Regular price: $49.00

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
  • Get access to the Member Daily Deal
OR
In Cart

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.

©1987 Irving Stone (P)2012 Random House

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    557
  • 4 Stars
    153
  • 3 Stars
    69
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    12

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    514
  • 4 Stars
    138
  • 3 Stars
    55
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    8

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    533
  • 4 Stars
    125
  • 3 Stars
    51
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    5
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Richard
  • Fair Lawn, NJ, United States
  • 05-16-12

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.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars

A beautiful story

Wonderfully told story about a genius in a time fraught with change
History come to life with Mr. Stone's words.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great look in to this great artist's life

Where does The Agony and the Ecstasy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I thought this was a very good view and perspective in to the man, the politics and the Catholic church. Eye opening and a great read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

What A Life!

I love this way of telling a biography – like a novel. It’s so much more pleasant to read than the traditional layout of: “on this date this event happened, and then on that date the other part was done, and then on this date that contract was signed”… I am going to remember the story of Michealngelo’s life much better thanks to this format. Of course, being a biographical novel, one must assume that there is a little fictional embellishment going on here and there, but I think it just makes the “bigger truer parts” more absorbable.

The book was a little on the long side, so I can’t tell you that I was riveted to every word, but I still got a lot out of it; I learned so much about the man that I think I have new appreciation and better understanding of his art.

Can’t wait to see them again!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved this book

Would you listen to The Agony and the Ecstasy again? Why?

Absolutely loved this book. Stone weaves a wonderful story, effectively combining history, biography and fiction. Although I had read the book many, many years ago, listening made me appreciate Michelangelo's work (and that of his contemporaries) even more. Narration was excellent. Overall a must listen for anyone who loves art or wants to learn more about it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A grand multimedia experience

Read this book decades ago. Probably saw the movie but reading the book now on my smartphone was a different experience. It is the story of Michaelangelo's life. I am not a knowledgeable art lover but each time the story talked about things I could just "look it up" on my phone, see the pictures, understand what the story was talking about. Ok, there were some necessary negatives--lots of names of people I found impossible to keep track of. Long, detailed descriptions of his working BUT once I realized I could go see what they were talking about what had been less interesting parts became MORE interesting parts. Even the question of his sexuality became interesting--read/listen to his life, make your own decisions. And for the history lover a fascinating time. Can you imagine Da Vinci and Michaelangelo being competitors in a contest? Fortunately De Vinci decided to drop out and Michaelangelo "won" the block of marble which became the David. So if you want a rather lengthy listen that isn't full of fast-moving events, and you have interest in biographies, history or Italian Renaissance art, this may be the perfect book for you.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

a simply wonderful listen...

This is trully such a great listen on almost all levels.Its emotional,intellectualy satisfying,historicly wonderous,spiritual.ect.ect...Also I strongly disagree with the reviews trashing the narrator.I found him wonderful and even hunted for other books he's read...this realy is a great audiobook...enjoy.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Emilee
  • PALMYRA, NY, United States
  • 11-26-12

Works well

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

Yes, it speaks clearly, pronounces things right, and is at a good pace.

Any additional comments?

Good audio book. You just need to focus on listening because it is very long.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 08-05-12

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.

16 of 21 people found this review helpful