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Leaving Van Gogh

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  1,281 Ratings  ·  229 Reviews
In 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 important and valued in the world.          

In this riveting novel, Carol Wallace b
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 19th 2011 by Spiegel & Grau (first published January 1st 2011)
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Emma Caylor In my opinion, historical fiction allows for an expansion on the lives of people who may have some mystery to them. It also adds flavor and feeling to…moreIn my opinion, historical fiction allows for an expansion on the lives of people who may have some mystery to them. It also adds flavor and feeling to what can be rather dry accounts told in biographies. I grew up reading historical fiction, particularly the Dragon Wings series by Laurence Yep. His work brought to light a history of Chinese immigration to the United States and the lives of Chinese Americans throughout the history of the US. This topic was something that would be hard for a young child to access, but definitely something that helped formed my views on how to treat all people.
I suppose, in conclusion, historical fiction is a more accessible way for people to approach historical figures and time periods.(less)

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Mar 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Dionisia by: Goodreads Giveaway
I was really looking forward to the arrival of this book. After all, sad books need love too! I even loved the first lines...

"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.
May 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Where to begin? This book captured my heart from its first pages and it still hasn't let go. Vincent van Gogh was a man of supreme artistic brilliance but a true lost soul when it came to living in the real world. Without the undying support of his brother Theo we might never have known the beauty of his Sunflowers or the glory of his Starry Night. His works were a passion of mine as I studied art history and they remain amongst my favorite pieces of art.

Ms. Wallace imagines the last months of v
Jun 13, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting book. I chose it because I love art and I am always interested in the artists who create the art I love. I have always thought Van Gogh to be an tragic and fascinating human being.

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.

I real
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
In this fictionalized biography, the last months of Vincent Van Gogh's life are told from the first person perspective of Paul Gachet, a medical doctor. Dr. Gachet lived part time in Paris and part time in Auvers, which is a short distance from Paris, and had an interest in mental illness. He also did a little painting and was a collector. This is in the very, very early stages of understanding mental problems. Theo Van Gogh, Vincent's brother, asked Dr Gachet if he would observe his brother's b ...more
Sep 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: art lovers
Shelves: fiction, art-history
Author Carol Wallace tackles a tough literary project, creating a fictional work about famed artist Vincent Van Gogh in the final year of his life. Readers will already have formed preconceptions about the artist. Integrating her own viewpoint with a core of historical accuracy, and expressing this through fictional conversations and thoughts is not an easy task. Wallace applies several ingenious approaches to the problem.

The story is narrated through the eyes of Dr. Paul Gachet, a physician wit
Deborah Pickstone
Best book of 2017 so far. Spellbinding. Beautiful. Very sad - I cried. Author was scrupulous in telling what was true and what made up; I would like to think it was all true. That poor man - and those exquisite paintings! I've seen some in various galleries; there is nothing like his painting.

It is true that many artist's do suffer forms of mental illness - more than the rest of the population. And poor Theo also. It is amazing really that his widow went on to assiduously promote van Gogh's work
May 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
I really had higher hopes for this book. I'm intrigued by Van Gogh, not only with his paintings, but his complex personality and life.

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,
J.M. Cornwell
May 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Poignant and sad fantasy of Vincent Van Gogh’s last days.

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
Susan (aka Just My Op)
Mar 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
3 1/2 stars. Dr. Gachet tried to treat the mental illness of Vincent Van Gogh as well as being his friend during the final days of Van Gogh's life, and this fictionalized memoir (or what do you call this genre?) is told from the doctor's viewpoint. Most of us know that Van Gogh's work is beautiful and startling but there are lots of us who know little about the artist other than that he cut off his own ear. Well, not the whole ear, as it turns out. How can such a disturbed person find and create ...more
Apr 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Based on some historical fact, this is the story of the last days of Van Gogh. He resides in the small village of Auvers and is befriended by Dr. Gachet ( an actual person who Van Gogh once painted). Dr. Gachet struggles unsuccessfully to help Van Gogh through his mental instability and may have been instrumental in his suicide.

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
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Carol Wallace, the great-great-granddaughter of Lew Wallace, is the author most recently of a new version of "Ben-Hur." It is the official tie-in of the new major film, releasing in August of 2016.

Carol is also the co-author of "To Marry an English Lord," which was one of the inspirations for "Downton Abbey," and author of the historical novel
"Leaving Van Gogh." Previous titles have included hum
More about Carol Wallace...
“Vincent wrote once in a letter that a man who commits suicide turns his friends into murderers.” 1 likes
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