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The Beautiful and the Damned by F S…
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The Beautiful and the Damned (original 1922; edition 1922)

by F S Fitzgerald

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3,907421,315 (3.7)92
Member:LizzySiddal
Title:The Beautiful and the Damned
Authors:F S Fitzgerald
Info:London: Folio Society 2005
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:Folio Society, fiction, C20 challenge, read, C20, read 2006, anglophone

Work details

The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1922)

  1. 20
    The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (TineOliver)
    TineOliver: Both look at love and marriage in the upper classes of New York society (however, at different time periods)
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Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
It took me forever to finish The Beautiful and the Damned. Not only because it drags on (a lot) and I have low boredom threshold, but because I didn't enjoy spending time with Anthony and Gloria Patch. Reading TBATD – at least in the beginning - felt like going from one party to the next and always ending up with a crowd you don’t like – which turns the whole night out into a bit of a disappointment.

However, there is also something quite gripping about the book.

For a start there is some wonderful writing. This is just one that stuck with me - it describes the routine of Gloria’s lunch appointments at around the time when she meets Anthony:

“With her fork she would tantalize the heart of an adoring artichoke, while her escort served himself up in the thick, dripping sentences of an enraptured man.”

And then there is that FSF injected some his personal experiences into the story. The obvious parallels are that couple live in an apartment in New York, Anthony joining the Army, and the importance of alcohol. Although, FSF may not have been able to predict in 1922 that similar to Anthony, his own life would be unraveled by alcoholism.

But what clinched the decision to not give up on the story for me was the very aspect that made it so hard to finish. The protagonists are unlikable (I could not even warm to Gloria’s sass). They have no aspirations, and the description of their wasted lives made reading about them at times seem like a waste of time, too. And then it occurred to me that I didn't dislike the story, only the characters, and then I very much wanted to see them fail.
( )
  BrokenTune | Aug 21, 2016 |
Fitzgerald's sophomore novel is ambitious, but unfocused and overwritten. (It's not surprising that, after this book, his goal was to write "something extraordinary and beautiful and simple"...in other words, something that represented a 180-degree turn from the chaotic sprawl of The Beautiful and Damned.) Still, it is Fitzgerald, and even his flawed work is more interesting than what most writers can churn out on their best day. As well as being a fairly successful statement of one of Fitzgerald's major themes (that wealth, or even the promise of wealth, rots the human soul), this novel provides a captivating glimpse of New York in the 1910s. Three and a half stars. ( )
  Jonathan_M | Mar 28, 2016 |
Though I had a little trouble getting into it (couldn't quite tell whether Fitzgerald's tone was detached, sarcastic, ironic, or sympathetic), I ended up being quite taken with this look at a different sort of "beat" generation. I appreciated that Fitzgerald did not attempt to romanticize his subjects; made me trust him more. It sometimes felt aimless as a novel, but that's kind of the point. Sad, often bleak, ultimately tragic, I think this is generally overlooked in descriptions of his canon, but I'm glad to have read it, if only because I was always intrigued by the title. And I'm sometimes a sucker for sad, bleak, tragic... ( )
  bibleblaster | Jan 23, 2016 |
Not my favorite Fitzgerald but a pretty good read. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
Not my favorite Fitzgerald but a pretty good read. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
". . . its slow-moving narrative is the record of lives utterly worthless utterly futile. . . . It is to be hoped that Mr. Fitzgerald, who possesses a genuine, undeniable talent, will some day acquire a less one-sided understanding."
 

» Add other authors (28 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
F. Scott Fitzgeraldprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Engel, Mary BessCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leyendecker, J. C.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The victors belong to the spoils.
-Anthony Patch
Dedication
To Shane Leslie, George Jean Nathan, and Maxwell Perkins
in appreciation of much literary help and encouragement
First words
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.
Quotations
The notion of sitting down and conjuring up, not only words in which to clothe thoughts but thoughts worthy of being clothed...
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0684801558, Paperback)

The Beautiful and Damned is the story of Anthony Patch and his wife, Gloria. Harvard-educated and an aspiring aesthete, Patch is waiting for his inheritance upon his grandfather's death. His reckless marriage to Gloria is fueled by alcohol and is destroyed by greed. The Patches race through a series of alcohol-induced fiascoes -- first in hilarity, and then in despair. The Beautiful and Damned, a devastating portrait of the nouveaux riches, New York night life, reckless ambition, and squandered talent, was published in 1922 on the heels of Fitzgerald's first novel. It signaled his maturity as a storyteller and, more important, as a novelist.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:52 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

The Beautiful and Damned, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriateAll editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.In 1921 F. Scott Fitzgerald was twenty-five and heralded as the most promising writer of his generation, owing to the success of his first novel This Side of Paradise. Recently married to the girl of his dreams, the former Zelda Sayre, Fitzgerald built upon his sudden prosperity with The Beautiful and the Damned, a cautionary tale of reckless ambition and squandered talent set amid the glitter of Jazz Age New York. The novel chronicles the relationship of Anthony Patch, a Harvard-educated, aspiring writer, and his beautiful young wife, Gloria. While they wait for Anthony's grandfather to die and pass his millions on to them, the young couple enjoys an endless string of parties, traveling, and extravagance. Beginning with the pop and fizz of life itself, The Beautiful and the Damned quickly evolves into a scathing chronicle of a dying marriage and a hedonistic society in which beauty is all too fleeting.A fierce parable about the illusory quality of dreams, the intractable nature of reality, and the ruin wrought by time, The Beautiful and the Damned eerily anticipates the dissipation and decline that would come to the Fitzgeralds themselves before the decade had run its course.Pagan Harleman studied literature at Columbia College, then traveled extensively in the Middle East and West Africa before receiving an MFA from New York University's graduate film program. While at NYU she made several award-winning shorts and received the Dean's Fellowship, the Steven Tisch Fellowship, and a Director's Craft Award.… (more)

    (summary from another edition)

    » see all 12 descriptions

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