Stone has done for an American artist what he did in Lust for Life for a Frenchman, Van Gogh. The American is John Noble, and his story is as violent a one, at times as poignant, always as contradictory as was Van Gogh's tragic tale. The two had much in common, their utter unpredictability, their rejection of the norms of life, their exaltations and depressions. Where Van Gogh escaped into madness, Noble escaped into alcoholism- or attempted to. Van Gogh had a harder road; Noble won acceptance, fame, international recognition, material rewards. Both fought the inner poison of loneliness, and again Noble had less reason. For his family- in Wichita- while not understanding him, at least gave him surface backing and love; two women loved him greatly; Frances, whom he could not bring himself to marry; Amelia, whom he married and worshipped and tortured. It is an absorbistory, successful on the human plane, less successful when Stone attempts the spiritual in terpretations, but unfailingly good reading, good entertainment. There is- as always in his fictional biographies- possibly more of fiction than rigid adherence to fact. But Sto has a rare gift for conveying a sense of fidelity to his subject.