Conversations with Van Gogh

  • by Vincent Van Gogh, Simon Parke
  • Narrated by Andy Havill
  • 2 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Vincent van Gogh is best known for two things – his sunflowers and his ear-cutting. But there are many other ways of knowing this remarkable son of a Dutch pastor, who left his chill homeland for the sunshine of Arles in the South of France; and left us over a thousand frank letters of struggle and joy, to help us glimpse his inner world.
Vincent came late to painting after spending time in London trying to be a Christian missionary. And though he is now amongst the most famous artists on earth, in his day, no one saw him coming – apart from one French art critic called Aurier. It is possible he never sold one of his paintings in his life time.
When he discovered the sun in Arles, he also discovered energy. Yellow for him was the colour of hope, and in his last two years he painted almost a canvass a day. But hope ran out on July 27th, 1890 when he shot himself, aged 37. He was at this time six months out of a mental institution, where perhaps he experienced his greatest calm. Vincent compared himself to a stunted plant; damaged by the emotional frost of his childhood.
‘Speaking with Vincent – which he insists on being called – was a privilege,’ says Simon Parke. ‘He’s endlessly fascinating, contradictory, moving, funny, insightful and tragic. There’s a fury in him; but also a great kindness. He found harmony in human relationships elusive; his love life was a painful shambles. But with colour, he was a harmonic genius, and he has much to say about this. And here’s the thing: for a man who killed himself – he died in the arms of his brother on July 29th - spending time with him was never anything but life-affirming.’


What the Critics Say

"I feel like Vincent is right here beside me." (Richard Addis)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Van Gogh

It is a fascinating audio-book. I listened to it with so much pleasure. It was like listening to a real interview with Van Gogh and all the words were his own. All the little details of Van Gogh's life create picture of an authentic person, not some legendary painter. Also, the delivery by Andy Havill realy brings Vincent's words to life.
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- Paul


If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

People who are easily amused. Someone who only wants the thin gruel of what Vincent Van Gogh wrote.

What will your next listen be?

God only knows.

How could the performance have been better?

While listening to conversations with Van Gogh I yearned for more Van Gogh and for the interviewer to disappear. I just wish someone had done a full unabridged version of Van Gogh's letters - all 900+ letters and I would have been in heaven. Instead I have to be contented with this chopped up mess.

What character would you cut from Conversations with Van Gogh?

The interviewer

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- jon-paul

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-02-2010
  • Publisher: White Crow Books