Books: Sculptorama

THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY (664 pp.)—Irving Stone—Doubleday ($5.95).

This book is written in blurbese, the language of record jackets, movie previews of coming attractions, and fictionalized biographies. Blurbese is prose with a glandular condition, but it often pays better than literature, as Author Irving Stone found out with such bestsellers as Lust for Life (Vincent Van Gogh), The President's Lady (Rachel Jackson) and Love Is Eternal (Mary Todd Lincoln). In the present fictionalized life of Michelangelo Buonarroti, Author Stone has transcended himself; The Agony and the Ecstasy raises blurbese to blurbissimo.

For the most part, Stone, who "studied quarries at close range"...

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