Dear Theo

  • by Irving Stone, Jean Stone
  • Narrated by Clive Chafer
  • 21 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Each night, when the hours of painting and drawing were over, Vincent van Gogh put pen to paper and poured out his heart through letters to his beloved brother, Theo, his confidant and companion. No thought was too small, no element of his craft too insignificant, no happening too trivial. It was all scrupulously recorded and shared.
In these letters, Van Gogh reveals himself as artist and man. Even more than if he had purposely intended to tell his life story, Van Gogh’s letters lay bare his deepest feelings, as well as his everyday concerns and his views of the world of art. Irving Stone has edited the letters of Vincent in such a way as to retain every line of beauty, significance, and importance. “It is my humble opinion that Vincent was as great a writer and philosopher,” Stone says, “as he was a painter.”

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What the Critics Say

“An extraordinary book… and a great one.” (New York Times)
“A great book, the greatness of a man in his own words.” (The Nation)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Worst narrator ever!

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Interesting from an art history perspective, and to witness the thinking of Van Gogh.


What didn’t you like about Clive Chafer’s performance?

Almost a complete monotone all the way through. I am pretty sure that Vincent Van Gogh was a very passionate man, but the entire book was read in a near monotone. It was so excruciating to listen to that I put it down for months at a time.


If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Dear Theo?

No scenes - these are his letters to his brother, so no editing. I would select a more passionate narrator.


Any additional comments?

Read the book on your own. This narrator is awful!

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- Aawendel

Fabulous Book, Breathlessly Read

Van Gogh's letters to Theo, his brother, his confidante, and his only financial support, offer a intimate glimpse into his struggle to be an artist at the dawn of modernity. One of a number of late 19th century artists rebelling against the norms of classical and realistic art, Van Gogh fought personal poverty, public hostility, professional scorn as well as his own demons to hammer out his life's work. The letters chronicle his challenges. Deeply thoughtful and eloquent, they give voice to his difficulties in learning how to how to draw and paint, express his financial worries and schemes, and offer his personal take on artists he loved and loathed. This Audible edition is fun to listen to, but the reader reads too quickly (perhaps they gave him a time limit?) Without pausing sufficiently, one thought or idea piles up behind another, and the listener sometimes can't absorb the material, enjoy a lovely sentence, or just ponder Van Gogh's often penetrating insight. Still, it's definitely worth a listen, especially if you have a hard copy to accompany the audio version or just remember to turn it off every once in a while to let the thoughts of Van Gogh's volcanic personality sink in.
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- Chris Buczinsky

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-21-2012
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.