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Chasing Matisse: A Year in France Living My Dream
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Chasing Matisse: A Year in France Living My Dream

3.35  ·  Rating Details ·  84 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Book by Morgan, James
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published March 29th 2005 by Free Press
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(showing 1-30)
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Janet Hulstrand
Wow, I am amazed at some of the negative reviews of this wonderful book.

I think perhaps some readers are not giving the author credit for writing the book promised in the title. While those who are interested in Matisse's life will learn many interesting things about him, the book is not really supposed to be about Matisse, but about the writer's love of his work, and the way that love inspired him to leave behind a perfectly satisfactory life in Arkansas to find an even better one in France.

Jun 22, 2015 Beáta rated it liked it
Shelves: liked
An American couple decides to visit the places where Matisse lived and worked. They visited interesting places mostly in France. I think they were really lucky to realize this plan though their tour wasn't always so happy.
Sep 10, 2011 Terri rated it liked it
Traveling in the footsteps of his hero, the author and his wife live the dream of a year's journey in France, chasing light, color, and insight into this great artist.
Meredith Henning
Jun 09, 2009 Meredith Henning rated it liked it
Shelves: travel-lit
This one was good, I love reading about people and their travel experiences, especially in France.
Aug 12, 2008 Marian rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Travellers/Artists
Loved this book. I read it just before going abroad in July 08. While in Nice, I traced some of the steps the author took in researching Matisse.
Jul 27, 2009 Jana rated it did not like it
Wannabe artist gets a book deal to spend a year traveling around France visiting the sites where Matisse painted writes a boring travel journal. If he was a more interesting writer or more interesting things happened on his journey it might have been worth publishing. The only interesting portions of the book are direct quotes from Hilary Spurling's books on Matisse. Actually this whole book is based on her books. Although he occasionally describes his attempts at sketching and painting in Franc ...more
Jan 05, 2012 Laura rated it it was ok
This is essentially someone's journal. I really wanted to like this book since I too love Matisse,France and foreign adventures. There was also the added bonus of the author living in my hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas. As I read I found it jumped around too much from Matisse, to the author's whining about his life. He kept saying he was a writer but then he was a painter. I understand having multiple passions but I found the transitions between his varying interest, his wife's work, the peopl ...more
May 30, 2009 Kerfe rated it liked it
James Morgan taps into a universal dream--the urge to freedom, the yearning to do what you want, free of schedules, responsibilities, constraints, dictation. His vehicle is Matisse, and he and his wife travel through France looking for the key to the artist's ability to live a full artistic life, hoping it will provide the inspiration and courage to realize their own escape from convention.

Though it held my interest, it seem basically to be in the vein of uplifting self-help writing: How To Chan
I enjoyed the format.. part travel journal, part art book. I liked the author's writing style.. it felt personal and it brought me in.

The 'adventure' was a bit tame for me, and WAY too high-end (i'm more of a backpacking hostel type), but really.. he DID get to actually STAY for almost a week in one of Matisse's studios! In the SAME room that Matisse slept and created art! That is simply mind boggling to me and had me in tears.. such an incredible experience!
Nov 30, 2012 Carmen rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel
James tried painting as a midlife exercise. He becomes entranced with Matisse's work and dreams of chucking it all in, selling the house and moving to France. His wife buys into the dream. They do it. And there the story begins.
They don't buy or rent a house. They move every few weeks and months. Adventures happen. But more importantly, James paints. He paints a lot. He follows Matisse's painting career all over. And throughly enjoys it.
Living the dream.
Feb 06, 2009 Laura rated it liked it
Makes me want to go back to the South of France, especially St. Paul de Vence and Nice.
A little bit about Matisse is interesting if you want to know where he lived. The prose is pretty boring and standard.
Dec 04, 2015 Objex rated it it was ok
Shelves: art-design
The book itself is much less intriguing than what the title may suggest.
R. Patrick
Feb 11, 2014 R. Patrick rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir-letters
An entertaining memoir. Chasing Matisse is also about chasing your own dreams.
B.B. Scott
Feb 17, 2012 B.B. Scott rated it liked it
A fun book to read about enjoying life.
Dec 23, 2007 Dad rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: everyone
Two stars say it all- not a bad book, and it did make me want to go to France, but I wanted to anyway. He's obviously a Matisse lover, and makes following the artists life interesting.
Nov 07, 2010 Joan rated it did not like it
great idea but authors were so rude and selfish; all about themselves and their gimmick, not about the soul of Matisse. They chased,didn't search, so didn't find.
Nov 04, 2010 Jud rated it liked it
Great summer read... about a couple re-tracing Matisse's footsteps in France.
Susan Springer
Oct 05, 2011 Susan Springer rated it it was ok
I read this because part of it takes place in our town in France.
However, the writing is just O.K. and from the author's sketches
I had a hard time believing he's really an artist.
Lynn Davis
Lynn Davis rated it really liked it
Apr 14, 2015
John rated it really liked it
Feb 28, 2015
Debbie Ellis
Debbie Ellis rated it liked it
Jan 28, 2011
S. rated it liked it
Jan 12, 2015
William Miles
William Miles rated it really liked it
Dec 31, 2010
Gary B. McMann
Gary B. McMann rated it it was ok
Aug 10, 2015
Shauna rated it it was amazing
Jul 23, 2011
Jamie Cicchella
Jamie Cicchella rated it it was amazing
Jul 13, 2017
Robert Bean
Robert Bean rated it really liked it
Apr 07, 2007
Amber rated it it was ok
May 20, 2008
Jeffrey Rose
Jeffrey Rose rated it liked it
Jan 14, 2013
Marissa rated it really liked it
Aug 09, 2009
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