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Download Life Studies Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Life Studies (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Susan Vreeland
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (435 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Susan Vreeland Narrator: Karen White Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2005 ISBN:
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In Life Studies, Susan Vreeland has written a deeply moving, richly textured collection of stories that explore art through the eyes of ordinary people. Rather than focusing directly on great Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists like Manet, Monet, Van Gogh, and Modigliani, Vreeland shifts her lens to those on the periphery, their lovers, servants, children, and neighbors, showing their personal stories as they play out against the artists' lives. Counterbalancing these historic stories are an equal number of contemporary tales in which her characters, a teacher, a construction worker, and an orphan, encounter art in meaningful, sometimes surprising ways.

When a disillusioned banker sees his daughter through the eyes of Renoir, his senses and zest for life are awakened. Morisot's wet nurse sacrifices her own child so another mother can paint. By modeling nude, a wife discovers her deeper, more compassionate self. In one enlightening summer, a young girl encounters Picasso and death. Together, the stories in Life Studies are a fascinating exploration of human frailty and resilience. These tales marvel at the lasting strength and meaning of art in our lives, revealing art's healing effect on the soul. Crafted with the skill of a master painter, Life Studies is a dazzling addition to Vreeland's outstanding body of work. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bethany | 2/20/2014

    " I have never been a huge fan of the short story, but since finding Susan Vreeland I am a changed woman. This collection of stories revolving around the affect that art has on its creators and appreciators are each unique in their tone and viewpoint. I love the details that obviously come from careful research as well as brilliant imagination. I am on the hunt for more of her work! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cia | 2/20/2014

    " Interesting stories thru the lives of famous artists. Fictional, but possible... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marian Ferguson | 1/26/2014

    " Vreeland's gift for fictionalizing artists' lives and the revealing the impact of art on all of ourlives comes across in beautifully written stories. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sara Elise | 1/22/2014

    " A story of painting and the painters who painted them, the readers of this novel (or collection of short stories that are clearly connected, if you will) are invited into the private dreams and lives of some of the impressionists. And that's just part 1. In part 2 we find ourselves in modern times, being treated to an insight into the way art can influence, for better or for worse, the everyday lives of our fellow citizens. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ellen | 1/16/2014

    " Short stories aren't my favorite, but I think I would probably like one of Susan Vreeland's novels. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 1/8/2014

    " A little uneven - some of these are very good and will stay with you, others less so. Overall good because of the focus on artists, their art, lives and time periods. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shea | 1/4/2014

    " I usually enjoy short stories but for some reason most of these seemed lacking to me. All the stories revolved around art or famous artists, which is a wonderful premise but it did not intrigue me as I thought it would. I enjoyed the "Now" stories more than those based on the real artists of the impressionist era. I felt I was missing something when I was not very familiar with their art. I would recommend this book to an art lover but for just a regular reader I would pass. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 1/1/2014

    " This was a really interesting book. It is divided into three parts: the first part is like snapshots from historical artists' lives, the second part is a folk tale-type of story, and the third part is a collection of short stories showing how art affects different people differently. I do not normally enjoy books of short stories, but this was a nice, easy read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 1/1/2014

    " This book is a must read for anyone who loves art and history. The way she takes you into the art and artists makes you feel like you're sharing an intimate vignette with them. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Doublemk | 10/7/2013

    " Read this a couple of months ago, and enjoyed it, but was not enthralled by it. Nevertheless, it sent me to the Internet to find the paintings which she enbraced in the story lines and that was very enlightening and intriguing. Recommend to be read, at leisure. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sandie | 9/30/2013

    " It wasn't a bad book but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. This is a book of short stories with none of them having any real point. Maybe I'm just not a fan of short stories... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe Mossa | 9/12/2013

    " Great stories from a great writer who must do research like a non fiction writer. she is a writing artist writing about art, artists,families,people.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alisa | 8/27/2013

    " I love collections of short stories along a theme. Life Studies has a section of short stories on 19th-century painters and another section on contemporary encounters with art. Loved Vreeland's style and the subject matter. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nminnig | 4/29/2013

    " This is collection of stories where artists are on the periphery of stories and not the protagonist. Interesting concept "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alice | 3/7/2013

    " This is wonderful book of short stories. If you have ever studied art you will really enjoy theses tales. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Betsy | 8/28/2012

    " A mixed bag of short stories, some were every bit as good as Luncheon of the Boating Party, but some fell short. I prefer her historical fiction to her stories set in the present. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 7/8/2012

    " I loved the small glimpses into the lives presented here. Susan Vreeland has a candid style and versitility that appeals to me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 6/6/2012

    " I liked some more than others - but overall very good and extremely readable. I prefer the novels, however. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dana | 5/23/2012

    " Read my review of Life Studies: Stories . "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barb Bailey | 12/24/2011

    " This book was a collection of short fictional stories about masterpieces of art and /or artists and their famlies and relationships. An insteresting twist for art lovers. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Terri | 8/11/2011

    " This book is a series of short stories with art and artists focused in them. It starts out great with some lovely, rich and charming stories. As the book goes on though, it seems to lose some of its magic and beauty. Some of the later stories did nothing for me at all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kris Wright | 7/16/2011

    " it helped that we had the paintings to look at "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Danielle | 6/13/2011

    " Did not like. I understood it was a series of short stories, but I was very disappointed after Hyacinth Blue because that book was so good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 5/23/2011

    " In the first half of the book, I found it interesting how the author took a small fact about an artist and spun a story about the people who may or may not have been in their life centering it on the isolated fact about the artist. In the second half, my favorite story was "In at least 500 words". "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kim | 5/23/2011

    " Good book for the beach, don't worry if it gets sandy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marian | 4/3/2011

    " Vreeland's gift for fictionalizing artists' lives and the revealing the impact of art on all of ourlives comes across in beautifully written stories. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nminnig | 1/25/2011

    " This is collection of stories where artists are on the periphery of stories and not the protagonist. Interesting concept "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Betsy | 12/30/2010

    " A mixed bag of short stories, some were every bit as good as Luncheon of the Boating Party, but some fell short. I prefer her historical fiction to her stories set in the present. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alisa | 8/24/2010

    " I love collections of short stories along a theme. Life Studies has a section of short stories on 19th-century painters and another section on contemporary encounters with art. Loved Vreeland's style and the subject matter. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cia | 3/5/2010

    " Interesting stories thru the lives of famous artists. Fictional, but possible... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barb | 1/19/2010

    " This book was a collection of short fictional stories about masterpieces of art and /or artists and their famlies and relationships. An insteresting twist for art lovers. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sandie | 9/20/2009

    " It wasn't a bad book but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. This is a book of short stories with none of them having any real point. Maybe I'm just not a fan of short stories... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 6/17/2009

    " A little uneven - some of these are very good and will stay with you, others less so. Overall good because of the focus on artists, their art, lives and time periods. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kim | 2/9/2009

    " Good book for the beach, don't worry if it gets sandy. "

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About the Author
Author Susan Vreeland

Susan Vreeland is the New York Times bestselling author of several books, including Luncheon of the Boating Party, Life Studies, The Passion of Artemisia, The Forest Lover, and Girl in Hyacinth Blue. She lives in San Diego.

About the Narrator

Karen White is a classically trained actress who has been recording audiobooks since 1999. An Audie Award finalist, she has earned numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards. Her reading of The Hemingses of Monticello by Annette Gordon-Reed was named one of AudioFile’s Best Audiobooks of 2009.