The Agony and the Ecstasy

  • by Irving Stone
  • Narrated by Arthur Morey
  • 33 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This is Irving Stone's powerful and passionate biographical novel of Michelangelo. His time: the turbulent Renaissance, the years of poisoning princes, warring popes, the all-powerful Medici family, the fanatic monk Savonarola. His loves: the frail and lovely daughter of Lorenzo de Medici; the ardent mistress of Marco Aldovrandi; and his last love - his greatest love - the beautiful, unhappy Vittoria Colonna. His genius: a God-driven fury from which he wrested the greatest art the world has ever known. Michelangelo Buonarotti, creator of David, painter of the Sistine ceiling, architect of the dome of St Peter's, lives once more in Irving Stone's marvellous book.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

One of the Best Historical Novels Ever Written

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I read this years ago when in college, and listening to it was like revisiting a very good friend that I had not seen in years. Sometimes such occasions can be awkward or disappointing. Certainly there have been times that I have tried to listen to a book that I enjoyed in my youth, only to end up scratching my head. But not this time...The detail is phenomenal (Irving Stone writes as if he actually lived in the 15th century). The writing is superb. The narration is outstanding. Most importantly, it’s a story about one of the greatest artists that ever lived, and how he was compelled by an inner drive to create some of the greatest art ever produced. So skip the mediocre movie by the same name and listen to the book.


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- Amazon Customer

The Master of the Biographical Novel at his BEST

I read this book in 1961 and told myself this is a book I have to read again some day. Irving Stone is the master of the biographical novel and his writing is excellent. His wife Jean was the primary researcher for all his books, they worked as a team. This is the story of Michelangelo Buonarotti starting as a young boy through his first apprenticeship and the move to the "garden"to apprentice in sculpture and patronage of Lorenzo de Medici. This is an in-depth story of his life and the history and polictics of the time. From the fanatic monk Savonarola who burned and destroy much of the art and literature of Florence to the wars and the politics of the church. I wonder what more beautiful thing Michelangelo could have produce if the various Pope's would have let him finish one project before forcing him to another. One good thing is one Pope forced his to paint and another to be an architect when all he wanted to do was sculpt. I did not remember that he build a road up a steep mountain including digging tunnels, designing wagon's to carry the marble off the steep mtn. so I guess one could say he was also an engineer. I enjoyed the meeting's between Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Arthur Morey did a good job narrating the book with all the Italian names.
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- Jean "I am an avid eclectic reader."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-09-2012
  • Publisher: Random House Audio