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The Beautiful and Damned (Penguin F Scott Fitzgerald Hardback Collection) Hardcover – 4 Nov 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 4 Nov 2010
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reissue edition (4 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141194073
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141194073
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 3.4 x 20.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Full of precisely observed life." --Arthur Mizener

Full of precisely observed life. Arthur Mizener"

Book Description

F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel of decadence and decay in the 1920s --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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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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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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Format: Paperback
The novel "this side of paradise" is a very good one and I think is very important for someone studying Fitzgerald. I would certainly buy it and read it. It speaks about a young man who is rich. I read that Fitzgerald's first book is somehow immature and overly sophisticated in its tone but I don't think so necessarily. I think it is very suited with the atmosphere it depicts. It is very artistically written and very interesting.

The novel is full of incidents that are mixed up, sometimes imitating the way life is, just as jumbled. The plot is not clear but this fact only contributes to F. Scott Fitzgerald's intention to makes us feel the chaos and rush that were specific to wealthy Americans. The book has unity and force. The main character Amory Blaine is a symbol of selfishness and is quite despicable for the reader.

I am not a history or sociology expert but I am impressed by the details of that time that the author presents. I would hazard to say it could constitute a social and historical document of that period in America's history, not only this novel but F. Scott Fitzgerald's entire work. I always planned to buy all his books and make a study of America in those troubled crazy times, as seen by a very attentive insider.
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Format: Paperback
This bittersweet novel chronicles the misadventures of Anthony Patch, a rich, Harvard-educated doyen of New York dance halls and fashionable bars during what was later called the Jazz age. Anthony is blessed with good looks, intelligence and wit and stands to inherit a fortune from his crotchety grandfather, a one-time reformer and monomaniac whom old age has not mellowed.
Anthony, to his grandfather's disgust, chooses the life of a dilettante, or maybe it chooses him. Unable and unwilling to hold down any kind of job, his life revolves around drinking, dining and visits to his stockbroker. One day he meets the glorious Gloria Gilbert, a renowned but vacuous beauty, a kindred spirit, who will eventually accompany him on the road to ruin through the years which witnessed World War One and prohibition.
F Scott Fitzgerald writes with great insight and perception on the foibles of the extremely rich in New York society in the early twentieth century, partly because it was the section of society to which he belonged. The dialogue is crisp and crackling, the detail accurate and absorbing and the tone one of detached amusement. He shows an understanding of the futility, and an awareness of the cruelty of everyday life. The characters he creates are neither likeable nor detestable. They are products of their time, their age and their place in society, and are unable to escape those constraints.
I found this book delicious in its wry humour, poignant in its exploration of human frailty and unstinting in its subtle attacks on the so-called great and good. It was thoroughly enjoyable but self-consciously sad.
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