist is given equal attention while the ways in which their lives interconnected is described clearly and vividly. Haycock's subject matter is dealt with by Pat Barker in her fiction "Life Class" but Haycock's book is the more compelling.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A delight, 6 July 2010
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This review is from: A Crisis of Brilliance (Hardcover)
I couldn't put this down. DH re-animates his subjects convincingly and compellingly. The story of these colourful intertwined lives is wholly engaging. I shall be seeking out more of his writing.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well researched but a dull read, 27 Oct 2013
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This review is from: A Crisis of Brilliance: Five Young British Artists and the Great War (Kindle Edition)
Well-researched book but the pedestrian writing style makes the overall effect much less interesting than the subject matter merits. Where was the editor when needed ?
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3 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 18 Nov 2010
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E. Macfarlane "Lissie M" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Crisis of Brilliance (Paperback)
Somehow makes what must have been an exciting time to be an artist, dull. Too many references to turgid contemporary quotes & detailed descriptions of relationships on a daily if not weekly basis, which become petty & uninteresting.
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2 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Brilliance with the shine taken off, 28 Mar 2011
By 
Mr. Matthew Cooper (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Crisis of Brilliance (Paperback)
I have to agree with Lissie. The style of this book makes it turgid. Too much bland description, paragraphs that you get to the end of thinking "what point was being made there?" There is a lot of fascinating material here, but the writing lets it down.
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