Reviews for The Agony and the Ecstasy, by Irving Stone

annareads1452's review
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4.0

Hmmm I am kind of in a toss up with this book and how many stars it gets because while i enjoyed it I had to read it for school and it took a very long time to read so for enjoyments sake it gets a 3 but for how well it was written definitely a 4. This was a very informing book about Michelangelo and his life. It was beautifully written i loved reading about when he was working with the marble to create his sculptures and when he occasionally enjoys the painting he says he can't do.All together a great book it was just a long read with some dragging parts but it had some very enjoyable parts.

Camelia Rose's review
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3.0

3.5 star.

Many years ago Irving Stone's [b:Lust for Life|79834|Lust for Life|Irving Stone|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1348532272l/79834._SY75_.jpg|1222321] crushed the 13 years old me and created a lifelong aficionado of Vincent Van Gogh. However, it took the adult me a year (on and off) to finish The Agony and Ecstasy, and it left me lukewarm. Is it because of me, Irving Stone or Michelangelo? Perhaps all. Irving Stone's Michelangelo is excellent, but not my version of the artist.

Nevertheless, I've learned a lot about his sculptures and paintings, as well as the Medici family, the various Popes and some Italian politics. The author is a master of writing about arts.

tspangler1970's review
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4.0

Pretty amazing. Reading this made me want to go back to Italy ASAP.

LV's review
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3.0

Doing art is hard--it's like, sad and rilly super fun. That's what I got out of it as a 16 year old anywaysr. Today I would say--Damn, that Michelangelo was a pretty melodramatic dude. Either that or Irving Stone is.

lnatal's review
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5.0

Reading this book together with Chrissie.

Page 40:
"But you have to agree that the work of art becomes noble in the degree to wich it represents the truth? Then sculpture will come closer to true form, for when you work the marble the figure emerges on all four sides."

page 41:
"Painting is perishable: a fire in the chapel, too much cold, and the paint begins to fade, crack. But stone is eternal! Nothing can destroy it. When the Florentines tore down the colosseum, what did they do with the blocks? Built them into new walls. And think of the Greek sculpture that is being dug up, twoo, three thousand years old. Show me a painting that's two thousand yers old. Look at this Roman marble sarcophagus: as clear as strong as the day it was carved..."

page 74:
Michelangelo mets Lucrezia at the Sculpture Garden.

page 89:
"Now what is sculpture?....it is the art which, by removing all that is superfluous from the material under treatment, reduces it to that form designed in the artist's mind.." - Bertoldo quoting Donatello

page 150: Madonna and the child

page 426;
The rivalry against Leonardo's paintings starts to bother Michelangelo.

page 442
After 3 years carving David, Pope Julius II ask Michelangelo to come to Rome,to carve 40 statues for his tomb in the center of St Peter's Basilica.


LinweArcamenel's review
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5.0

This book was just incredible...to have someone whose work I'd studied in school come to life like this was an amazing experience. It definitely helpes to have some knowlegde of Renaissance art before reading it though. I could see I would have been confused if I hadn't known much about Michelangelo's work before. But it really gives it a whole new meaning. I also enjoyed meeting the popes, Lorenze de Medici, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci through Michelangelo's eyes, it really brought the whole time period to life. Best part is that I'm going to Italy next year, and will see these works for myself. I'm really glad I read the book first. They won't just be beautiful artworks when I see them, they will be art works that I watched grow while reading the book. My only complaint is that there were a bunch of typos in the edition I read...come on, publishers, proofread!

Dearbhla's review
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4.0

This is a big book; over 750 pages of small print and crowded pages. So when I began to read and wasn’t all that impressed I thought I’d end up tossing it. The prose felt forced, stilted and somewhat boring. But as I read on I did get more and more interested. At the same time however, the style of prose doesn’t really improve. I enjoyed the book while reading it, but it was never a case that I simply couldn’t put the book down. In fact on a few occasions I wasn’t all that bothered to pick it up.

Full review: http://www.susanhatedliterature.net/2006/08/20/the-agony-and-the-ecstasy/

NYasmin's review
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This book brings the (possible) thoughts of Michelangelo so alive. The interaction between the world and Michelangelo are explored through his thoughts and feelings. Also the tension when working on his art is brought alive through the use of 3rd person.

alpal's review
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5.0

One of the most engaging books I've read. Irving Stone has a real talent to make you feel like you are IN the book. Throughout Michelangelo's life, I was happy when he was, sad when he was, and I cried when he died. This book is long, but I highly recommend it.

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