Leaving Van Gogh
In this riveting novel, Carol Wallace brilliantly...more
The story is narrated through the eyes of Dr. Paul Gachet, a physician wit...more
I've learned a bit about the hi...more
I picked it up after I had watched a nice documentary about Van Gogh the other month and falling in love with the song Vincent just a few days before. Saw this book at the library and figured it was some sort of sign and checked out the first page.
Right from the start it hooked me: Dr. Gachet, sad, looking at Vincent's skull after his body had been exhumed to be moved to it's permanent location.
I'd heard some people complain about it being a bit boring and wordy and...more
Through Gachet we don't completely understand Van Gogh but can at least imagine the despair of being mad an...more
This book is a fictionalized account of the end of his life told from the perspective of the real man who became his doctor and friend and who was also an artist. I liked the perspective because the reader gets to see Van Gogh and other artists as real people interacting with other people.
Ms. Wallace imagines the last months of v...more
It may have been Dr. Gachet’s painting or simply his name in conjunction with another painter that sparked Carol Wallace’s interest in Vincent Van Gogh’s last months in bucolic Auvers, but Dr. Gachet is imagined into existence. All of this seems to come from Van Gogh’s portrait of the psychiatrist who unofficially treated him.
Much about Van Gogh’s life is known and has been fully chronicled. Wallace gives depth and weight to the quiet da...more
"I held Vincent's skull in my hands. It was a strange and melancholy moment."
...but my love faltered midway through the reading. As the story dragged on I found it harder and harder to pick the book back up. It was so promising! I knew it wasn't going to be barrels of sunshine, but I never expected it to be boring. Le sigh.
I liked that for the most part Wallace didn't employ melodrama in her story. After all, Vincent's story is dramatic enough without embellishment. But at the end she did resort to melodrama. The last few chapters, talking about Gachet's dilemma over how to help his friend...more
We see Vincent Van Gogh through the eyes of his doctor and friend Dr. Gachet, a widower with two children Marguerite and Paul and a bossy housekeeper who has largely raised them. He lives out in the country in Auvers, France and practices medicine, specializing in mental disorders, in P...more
The scenes with Van Gogh are some of the most riveting I have encountered in any historical fiction novel, and truly illustrates the artist as a strugglin...more
Wallace's novel, which grew out of rese...more
Doesn't sound like a meaty plot, does it? That's because it isn't. If I didn't love Van Gogh so much I would have found this one tedious in the extreme. Nothing happens...more
I had trouble getting into this book. I chose it because I love Vincent Van Gogh's paintings and wanted to learn more about him. However, he was really just a supporting character in this book. The reader never gets to know what's going in his brilliant...more
"the summer of 1890, in the French town of Auvers-sur-Oise, Vincent van Gogh shot himself in the chest with a revolver. He died two days later, at the age of thirty-seven, largely unknown despite having completed over two thousand works of art that would go on to become some of the most im...more
You can call me the odd duck out, but I give Wallace’s book a rating of two. Leaving Van Gogh receives one star for the subject matter and one star for motivating me to learn more about Vincent Van Gogh and Dr. Gachet. Everything else was a negative. Wallace’s first attempt to write a book for an adult audience in my view was a failure. I found the prose to be tedious and trite.
Leaving Van Gogh reads like a first draft rather than a polished work. I think her book was a good beginning for a gre...more
I felt, however, a bit left behind by this book. I think of painting as a visual art (obviously), so I found myself wading through a lot of technical aspects of painting as well as descriptions of paintings themselves-- which somehow lost something in the translation through prose.
I suppose it's rather like trying to explain to a blind person how a painting looks,...more
The story is written from Dr. Gachet's perspective. Theo Van Gogh's requested that the doctor agree to treat his brother, who had just come out of the asylum. Dr. Gachet was ch...more