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Mad Enchantment Audiobook

Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies

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Publisher's Summary

We have all seen, whether live, in photographs or on postcards, some of Claude Monet's legendary water lily paintings. They are in museums all over the world and are among the most beloved works of art of the past century. Yet, ironically, these soothing images were created amid terrible personal turmoil and sadness.

The extraordinarily dramatic history behind the creation of these paintings is little-known; Ross King's new audiobook tells that story for the first time and, in the process, presents a compelling and original portrait of one of our most beloved artists.

King tells the full history of the special circumstances in which Monet created the Water Lilies. As World War I exploded within hearing distance of his house at Giverny, he was facing his own personal crucible. In 1911, aged 71, his adored wife, Alice, died, plunging him into deep mourning. A year later he began going blind. Then his eldest son, Jean, fell ill and died of syphilis, and his other son was sent to the front to fight for France.

Within months a violent storm destroyed much of the garden that had been his inspiration for some 20 years. At the same time, his reputation was under attack, as a new generation of artists, led by Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, were dazzling the art world and expressing disgust with Impressionism.

Against all this, fighting his own self-doubt, depression, and age, Monet found the wherewithal to construct a massive new studio, 70 feet long and 50 feet high, to accommodate the gigantic canvases that would, he hoped, revive him.

Using letters, memoirs, and other sources not employed by other biographers, and focusing on this remarkable period in the artist's life, Ross King reveals a more complex, more human, more intimate Claude Monet than has ever been portrayed and firmly places his water lily project among the greatest achievements in the history of art.

©2016 Ross King (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (71 )
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3.8 (59 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Gary 11-04-16
    Gary 11-04-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    6
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    "Pronunciation"

    I was appalled and disappointed with the very poor pronunciation of all foreign words ie French names and places Some were indecipherable
    Book should be re recorded with a stand in
    For all of the French or your reader needs a 5 hour tutorial
    Wonderful story excellent angle on monet's
    Life with so much political context.
    Riveting

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin B. ARLINGTON, VA, US 05-15-17
    Robin B. ARLINGTON, VA, US 05-15-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Poor French pronunciations by Richards."
    Would you try another book from Ross King and/or Joel Richards?

    I would NEVER listen to another book read by Richards. His French mispronunciations were awful and almost ruined the book for me. You should refund everyone who paid for this book.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment with the reader, Joel Richards.


    Any additional comments?

    Refund all of us who paid for this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie Croquez Bucks County, PA 06-23-17
    Stephanie Croquez Bucks County, PA 06-23-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Wonderful book. Awful awful narration."

    They must re record this if it to remain an audiobook. The book has a french word or location in every sentence and this narrator destroys the french language. At best he doesn't know any pronunciation but frankly this ruins the book as he even changes the words by his terrible reading. I am telling everyone who would enjoy this to only read it. Do not get the audio. I hope the author hasn't listened to this or he would cringe.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claire 05-19-17
    Claire 05-19-17 Member Since 2017
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    19
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    "Good Story, Disappointing Narration"

    I love this author and I think this book is engagingly written. However, I feel like I am going to have to abandon it half-finished because of how frustrated I am with the narrator. He clearly has no idea how to pronounce French words, to the point that I often have no idea who, what or where he is talking about. Would have been better off with someone just pronouncing things phonetically rather than a mangled distortion. It feels like a bizarre oversight.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katrina Mosher 05-10-17 Member Since 2014
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    Story
    "Beautiful and sad story. OK performance"

    I love learning more about Claude Monet, the story is both beautiful and sad. Performance was just OK. A little bit monotone, I found myself drifting off quite easily. However overall, if you are into the time period And the artist you will definitely enjoy this Book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin G G New York 04-28-17
    Robin G G New York 04-28-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Good read for anyone interested in Monet"
    Any additional comments?

    I was shocked to find that the book started after the death of his first wife. There was NO mention of childhood experiences or influences? Or even much about his early personal life with his first wife and his children while they were younger. that seems to be crucial missing information.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luis 12-08-16
    Luis 12-08-16 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of the greatest biographical books"

    Love the story telling skill of the author. Line after line I felt captivated and immersed in the life of the artist even though I possess no artistic inclination whatsoever. It kept me craving for more detail and it kept coming back. Most awesome career and era defining by a single artist. Highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mary 02-19-17
    mary 02-19-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Asome book!"

    I have listened twice to this book. I ordered the hard copy as well. I have learned so much about Claude Monet, and other artist, France. I am a painter and suggest this book to all who paint and love art in any form.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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