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

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."

Don't go to Italy without reading this!

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

This has it all. A fabulous topic, perhaps one of the greatest artists of all time, a fabulous period piece, the Italian Renaissance, and a marvelous story, brilliantly drafted by Stone, that is as captivating as it is informative. I first read this book 40 years ago as a teenager backbacking through Europe, and when I finished it five days later, by which I was in Venice, I had to return to Rome to see pieces I'd read about but not seen when I was there. Planning to return to Italy again, I re-listened to the book, which reignited my interest in the Renaissance and Italian Art and improved the whole experience of touring this marvelous country.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Agony and the Ecstasy?

Historical Fiction has the marvelous ability to weave a compelling story out of cloth that is the history of the era, putting names, places and players into context such that you really feel you have a grasp of the history.

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- Richard

Book Details

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