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The Beautiful and Damned (Penguin Modern Classics) [Paperback]

F. Scott Fitzgerald
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
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Book Description

29 Mar 2001 0141185589 978-0141185583 New edition
Young, beautiful and wealthy, Gloria and Anthony want their marriage to be "a live, glamorous performance". Seemingly perfectly matched, their love begins to deteriorate as each discovers imperfections in the other. In a desperate search for happiness they live riotously - until the final crack-up.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (29 Mar 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141185589
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141185583
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 13 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,649,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Though Fitzgerald can entrance with stories so joyfully youthful they appear to be safe when he cuts himself you will bleed --As Hortense Calisher observes in her Introduction --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

Fitzgerald's jazz-age novel of squandered youth, destructive love and the glamour of 1920s New York. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
In 1913, when Anthony Patch was twenty-five, two years were already gone since irony, the Holy Ghost of this later day, had, theoretically at least, descended upon him. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY TOUCHING AND VERY WELL DONE 30 Jun 2009
By Heather Negahdar VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
"It is seven thirty on an August evening. The windows in the living room of the gray house are wide open patiently exchanging the tainted inner atmosphere of liquor and smoke for the fresh drowsiness of the late hot dusk. There are dying flower scents upon the air, so thin, so fragile, as to hint already of a summer laid away in time."

This is the story of a young couple Anthony and Gloria Patch living out their days to the hilt in New York City as they await the death of Anthony's grandfather, Adam Patch from whom they expect to inherit his massive fortune.

Gloria is a spoilt child from Kansas City turned into a sophisticated and most beautiful woman. Gloria does not intend to lift a finger to do any domestic work in the home, no matter how slight; while Anthony who considers himself an aesthete, finds it quite hard to get his act together and instead of buckling down to some work, prefers instead to hang with his wife and their friends on nightly binges. They drink and eat in the classiest restaurants and hotels, rent the most expensive apartments, travel out to the West in the spring time driving plush cars, wearing top-of-the-line clothing and just generally living it up high on the hog, as they wait.

Meet Maury Noble who is Anthony best friend who spends his time between New York and Philadelphia; Richard Caramel who has just completed writing a book and looking for new ideas for a second one. Joseph Bloeckman from Munich who started out small in America and is now a big shot in Show Biz. Also the quiet Jewess Rachael Barnes and Muriel Kane who is young, flirtatious and sometimes a bit too talkative and Tana the Japanese housekeeper of the Patches.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'Beautiful' writer in a 'Damned' era 11 Oct 2007
Format:Paperback
F.Scott Fitzgerald is a writer of remarkable talent. His prose sparkles with a beauty that juxtaposes with his often tragic subject matter. 'The Beautiful and Damned' explores some of the issues that would plague his own career as a writer who never really managed to top the acclaim bestowed upon 'The Great Gatsby', a devastatingly beautiful and seminal piece of 20th century literature. 'The Beautiful and Damned' boasts an array of would-be writers, actresses and dancers whom epitomise an era of of vanity, excess and alcohol. But underneath the shiny veneer lurks the inner turmoil of Anthony's talent that is never successfully fulfilled and capricious Gloria's despair that her good looks cannot be maintained. Anthony's descent into alcohol and depression is truely heartbreaking, especially as it ironically peaks as both the main protagonists' bad luck is about to change. This is perhaps telling of the era that Fitzgerald evoked in lucid vitality with the hustle and bustle of fashion, jazz, and alcoholic delights, but at the same time viewed with cynicism. As Gloria bemoans that she cannot afford a much in vogue grey squirrel fur coat, and her husband self medicates with copious amounts of alcohol, Fitzgerald's prose exposes the subtle horrors of innocence lost to an era of excess.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Evocative insight into a generation 19 Oct 2009
By LittleMoon TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
As the New York Herald Tribune noted in its obituary, Fitzgerald was both "prophet and interpreter" of an era, and readers will find The Beautiful and Damned mapping this familiar territory. Set during early 20th century America, moving into the "Jazz" Age as it came to be known, and peopled with characters who define themselves through their money and connections, through dinner parties and drinking binges, through beauty and youth; this novel is the epitome of Fitzgerald's tragic, lost generation.

The plot spends roughly a decade following the life of 20 year old Harvard graduate Anthony Patch, and his relationship with the young socialite Gloria Gilbert. They are an uproarious couple who luxuriate in time and money as though both are infinite: they are the talk of the town; Anthony for being the heir to the fortune of the great reformer "Cross" Patch, and Gloria for simply being beautiful. It's not long though before cracks begin to appear in their facade, and when a legal case Dickens would be proud of comes between Anthony and his fortune, their world comes under even greater pressure.

What Fitzgerald does beautifully is map the building up and breaking down of individuals by society and each other: with money and alcohol there to exacerbate. He also draws scenes exquisitely, describing such details as to make the reader suffer along with his characters - their embarrassments and debasements. Fitzgerald's prose is his crowning glory, dissecting characters and situations with an unrelenting and surgically precise lyrical splendour.

What's odd about this novel is the sections which Fitzgerald decides to write as though they were a drama to be performed on stage, complete with directions.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Tired 19 May 2012
Format:Paperback
To a certain measure, I agree with those who have given this 5 stars: Fitzgerald's writing is beautiful, and he paints a glorious picture of a privileged lifestyle in the early 20th century. Captivated from the first page, I too rushed into a world of splendour and seduction, reminded not a little of some of my own friends who adorn themselves with fur and finery, and luxuriate daily in a Château-du-Godknows as if it were water. The Beautiful and Damned lends us an undeniably brilliant portrayal of the effortlessly affluent.

Yet from his very keen perception of life, of people and relationships, the author also allows to slip in, first by tiny mouse steps and later the great thumping of elephants' feet, a sense of tired and miserable inevitability. Anybody who has seen a relationship burn like a Roman candle has already read this book. Even ignoring the heavy tones of foreshadowing, the final two thirds of are boringly predictable. When you see a couple of hundred pages of ebbing ruin stretching out before you like a vast desert, the only question is, 'Am I really interested in how this comes to pass?'

So what of the critique of the young and wealthy? While Fitzgerald is scathingly critical of virtually every character in the novel, he does not attack affluence so much as the means by which it is obtained. There can be no tragedy in the loss of Anthony, weak and scorned, awaiting unearned millions, nor of Gloria, beautiful and empty, who lacks empathy and humanity. If we are to look for tragedy in the 'human condition', we also come up short, for this is a world not of the human, but of the intellectual trapped in a love affair with money.

In this sense, there is plenty of meat on the bones, but the story itself left me bored and tired. Others might enjoy it, but I would not read it a second time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Is there a plot?
Sorry but I gave up on this one. At my age I don't have time to trawl through pages and pages of social comment
Published 6 months ago by Rob Hatcliff
4.0 out of 5 stars Damned if you do...
F.Scott Fitzgerald's reputation rests chiefly on his magnum opus - the irrepressible The Great Gatsby, however sometime before Gatsby came this novel - the tale of a pair of... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Scaroth, Last of the Jagaroth
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Another classic from f scott fitzgerald - if you enjoyed the great gatsby then this is the book for you
Published 10 months ago by Maddie
3.0 out of 5 stars hard going
It's well written but somehow I'm beginning to lose interest in the characters and may well not bother to finish the book.
Published 12 months ago by S. M. Barnes
5.0 out of 5 stars the beautiful and damned
looking forward to reading this great book as i ordered other good books which i am reading one by one
Published 14 months ago by alan john cole
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and damned
A heartbreak story of greed and frivolity. The lives of the beautiful and the damned are captured in agonizing detail. Money isn't everything.
Published 17 months ago by wendy doyle
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
Everybody should read this book. Fitzgerald is a genius and this book is so beautifully written. You really ache for the characters and feel every emotion that is put into words. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Naomi Currie
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
beautiful and damned, based on fitzgeralds tumultuous relationship with zelda this is a fantastic read. highly recommended for all readers.
Published 18 months ago by Jim..
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Enjoyable read. Typical Fitzgerald we wait for the inevitable to happen. The ending was a little depressing but a realistic end for two people whose hedonistic ways were their... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Prerna
5.0 out of 5 stars New edition, new insight
Until I came across these beautifully illustrated editions of Fitzgerald's novels I didn't realize the degree to which a fresh edition could make re-reading a classic book like a... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Jak
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