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Publisher's Summary

The unbelievable true story of artist Thomas Kinkade, self-described "Painter of Light," and the dramatic rise - and fall - of his billion-dollar gallery and licensing business.
He was just one man, but Thomas Kinkade ultimately made more money from his art than every other artist in the history of the world combined. His sentimental paintings of babbling brooks, rural churches surrounded by brilliant fall foliage, and idyllic countryside cottages were so popular in the 1990s that it is estimated that one out of every 20 homes in America owned one of his prints. With the help of two partners - a former vacuum-cleaner salesman and an ambitious junior accountant who fancied himself a businessman - Kinkade turned his art into a billion-dollar gallery and licensing business that traded on the New York Stock Exchange before it collapsed in 2006 amid fraud accusations.
One part fascinating business story about the rise and demise of a financial empire born out of divine inspiration, one part dramatic biography, Billion Dollar Painter is the account of three nobodies who made it big. One was a man who, despite being a devout Christian who believed his artwork was a spiritual force that could cure the sick and comfort the poor in spirit, could not save his art empire - or himself.
G. Eric Kuskey, former colleague of Thomas Kinkade and close friend until the artist's death in 2012, tells Kinkade's story for the first time, from his art's humble beginnings on a sidewalk in Carmel, California, to his five-house compound in Monte Sereno. It's a tale of addiction and grief, of losing control, and ultimately, of the price of our dreams.
©2014 G. Eric Kuskey (P)2014 Blackstone Audiobooks
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Julie B on 11-12-14

Very enlightening - pun intended

If you could sum up Billion Dollar Painter in three words, what would they be?

More Tragedy than Triumph

What other book might you compare Billion Dollar Painter to and why?

Can't think of one

Have you listened to any of Jim Meskimen’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Not that I know of. I thought his performance was very good. I don't remember much about it which is what makes it good. What should be remembered is the story, not the narrator. If they can fade into the background, or seem as if the author is talking to you, I think that is a successful narration.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It just made me sad. What a waste of talent.

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed hearing about the life of Thomas Kinkade. I watched his rise and fall but I didn't really know the whole story. I certainly had never heard he was an alcoholic. I thought the fact that the book was written by a friend who saw much of what happened first hand made it a better book. He was able to portray Thomas Kinkade in an honest and sympathetic way. Even if you aren't that familiar with Thomas Kinkade's art it is a story worth telling and listening to. It is sad to say that so many creative people have problems in business and in their personal life.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

By Tyehimba Jahsi on 04-29-15


As an artist, years ago, I once heard another artist (with pretty poor artistic skills, in my opinion) put down Thomas Kincaid with this snooty words "I don't consider him an artist!" I thought "what in the hell? Where did THAT judgment come from?" Who sat in some ivory tower and handed down the "official" definition of what an artist is? Ridiculous!! Thomas Kincaid was every bit a true artist, as far as I'm concerned. Yes, much of his work may have looked formulaic--so what? He painted what he felt. He painted what was in his heart! Sure, many will argue that all the feverish reproduction frenzy and product licensing that put his images on a million different things could be interpreted as cheap commercializing or whatever. And yes, many of the business people associated with his art had nothing but dollar signs in mind, and many investors were hurt by that. But I will not detract one bit from giving the man full credit for an incredible body of work that found resonance with hundreds of millions of people!!! His story was indeed fascinating. He struggled with personal demons (I haven't met a child of God on this planet that hasn't!)
All-in-all, this was a GREAT audiobook!!

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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