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Download Claude & Camille: A Novel of Monet Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Claude & Camille: A Novel of Monet Audiobook, by Stephanie Cowell Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,225 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stephanie Cowell Narrator: Christopher Cazenove Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2010 ISBN: 9780307712431
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A vividly-rendered portrait of both the rise of Impressionism and of the artist at the center of the movement, Claude and Camille is above all a love story of the highest romantic order.

In the mid-nineteenth century, a young man named Claude Monet decided that he would rather endure a difficult life painting landscapes than take over his father’s nautical supplies business in a French seaside town. Against his father’s will, and with nothing but a dream and an insatiable urge to create a new style of art that repudiated the Classical Realism of the time, he set off for Paris.
 
But once there he is confronted with obstacles: an art world that refused to validate his style, extreme poverty, and a war that led him away from his home and friends. But there were bright spots as well: his deep, enduring friendships with men named Renoir, Cézanne, Pissarro, Manet—a group that together would come to be known as the Impressionists, and that supported each other through the difficult years. Even more illuminating was his lifelong love, Camille Doncieux, a beautiful, upper-class Parisian girl who threw away her privileged life to be by the side of the defiant painter and embrace the lively Bohemian life of their time.
 
His muse, his best friend, his passionate lover, and the mother to his two children, Camille stayed with Monet—and believed in his work—even as they lived in wretched rooms and often suffered the indignities of destitution. But Camille had her own demons—secrets that Monet could never penetrate—including one that when eventually revealed would pain him so deeply that he would never fully recover from its impact. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Claude & Camille offers a fascinating look at nineteenth-century Paris, the bohemian lives of the Impressionists, and their struggle to create a new way of seeing the world. From Parisian ateliers to Giverny’s lush gardens, Stephanie Cowell paints an unforgettable portrait of Claude Monet and the two passions that framed his life: his beautiful, tragic wife, Camille, and his pursuit of art. Christi Phillips, author of The Devlin Diary
  • With elegant prose that blends color, light, and shadow to perfection, much as Monet did in his canvasses, Stephanie Cowell offers us a gorgeously rendered tale of love, genius, and haunting loss set against the dramatic backdrop of a world on the verge of inescapable change. C.W. Gortner, author of The Last Queen
  • Stephanie Cowell ‘s Monet and his Camille are achingly real, and the miserable garrets of Paris where they struggle to survive are so sensitively portrayed you can almost smell the paint.  Cowell sweeps the reader up into a story as dazzling and turbulent as the art whose creation she depicts. Laurel Corona, author of Four Seasons
     
  • Claude & Camille is a wonderfully absorbing and romantic novel, the story of Claude Monet's passion for his painting and his equally passionate love for a woman who is as elusive as the water lilies that he strove to capture on canvas. This elegant novel was hard to put down, and once I did, I rushed to view Monet's paintings with a deeper understanding. Stephanie Cowell is a wonderful writer. Sandra Gulland, author of the Josephine B. trilogy and Mistress of the Sun
     
  • Rich and satisfying…Cowell seems poised on the cusp of very great things. January Magazine
  • There's more than one love triangle involved in this highly recommended tale. Don't miss Claude & Camille. BookLoons
  • Fleshing out the artist’s biographical outline with fresh imagery, well-paced dramatic scenes and carefully calculated dialogue, Cowell presents a vivid portrait of Monet’s remarkable career. She writes with intelligence and reverence for her subject matter, providing a rich exploration of the points at which life and art converged for one of history’s greatest painters. Booklist
  • Once again the acclaimed novelist Stephanie Cowell deftly takes us into the world of the classical arts with her well researched and beautifully written novel of historical fiction, Claude & Camille. LA Times Book Examiner 5 Stars (Examiner.com)
  • Cowell is nothing short of masterful in writing about Claude Monet’s life and love….An enthralling story, beautifully told. The Boston Globe
  • What a man! I am in awe before him. To be swept up by this novel which reveals the man and woman behind--no, in, the waterlily paintings, the seascapes and landscapes, is, and must be, a heartbreak. For me, reading Claude and Camille is like seeing old friends, learning them anew, from the inside, their passionate lives pulsing again by virtue of Stephanie Cowell's sure pen. The story is lovely, touching, delicately written, extraordinarily compelling, and nearly all true. Read it with a book of Monet's paintings by your side, and be prepared to marvel, and to weep. Susan Vreeland, author Luncheon of the Boating Party and Girl in Hyacinth Blue
  • An engaging, lyrical, and spirited work of fiction about the great love of Monet's life. Cowell creates a vivid world here, of art, friendship, and ardent love within the Impressionist circle. Harriet Scott Chessman, author of Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper
  • You’ll never look at Monet’s water lilies the same way after reading Cowell’s luminous biography of the artist and his muse Romantic Times (4 Stars)
  • Stephanie Cowell’s new novel of art and love is focused on Claude Monet’s great passions: painting, friendship, and Camille Doncieux. With her uncanny ability to inhabit the hearts of historical characters, Cowell creates a wholly fascinating milieu as vividly as a film-maker. She has a special gift for rendering the scene--knowing which moments excite the reader, illuminate the characters, and create memorability. I was touched by the novel’s tenderness and compassion, and moved to immerse myself in my books of Impressionist paintings. Sandra Scofield, author of Opal on Dry Ground and Occasions of Sin

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erika | 2/10/2014

    " Would give it three and a half for sure. It just didn't have the action to keep me up at night, but it was absolutely fascinating, yet also sad, depressing and even scary. So, so many artists in the world, including my own brother, want to make a living as an artist and have to give in to a 9-5 boring job. Monet never gave up or gave in, but to the detriment of his marriage, his happiness, his friends.....he was broke and unappreciated for the majority of his life. If only he could know that I have a water lilies mug I drove all the way to Boston for, to go see a big showing of his work from France. I have one of his prints in my house! If only he had that success when his children were young and his first wife were alive :( Great book if you love any of the Impressionists--Renoir, Pisarro, Manet, all buddies in this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roxanne Kroll | 2/5/2014

    " I've always admired the Impressionists, Monet's work in particular. Reading "Claude and Camille", my appreciation has only grown deeper. I will never again view a painting of Monet's without thinking about what and who inspired him, and what a beautiful and painful cost it was to create such exquisite impressions. I loved this novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susanne | 2/4/2014

    " A glorious, luminous portrait of love. Cowell is a master of nuance and emotional subtlety. I loved this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dana | 1/27/2014

    " Interesting fictional bio of Claude Monet and his longtime girlfriend. Quick read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Judy | 1/27/2014

    " I was so interested in learning about Monet's life and it was our book club read, that I plowed through it. It had so much potential but was so poorly written as to be almost painful! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 1/21/2014

    " A very nice work of historical fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debp | 1/2/2014

    " I was interested in this book, because I have always liked his paintings. The book is very easy to get into. It starts with his childhood and covers his whole life. The book depicts the hardships that the artists went through at that time. It is easy to picture all of the artists sitting around in a cafe discussing their work,lives and hardships.It makes me appreciate his work even more now. It is definitely worth reading. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cathy | 12/30/2013

    " I read about 3/4 of the book . It told an interesting story of how the impressionists survived before they were accepted as artists. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen On the Edge | 12/20/2013

    " It's not completely historically accurate, but this is still a lovely novel about Claude Monet and his first wife Camille. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bruce Hopkins | 10/15/2013

    " Touching love story about Monet and his wife and muse. The real life of an artist may seem romantic but can be very hard scrabble as well. Nice early highlights of Monet's life and struggles. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Allison | 9/4/2013

    " Historical fiction is not my thing. This one really put me to sleep. To be fair, I didn't make it past the first 50-or-so pages, so there's a pretty good chance that it got better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marie | 4/24/2012

    " This was very well written for a Monet fan. The descriptions were vivid. It showed what it can be like to have an artist as your life partner. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hollis | 3/24/2012

    " I just picked this up in the new books section, but I really loved it - gave me a bit more insight into Claude Monet (this is about his first love) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judie | 11/13/2011

    " Well written, interesting story about Claude Monet, his wife & model, Camille, and other artists of his time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 'jean | 7/31/2011

    " I found this hard to put down. I find historical fiction fascinating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amber | 5/11/2011

    " I didn't care for it and I especially didn't like Claude or Camille. I would say the only positive thing I could say is that it was an easy read, despite my dislike. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Linnet | 4/30/2011

    " Monet's story from the time he gave up his plan to do drawings for money to his struggle for the rest of his life to paint impressions of light, no matter the difficulties surviving while he painted. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christy | 4/19/2011

    " A beautiful novel of love and loss, and of love that can never be lost. I recommend this highly. A beautiful portrait of Claude Monet and the love of his life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Harriet | 4/13/2011

    " I have really gotten into historical novels and enjoyed this one very much. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deborah | 2/26/2011

    " Great story about my favorite painter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 K (Karen) | 2/22/2011

    " Loved it! Lots of period historical information during the time that the French Impressionists were developing their style. "

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About the Narrator

Christopher Cazenove (1943–2010), one of England’s finest actors, starred on stage and television in the United States and Great Britain. His motion-picture credits include A Knight’s Tale, Eye of the Needle, Children of the Full Moon, and Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill. He played Ben Carrington on television’s Dynasty.