Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Thing of Beauty ” as Want to Read:
A Thing of Beauty
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
Hannah rated it liked it
May 30, 2014
Pahraydolliah rated it it was amazing
Jun 13, 2010
Zazzamita rated it really liked it
Jan 06, 2016
Barbara rated it really liked it
Oct 26, 2015
Mhurdel rated it really liked it
Jul 26, 2008
Katelyn Mauel
Katelyn Mauel rated it it was amazing
Jul 21, 2015
Linda Shields
Linda Shields rated it really liked it
May 23, 2016
Katy rated it liked it
Mar 16, 2016
Regillio Lilboy
Regillio Lilboy rated it it was amazing
Jan 30, 2017
Foxtrot rated it really liked it
Oct 04, 2011
Martin Gauffin
Martin Gauffin rated it really liked it
May 16, 2013
Cindy rated it really liked it
Nov 16, 2012
Daniela Sorgente
Daniela Sorgente rated it liked it
Jul 16, 2015
Saviour rated it it was amazing
Jun 26, 2008
Jackamo Brown
Jackamo Brown rated it it was amazing
Jul 31, 2016
Mangoo rated it it was amazing
Jan 12, 2011
Jagadish rated it really liked it
May 15, 2009
Dave Smith
Dave Smith rated it it was amazing
Nov 24, 2015
Pedro rated it really liked it
Aug 02, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The White Monkey (The Forsyte Saga)
  • The Real Minerva
  • Before Your Kids Drive You Crazy
  • Believe: The Words and Inspiration of Desmond Tutu
  • Madselin
  • Pimpernel and Rosemary
  • The Eternal Moment and Other Stories
  • Washington Schlepped Here: Walking in the Nation's Capital
  • The Icon
  • The Seven Sisters
  • The Planet Buyer
  • Flashman / Royal Flash
  • Quatermass
  • The Houses of Iszm
  • South Moon Under
  • Kept in the Dark
  • Wellington: The Years of the Sword
  • A Lot Of Hard Yakka
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
More about A.J. Cronin...

Share This Book