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Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
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Tender is the Night (1934)

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
10,548154446 (3.74)332
It is the French Riviera in the 1920s. Nicole and Dick Diver are a wealthy, elegant, magnetic couple. A coterie of admirers are drawn to them, none more so than the blooming young starlet Rosemary Hoyt. When Rosemary falls for Dick, the Diver's calculated perfection begins to crack. As dark truths emerge, Fitzgerald shows both the disintegration of a marriage and the failure of idealism. Tender is the Night is as sad as it is beautiful.… (more)
  1. 50
    The Great Gatsby (Penguin Critical Studies Guide) by Kathleen Parkinson (orlando85)
    orlando85: IMO it is his best book.
  2. 50
    Save Me the Waltz by Zelda Fitzgerald (susanbooks)
  3. 00
    "Noch ein Martini und ich lieg unterm Gastgeber": Dorothy Parker. Eine Biografie by Michaela Karl (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Fitzgerald und seine Frau gehören auch zum Bekanntenkreis von Dorothy Parker. Die Biografie beschreibt die Atmosphäre der damaligen Zeit sehr gut: die glänzenden Anfänge und den Verfall: Sowohl Dorothy Parker als auch Fitzgerald waren sehr starke Trinker.… (more)
  4. 11
    Nightwood by Djuna Barnes (lilysea)
  5. 00
    The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking by Olivia Laing (JuliaMaria)
  6. 13
    Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami (Lex23)
    Lex23: Both books beautifully describe a difficult relationship between a man and a woman with a psychiatric background
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» See also 332 mentions

English (143)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  French (2)  Estonian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  German (1)  Italian (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (154)
Showing 1-5 of 143 (next | show all)
The best character in Tender is the Night, a composer named Abe North, drunkenly bumbles around France and nearly starts a race war, and F. Scott cuts him out of the latter two-thirds of the story entirely. The most interesting vantage point presented to the reader comes from the young actress Rosemary, the main focus of Book 1, but good old F. Scott pulls her out of the spotlight in the latter two-thirds of the story. Why does he do this? For the sake of the stupid fucking Driver family.

The leading husband and wife in this book suck, both as people and, much more importantly, as characters. The personalities of Dick and Nicole Driver are entirely built around what the author decides to say about them, especially in Dick's case. We're told that Dick is a brilliant psychiatrist who wrote a really good book on brain stuff, but as far as I can tell, he's had sex with 100% of his patients and cured zero of them, which makes him at the same time a bad doctor and a doctor I really need to see. As good of a psychiatrist as Dick apparently is, he somehow forgot to read the page in the textbook where it says not to marry and have kids with a mental patient that you're sort of helping to treat, and believe it or not, this marriage doesn't end up being a particularly healthy one. Nicole, a lady with issues, continue to have issues, so Dick gets sad and fights a bunch of Italians. Then the book ends and nobody learns anything.

Let me say this before I yell at the book: I don't necessarily believe that all literature (and this probably applies to art in general) has to be created with a specific message in mind. Not every good story has a moral at the end, and some of the best stories don't even have official endings.

Unfortunately, Tender is the Night has both a story and a point, each one uniquely dumb. I think the point that Fitzgerald tried to make here was something like Lost Generation blah blah disillusionment blah blah rich people get sad too blah just read The Great Gatsby it's all already there. You might find this surprising, but there isn't much new ground to cover when it comes to writing about the romantic lives of the rich and famous.

The story might have had a shot if there were any compelling characters, but reading about Dick Driver's descent into despondency was like watching a hole develop in an uncle's old pair of socks. Yeah, clearly something is unraveling, but without any sort of connection to you it isn't worth anything. It certainly wasn't worth anything to me. ( )
  bgramman | May 9, 2020 |
It gets better. It's still just okay. ( )
  arewenotmen | Jan 13, 2020 |
I've now read all Fitzgerald's completed novels. There are flashes of brilliant prose, but the whole thing could have benefited from a decent editor. The book got better as it went; I was as mystified as anyone by the duel. Considering how long it took him to write (nine years!), it's little surprise that the passage of time is evoked particularly well. But in the end, we simply don't care about Dick Diver, who is a too-lightly fictionalized version of Scott himself. ( )
  charlyk | Nov 15, 2019 |
I can see why people don't like it - it features the unpleasant realization that you might not be who you think you are. That's a bitter pill. I like the subtle narrative shifts. Appropriate reading followup to The Magic Mountain, which I recently completed. Many quotable passages.
It's not "a mess" as reported with regard to structure. It's arranged in 3 sections. They are informal in their layout, but always refer to the first section as a primary point of reference. The essential structure of the novel, seems more to have to do with the relationship Dick Divers has with a number of the secondary characters who serve as foils. In short, it is a quintessential character study.
I've always liked Gatsby, but this is a stronger brew. Very impressed. Another read is in order. ( )
  arthurfrayn | Sep 19, 2019 |
This is Fitzgerald's last novel and is supposed to be heavily influenced by his marriage to Zelda. This book witnesses the descent of Dick and Nicole Divers' marriage, due in part to her schizophrenia and his drinking. Nicole starts at one of Dick's patients and he ends up marrying her. He has an affair with a young actress, there's murder, and more affairs.

I really didn't like this. Maybe the topic was just too dark for this time of year, but it was one of those books where I didn't like any of the characters and the writing didn't make up for it. ( )
  japaul22 | Jul 8, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 143 (next | show all)
The beauty of Tender lies as much in its parts as its whole. In just a snatch of dialogue or a few lines of description, Fitzgerald can evoke the happy, troubled and perilous balance of a group of friends or the moment when a long friendship is ruined for good. Pre-occupied with surfaces, he is never limited by them. His most persuasive characters are complex self-reflective creations; glamorous, but with a questioning intelligence, a sense of irony and the possibility of true integrity which makes it all the more tragic when they sacrifice themselves for cheap pleasures or worldly effect.
added by Nickelini | editIndependent, Melissa Benn (Mar 7, 2008)
 
"a confused exercise in self-pity"
added by GYKM | editThe Nation, Margaret Marshall
 
"Compared to the motivation in Faulkner, it is logic personified. "
added by GYKM | editNew York Times, John Chamberlain (Apr 16, 1934)
 

» Add other authors (62 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fitzgerald, F. ScottAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clark, BradleyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cowley, MalcolmEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cowley, MalcolmPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harte, Glynn BoydIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Li, CherlynneCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moix, TerenciTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pivano, FernandaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Potter, DennisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schaap, H.W.J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scribner III, CharlesIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shenton, EdwardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Already with thee! tender is the night
...But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

-Ode to a Nightingale, John Keats
Dedication
TO

GERALD and SARA

MANY FETES
First words
The hotel and its bright, tan prayer rug of a beach were one.
On the pleasant shore of the French Riviera, about half way between Marseilles and the Italian border, stands a large, proud, rose-colored hotel. [Sentence one, p. 3, of Scribner edition]
Quotations
There was a dust of Paris over both of them through which they scented each other: the rubber guard on Dick's fountain pen, the faintest odour of warmth from Rosemary's neck and shoulders.
To limber himself up he stood on his hands on a chair until his fountain pen and coins fell out.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Diese deutsche Übersetzung "folgt der ursprünglichen Fassung von 1934. Die 1982 bei Diogenes ebenfalls unter dem Titel "Zärtlich ist die Nacht" erschienene Ausgabe beruhte auf einer 1951 bei Charles Scribner's Sons postum herausgegebenen Fassung."
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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141183594, 0141045213

 

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