The Blue Period
A riveting novel about the tragic romance that nearly destroyed a young Pablo Picasso - while granting him his first flight of creative genius.
From rowdy Barcelona barrooms to the incandescent streets of turn-of-the-century Paris, Pablo Picasso experiences the sumptuous highs and seedy lows of bohemian life alongside his rebellious poet friend with a shadowy past, Carl...more
This book was my June's selection of Amazon First Reads. From the moment I saw the cover, I knew I had to read it. What I didn't know was how fascinating the story would be.
Even though it is historical fiction, the author discusses at the end of the book his extensive research to develop this story. I have always know who Picasso was, and I knew about his different periods, but I didn't know why the blue ...more
To be quite honest, I’m not a fan of Picasso’s work for the most part. I respect his talent, it just doesn’t appeal to my eye (give me Monet instead), but this book came up on my First Reads list and sounded like fun.
It was more than fun, it’s a beautifully set piece of history told in a fictional style and, in a locale that I love (Paris), and was just a stellar read.
This book teaches more about the seedier side of Paris than about Picasso . Too much sex including prostitutes, models, each other and the prevalence of syphilis than I personally wanted or needed to know. I gave this a 3 star rating instead of the 2 star rating I wanted to originally give this book simply because it did tell about many intimate social issues of that time . The Blue period was very much about the the plight of a starving artist.
But it ended up being pretty disappointing. It was so incredibly boring. I didn't feel like much was happening. I didn't feel the personality and connections of the characters, I didn't feel the atmosphere. And this again with almost no actual story. I have a feeling that an actual biography of Picasso could be much more inte ...more
I thoroughly enjoyed this debut novel: lush descriptions of the countryside of Spain, poignant moments of a life captured against the backdrop of a revolutionary arts era in Spain and France, the crazyfun and pathos of life in Montmartre, and irreplaceable camaraderie among poets, painters, and palm-readers.
I have to say when I first began reading this book, I wasn’t quite sure that I would be much interested in finishing it, but I am thrilled that I did. This book reads like “The Paris Wife”, but unlike the fore mentioned book, The Blue Period offers the reader a true insight to Pablo Picasso’s early life and his struggles to make a name for himself. Description throughout the book is written superbly drawing the reader deeper into this historical fiction. I had to stop-pause for a mome ...more
Wonderfully researched historical fiction and you feel like you are in Picasso's head at points in the book. You also find yourself screaming at Picasso for sliding back to obscurity...you will know what I mean when you get there. You will smell the sea air in Malaga and walk the streets of Montmartre with Picasso. It is that good a book! ...more
I wasn’t sure what to expect but once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. I knew little about Picasso’s life or art and thanks to the book, not only have a better understanding behind his early work, but also the life of artists and people of the period. I would recommend this for anyone who wants a great story about life and how it shapes us.
While this novel may be fiction, it was quite fascinating. I really felt like I was inside Pablo's head while reading. All of his pain, his struggles, his loss, I felt like I was there with him throughout all of it. I got this book as a First Read, and I'm very glad that I did. ...more
If the author intended for his readers to become as depressed as Picasso was in his early years, he succeeded. This novel depicts the childhood and young adulthood of this prolific artist. Taught to paint by his father, he escapes to Paris to find himself and gets embroiled in a life full of poverty and debauchery that would depress the most positive among us. His best friend's suicide and a bout with syphilis send him into a tailspin. But he never stops painting. If anything, he pai ...more
I really wanted to like this book. But none of the characters, including Picasso himself, ever felt three-dimensional. For that reason, reading the book was a slog, and I almost gave up several times. I never felt myself truly engaged, and I finished more from a sense of duty than enjoyment.
On the positive side, the author can definitely write. I would consider giving another of his books a try, this one was just mostly a miss for me.
I think this book really warmed me up to Pablo a lot. I never knew how much he suffered. How much he wrestled with existentialism and depression. Who doesn't? He is exceptionally relatable in this book, e ...more
I loved reading about Picasso’s early life in Spain and eagerly looked up the images of each painting as it was mentioned in the book. It was really nice to see how he progressed from one style to the next and to understand what events *might* have precipitated each style.
I have been to some of the cities and areas where Picasso spent his life, and I have to say the author really found a way to bring these places to life as not just backdrops, but characters. Much of th ...more
I had the good luck to see some of the very early, classical paintings he did as a teenager years ago in Barcelona. It was a great surprise and this small exhibition had no explanatory labeling. Now I understand! It was also su ...more