The lukewarm reviews seem to have missed the point: this is a biographical novel and that's how it should be judged. True, Michelangelo's sexual orientation may or may not have been different from Stone's interpretation but, unlike our present day obsession with this subject, Stone is far more interested in understanding the creation of the works themselves. His insight into the different problems (the political and social problems, yes, but more importantly the technical ones) presented by each sculpture project or painting is phenomenal. People tend to forget just how revolutionary every one of Michelangelo's major works was - Irving Stone gets to the heart of this. As a marble carver myself I have found more technical instruction in this book than in most manuals. In short, if you want great fiction read Anne Tyler, but if you want to read a brave and honest attempt to understand the brilliance of one man who overturned the conventions of Art with almost every work he made, read this.
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