Best Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh BrothersAuthor Deborah Heiligman –

I bought this book for my 13 year old daughter for Christmas She is an avid reader who enjoys everything from Isabelle Allende to Frank McCourt She especially is interested in well written memoirs and biographies and I thought Vincent and Theo would be a hit However, the writing style is so disconcerting that it renders this book nearly unreadable The author uses short, simple sentences which lends a choppy feel to the text and never allows the reader below the waves to a deeper meaning or insight She also employs present tense, which is understandable for younger readers, but not what was expected from a book marketed to young adults Additionally, the liberal use of the second person point of view also gives this book a primer like feel to it In short, if you have an emerging reader who needs an easy read to break their teeth in on, this might be for you Skip it if you enjoy a book rich with complex thoughts that will leave you re reading sentences simply to savor their cadence and artistry You will not find that in Vincent and Theo. Printz Honor Book YALSA Nonfiction Award Winner Boston Globe Horn Book Award Winner SCBWI Golden Kite Winner Cybils Senior High Nonfiction Award WinnerFrom The Author Of National Book Award Finalist Charles And Emma Comes An Incredible Story Of Brotherly LoveThe Deep And Enduring Friendship Between Vincent And Theo Van Gogh Shaped Both Brothers Lives Confidant, Champion, Sympathizer, Friend Theo Supported Vincent As He Struggled To Find His Path In Life They Shared Everything, Swapping Stories Of Lovers And Friends, Successes And Disappointments, Dreams And Ambitions Meticulously Researched, Drawing On The Letters Vincent Wrote To Theo During His Lifetime, Deborah Heiligman Weaves A Tale Of Two Lives Intertwined And The Extraordinary Love Of The Van Gogh Brothers What a perfect portrait of Vincent and his brother I thought the simplicity of the text struck just the right tone direct, honest, and original, much like Vincent s own paintings I had read so much about this artist in the past, including his letters to Theo, that I didn t expect to learn much What a surprise to find I came away from this book with a deeper understanding of Vincent and his art and the love the Van Gogh brothers had for each other My daughter in law is a high school art teacher and I ordered her a copy for her classroom I would give her mine, but I ve already loaned it out It s that kind of book, one that you want to share with everyone you know I rarely give five stars, but when I thought of all the books on Vincent that I ve come across, I do believe that this one would be his favorite. I couldn t wait to purchase this book as well as the audible part First there s not a lot in here I didn t know from my past readings on Vincent Van Gogh..but I really didn t know Theo was as sickly as he was For 3 nights I read listened and literally when I fell asleep, my inside alarm clock kept waking me to finish..this went on for about 3 nights I thought I d go crazy I m thrilled with all the paintings, drawings and info on when each one was done At the end we get to see a selection of his paintings and since I m an artist I was thrilled It just makes me want to purchase the hardcover NOWAt times I felt I was comparing it to Kirk Douglas, well how can you not The movie was good but there s nothing like his real life My next plan is to finish another Van Gogh book and then re read The Brothers becuz listening takes a lot away..I m thrilled it s mine NOT borrowed Excellent research by the author too with pages of when each drawing was done while he was dead broke and when each painting was done, or less very ll have to find out the controversy re his earthat I never heard.A BIG 5 ON THIS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR EVERYONE Excellent writing I was not sure what to expect, but to my surprise, this book hooked me almost immediately It s a biography of Vincent Van Gogh, but the focus is on the relationship between Vincent and his brother Theo, who pretty much supported him financially his entire adult life, as well as encouraging, showing, and critiquing his art The writing style was kind of interesting a combination of standard biography, mixed with little vignettes, which at times kind of had the staccato feel of a stop action movie I went through the Van Gogh museum last summer, and all I could think was how much interesting the museum would have been if I had read this book first An opportunity lost The Museum was actually the inspiration for this book, as the author was intrigued to find out about the relationship between the two brothers One interesting note at the end of the book is that we have Theo s wife Johanna to thank for our ability to see and appreciate the works of Vincent She was encouraged by some to just get rid of Vincent s paintings after Theo s death, which was only 2 years after Vincent Had she done that, he might have just faded away But she believed in Theo and Vincent, promoting Vincent s work, even after remarrying Her son Vincent eventually founded the museum I visited last summer Even if you have no plans to visit the museum in Amsterdam, I would still highly recommend this book. All that I knew about Vincent Van Gogh was that he was a mentally ill painter who cut off his ear I now know how much there was to him and the wonderful up and down relationship he had with his brother, Theo The author s writing style so perfectly fits this incredible story of how a loving Theo helped guide his extraordinarily talented brother to become one of the great painters of this rich period that gave the world so many great Dutch painters The author s knowledge of painting helped me to a greater appreciation of not just Van Gogh, but the wider world of art I thought great artists were born, which is true in a limited way, but like gifted musicians, they still must spend hours a day for years in order to develop that talent This book was a gift to my soul It is a great insight into the family life of Van Gogh and how his life unfortunate events affected his brother Excellent read for first timer , nothing new to learn here Are the hats on the front cover allotted to the wrong brother