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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars


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on 14 April 2017
A book I read years ago and I wanted to look at it again, as it's based on Fitzgerald's experiences in Hollywood . Unfortunately it was unfinished at his death, but the critics think that it could have rivaled his masterpiece - The Great Gatsby.
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on 11 September 2017
Very nice binding and cover.
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on 2 July 2017
its ok.
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on 11 May 2017
Beautifully crafted
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on 26 July 2010
The Last Tycoon is what we have of F. Scott Fitzgerald's final novel, tentatively titled The Love of the Last Tycoon, which was uncompleted on his death, of a heart attack, in 1940. Fitzgerald had been working in Hollywood for some years at this point, and his familiarity with the milieu makes for an outsider's view informed by an insider's knowledge of the studio system on the eve of of the Second World War. The central character, Monroe Stahr, is modelled loosely on Irving Thalberg, the 'Boy Wonder' producer who had died in 1936 at the age of only 37. However, much of the story as it exists is narrated or 'reconstructed' by Cecilia Brady, the daughter of one of Stahr's partners and rivals and herself a member of the studio aristocracy.

Unfinished novels are necessarily a minority taste, but anyone who likes Fitzgerald will have to read this. In addition to the surviving novella-length text, this edition presents a very full section of notes which compiles all the surviving material of relevance, allowing the reader to assemble a view of what the completed book might have been like. Even without this additional material, the completed chapters hold the interest continuously. Fitzgerald's view of how films are really made is revelatory, the minor characters are memorable, and the romantic triangle between Stahr, Cecilia and the mysterious Kathleen Moore is beautifully developed.

It's worth pointing out that even in its fragmentary state The Last Tycoon is regularly cited as one of the best novels of Hollywood ever written. It certainly gives the lie to the notion that Fitzgerald had by this point laid waste to his talent with alcohol. We can only wonder what he might have given us had he survived a little longer: the surviving draft text suggests that the completed novel might have rivalled Gatsby.
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on 4 January 2016
Auden said he would exchange all his verse for the contents of this book and it is, indeed, a goody. The book shimmers with the life of Munroe - the eponymous hero who suffers ennui despite his job. It is based on a real person, who is celebrated in The Oscars, and the book is sad and poignant on a man's life.
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on 13 March 2013
It's widely thought that had he finished it, this novel would have been Fitzgerald's masterpiece. As it is, about half of the planned chapters completed, it is wonderfully readable. And this edition is one to cherish, with its lovely period pictures.
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on 13 March 2013
Just when I thought I had covered all the F. Scott Fitzgerald in town, this little beauty pops up and yaps at me. Down, boy, down! I love his style, I love his grace. His buddy said 'grace under pressure' but I think F. Scott was the exemplar of that philosophy.
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on 29 September 2012
This is fairly short at 160 pages or so. Seems the author intended this to be about twice the length, going by the notes at the end. The actual novel, in its unfinished form I'd say is ok, not amazing. The fact, that, it's set in Hollywood and centred around it, is no big deal, in my opinion. The best part of the novel is the romantic relationship between M Stahr and the coy, sort of enigmatic Kathleen; the movie stuff is fairly incidental.

The writing is very good in parts, very subtle, at times sad and moving. Romance, or failed romance, was, of course, the author's main preoccupation. While that aspect of the writing is enjoyable, large parts of the novel are fairly ordinary. Stahr sits in a room with movie people, watching screen tests; doesn't like them, gives orders to change them; has a slightly fearsome presence etc... Does that make it the great, definitive novel on Hollywood? Some would like you to think so.

I liked it, but don't feel there is anything exceptional about it. I can't compare it to 'The Great Gatsby' as I read that ages ago, but it's spurred me on to read 'Tender is the Night'.

There's a short and pompous introduction to the book, by friend and fellow writer Edmund Wilson, which is frankly nonsense. He claims it's FSF's most mature work and a true landmark in modern literature and other such daft stuff... Actually, it's just a story about a guy that makes films, falls for a good looking woman and discovers he can't have her. Nothing more, nothing less...

Still, not a bad read.
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VINE VOICEon 14 May 2011
This was Fitzgerald's ultimate book as he died whilst writing it. It contains the unfinished script as it stood as well as notes on what would have come, and the changes from the original vision.

The script is a tale of the conflict between two men at the heart of Hollywood and the battle over the soul and direction of the movie business. It is a tale that mixes love, lust, business and the struggle between boss and workers.

Without the notes, this feels much like a book half finished; lots of threads have been started but none of them have woven together. The notes confirm the direction to come and provide satisfaction at least that this book truly could have been great. Without the unwritten chapters, it shows glimpses of what could have been.
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