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A Thing of Beauty

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  96 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
The story of Stephen Desmonde, an English painter who struggles for recognition in a conventional world, sacrificing everything for his passion for art. The title is a reference to John Keats' 1818 poem, Endymion, which begins, "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever."
440 pages
Published 1956 by Little Brown (first published 1955)
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Giovanna
Oct 20, 2012 Giovanna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stati-uniti
Il tema trattato è quello dell'arte come ragione di vita,come spinta incontrollabile e incontrastabile che segna il destino dell'artista ,portandolo a compiere scelte tormentate,non volte a soddisfare le sue esigenze umane ma piuttosto le sue esigenze artistiche.È la storia di un giovane che abbandonerà tutto,andrà contro le convenzioni sociali,e sopporterà grandi disagi, fisici ed economici,pur di non tradire la propria aspirazione artistica e il proprio modo di veder l'arte.
Il romanzo è ambien
...more
Ana-Maria
Dec 03, 2016 Ana-Maria rated it really liked it
This is an interesting book about the condition of the artist at the beginning of the 20th century. Considering the idea of the non recognition of talent, the author combines the love-hate relationship with the family with the misery in which an artist has to pass his years. Love is also present but in a moving and surprising way. Cronin proves again that he is an artist of words with good knowldege of art history.
Debbie Day
Apr 06, 2014 Debbie Day rated it it was amazing
So far it reminds me of another great book that I have read called Of Human Bondage by W Somerset Maughn. Having taken over 2 months to read I can say that I enjoyed every page. One of Cronin's earlier pieces set re and post WWII. As always he captures the delicacy and fragility of human life and the suffering and sacrifices made to love for the gift and passion within you no matter the cost.
Patti Richards
Apr 03, 2008 Patti Richards rated it it was amazing
This is one of my all time favorite A.J. Cronin books. The main character, Stephen, is the definitive starving artist willing to sacrifice everything comfortable and familiar for his passion for painting. Cronin makes the reader feel every struggle and victory as Stephen makes his mark on the world through his art.
Marilyn Quigley
Feb 20, 2008 Marilyn Quigley rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: educated readers who like depth, good stories of the medical profession, and biographies.
Cronin shows the tenacity of a character who clings to his "calling" to be an artist--in spite of discouragement from many in the field. The journey takes him from England (and a father who expects him to continue in the pastoral profession) to Paris to Spain and back to England. The book's theme is that many noted artists are never accepted as "great" until after their deaths.
Sheri
Jan 28, 2012 Sheri rated it really liked it
What a wonderful book. It began a bit slow but gained momentum as it went along. The story is of a young artist, struggling to express himself through his art. He can no more give up painting than give up breathing. It was so expressive and I felt like I could hear and feel everything t hat Stephen Desmond was going through. Highly recommend this, another exellent book by this author!
Todd Elder
Nov 27, 2011 Todd Elder rated it really liked it
A great read for anyone thinking of trying to live as an artist. The study of the main character, Stephen, is well developed as he goes through stages in life and struggles with what is expected of him and what he desires to do. The other characters are not as well developed, but none-the-less add different perspectives to Stephen's views on life and work.
Tania
Jan 27, 2012 Tania rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
My favourite book written by my favourite writer!It grabs from the first chapter. The protagonist Stephen has a great passion for art and his way to recognition is torny.The book is really worth reading!!!
Astrid Turner
Dec 10, 2013 Astrid Turner rated it it was amazing
Stephen Desmond is someone real to me, having read this book as a teen and then as an adult. I fell in love with his passion, his stubbornness to complete what he feels is his purpose in life. He is a thing of beauty.
Jilll
Aug 18, 2009 Jilll rated it really liked it
This is an old book (1955) but I liked the author and reread it. It was kind of hard to get into with the French names but got progressively better.
katen moore
Aug 05, 2012 katen moore rated it it was amazing
Another fabulous read!!!
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Archibald Joseph Cronin was a Scottish novelist, dramatist, and non-fiction writer who was one of the most renowned storytellers of the twentieth century. His best-known works are The Citadel and The Keys of the Kingdom, both of which were made into Oscar-nominated films. He also created the Dr. Finlay character, the hero of a series of stories that served as the basis for the long-running BBC tel ...more
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