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Life with Picasso  By  cover art

Life with Picasso

By: Francoise Gilot,Carlton Lake,Lisa Alther - introduction
Narrated by: Mary Sarah
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Publisher's Summary

Françoise Gilot was in her early 20s when she met the 61-year-old Pablo Picasso in 1943. Brought up in a well-to-do, upper-middle-class family, who had sent her to Cambridge and the Sorbonne and hoped that she would go into law, the young woman defied their wishes and set her sights on being an artist. Her introduction to Picasso led to a friendship, a love affair, and a relationship of 10 years, during which Gilot gave birth to Picasso's two children, Paloma and Claude. Gilot was one of Picasso's muses; she was also very much her own woman, determined to make herself into the remarkable painter she did indeed become.

Life with Picasso, written with Carlton Lake and published in 1961, is about Picasso the artist and Picasso the man. We hear him talking about painting and sculpture, his life, his career, as well as other artists, both contemporaries and old masters. We glimpse Picasso in his many and volatile moods, dismissing his work, exultant over his work, entertaining his various superstitions, being an anxious father. But Life with Picasso is not only a portrait of a great artist at the height of his fame; it is also a picture of a talented young woman of exacting intelligence at the outset of her own notable career.

©1964 Francoise Gilot and Carlton Lake (P)2020 Tantor

What listeners say about Life with Picasso

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Interesting book, made cringe-worthy by narrator

This is a well written and interesting account of the times and places that Gilot experienced with Picasso. Gilot also shares a lot of the philosophy behind Picasso's way of planning and creating his works. The narrator spoke in a voice so put-on and unnatural that it made me cringe, and she mutilated the pronunciation of a lot of words and names. I'm going to return the audible version and look for a hard-copy.

6 people found this helpful

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Good book, terrible reading

The tone of the reading is horribly pretentious and the French prononciation is pénible (very poor and contorted).

2 people found this helpful

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Loved it

Great story telling and very stylistic narrator, fitting with book's characters.

It's a great preview of what kind of person Picasso was, or rather how Francoise perceived him as.

it's interesting to think how, if he wasn't a hopeless narcissist, he would have likely never reached the heights he did as his name wouldn't have been as inflated as it is now. By hearing about his childhood, it seems like his ego was inflated very early in life, only backed up by all the people loving his work.

Like one of the books characters says, a great artist, but a terrible human being.

Which begs the rather sad question. How many artists like him, with art that was equally as good if not better, simply never made it because they didn't have the ego needed to inflate the value of their own art? How many people in other jobs lose opportunities to their more narcissistic colleagues that have no problem taking it all and advertise themselves much better? And where are we headed as a society which rewards narcissism better than altruism?

Overall a great read, I would recommend to anyone.

1 person found this helpful

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Fascinating story, for Picasso fanciers

I'm fond of Picasso, and decided to read this book after watching the eponymous film with Anthony Hopkins.
This is a fascinating autobiographical story, and I'm admired by this woman.
Sometimes I found it hard to listen the audiobook because of French namings and monotonous reading

1 person found this helpful

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The Paradox of Picasso

Listening to the memories of Francoise Gilot, artist and X-wife of Picasso (in her later years she married Jonas Salk btw)...my insight into Pablo's behavior was expanded. In my armchair opinion, he suffered from a myriad of mental illnesses. OCD, narcissistic personality disorder, perhaps Asperger's Syndrome and other fragments of chaos that I am not qualified to diagnose. I would love for my psychologist friends/associates to read this work and weigh in. Picasso was a genius and an ass. Not just to women, but to most. Removing his art from any museum is a fool's errand. We don't live in a world of evangelical black and white, but a sea of gray, subject to so many external and internal workings. His art is worth the exhibition. Where we find paradox is where we find the treasure. (Excellent narration. What are people writing about?)

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Loved it.

It was good to hear her perspective in her youth and her life with Picasso. It was a miracle that she was string and survived abs to be haiku in her new life.

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Candid memoir told with humor

Gilot’s memoir remains fresh and relevant today. Her narrative shares a first-hand glimpse of Picasso the human. Her voice is insightful and wise. The audio production and narration has some idiosyncratic pronunciations but I felt that Mary Sarah’s different timbres drew me in.

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Enjoyable Book, reader grating

Francoise has an amazing memory! Enjoyed experiencing vignettes of life in Paris & South of France.

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I want to like this book

I Unfortunately I could not finish this book. About halfway through.I realized I wasn’t paying attention. The narration was not for me. I will order the hard copy as there is a lot of incite into Picasso and his way of seeing art.

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Terrible Narration

I am sorry to the narrator of this book - I do not want to be mean, but I gotta be real. I am known in my book club as the "gentle reader" because I can alway find a redeeming quality in nearly every book. Not so this time. I felt like the narrator was trying way too hard to be dramatic and it came off as affectation and insincerity. She accented the last consonant of almost every word and spoke is sort of sexy-ish "sing-song" type of voice....it was incredible annoying. Frankly, this is a history book and probably a great primary source for a student studying Picasso. I found it frustrating and pretty boring....Picasso may have been brilliant (Oh Yes! Just ask him!) but he was an emotional tool and I hated that the lovely and talented Francoise put up with him. The fact that the narrator read the story with her phony over dramatic affectation made it all so much worse. I finally quit. I never quit audio books - they are usually so easy. Anyway, this is a dud.

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  • chloe sevigny
  • 02-18-20

Great story, awful narration.

Fascinating details of Picasso’s life , bizarre and infuriating reading. The reader’s phrasing and lilting way of speaking are extremely distracting and annoying and the decision to narrate characters’ lines with an approximation of French and Spanish/French accents is completely insane and sounds ridiculous . It would be comical if it didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the book so much.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-11-22

Fascinating story but difficult narration

This is the first title I've ever had to return sadly.

The story is captivating and well written, but the narration sounds a little like a computer reading or doing an impression of Catherine O'Hara's "Moira" from Schitt's Creek. Strange pronounciations, odd pacing and gaps along with volume jumps just spoiled the experience and was a little grating for me to endure for 15 hours.

I've listened to hundreds of books on Audible and enjoyed the majority, but the fascinating story was overshadowed unfortunately.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Juliet
  • 11-03-22

Ruined by narration

Persisted for as long as was bearable and unfortunately had to give up on what is an interesting book. This was entirely due to the narrator. Weird intonation, as if she has no understanding of what she's reading out. What a waste and a great shame. The book deserved better.

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  • Lainey
  • 03-06-22

just wow. awesome I sights

couldn't stop listening. such a good insight into a genius mind I highly recommend you listen

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  • diana lowe
  • 11-12-21

Great story

A great insight into living with Picasso, I found it really interesting. I recommend this to anyone who is interested in Picasso.

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  • tim haines
  • 10-11-21

Life with Picasso

Good story by read by someone who cannot pronounce French.. it drove me crazy, if you read French words, please ensure you get right..

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  • Tom O'Rourke
  • 09-19-21

Beautiful

Excellent reading and revealing biography of lives fraught by circumstances and diversity tres bon