It is Stone's first major publication and is largely based on the letters Vincent Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo. Irving conducted a large amount of "on-field" research as is mentioned in the afterword.
Lust for Life is famous for the way it describes the origins of many of Vincent's famous paintings like The Potato Eaters, Sunflowers and others. Stone wanted to explain Van Gogh's difficult life and how he began, flourished, and died as a painter.
The book is separated into nine smaller 'books', titled based on the places he lived: London (Prologue), the Borinage, Etten, The Hague, Paris, Arles, St. Remy, and Auvers.