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The Beautiful and the Damned by F S…

The Beautiful and the Damned (original 1922; edition 1922)

by F S Fitzgerald

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3,685371,427 (3.71)91
Title:The Beautiful and the Damned
Authors:F S Fitzgerald
Info:London: Folio Society 2005
Collections:Your library
Tags:Folio Society, fiction, C20 challenge, read, C20, read 2006, anglophone

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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 37 (next | show all)
A very well-written book by Fitzgerald where the plot meanders quite a lot. Offers fascinating insight into the Scott and Zelda lifestyle. ( )
  charlie68 | Oct 12, 2015 |
You only need one word to describe Mister Fitzgerald’s writing: Decadent. I love this book. So many unforgettable--haunting lines/descriptions of characters, and overall I was tickled pink to read it. Also I was intrigued to find southern belle Dot the beginning of Daisy Buchanan (The Great Gatsby) on pg 279. ( )
  vwriter | Aug 10, 2015 |
I'm about half way through reading this book and I am generally liking it. It is true that nothing much happens, that Fitzgerald is capable of beautiful phrases and psychological insight. I agree with another commentator that, subtracting the externals, the characters are universal. I also agree that there is something rotten at the core that Fitzgerald perceives. I looked up the review in the New Yorker from 1922 (or thereabouts) and the reviewer thought the characters were completely hateful and the book depressing.

I have now finished this book and think it is thought-provoking and insightful. I'm glad I read it and want to go on to some other Fitzgerald novels. ( )
  jdukuray | Dec 31, 2014 |
F. Scott Fitzgerald is an interesting and problematic writer for me. The Great Gatsby (which FSF wanted to call "Under the Red, White and Blue") is a great book, that not only features stellar writing and compelling characters, but that managed to capture the ethos of an entire age. All of the glitz, glamour, and greed of roaring 20s New York is encapsulated in that work, and it's one of my favorites. In contrast, This Side of Paradise was so juvenile in both writing and sentiment that I had to drop it before I was half-way through. The Beautiful and Damned falls in between these two other works, without being remarkably good or remarkably bad. In fact, that's a good way to sum how I felt about The Beautiful and Damned: it was rather unremarkable.

Like This Side of Paradise, the writing here doesn't come off as fully matured. There are nice turns of phrase and descriptions sprinkled (rather conservatively) throughout the work, but oftentimes the writing struck me as something FSF thought was terribly clever, despite not being very substantive. An example is that at various points the book shifts form to that of a closet drama, with all the characters becoming parts in a play. The thing is, though, that FSF doesn't use this shift in form to do anything that he couldn't already do in the style of the rest of the book: FSF's dialogue is already very reminiscent of play dialogue, so making the format more play-like isn't at all memorable. There's a reason why we remember FSF today in connection with his books, and not in connection to his Hollywood writing career.

The subject matter of the book is likewise very immature. The two main characters, Anthony and Gloria, both unlikable for different reasons, putter about New York. They lounge away their days and they party through their nights, with both lamenting their (rather desirable) financial situation but with neither doing anything about it. Eventually something happens that's the equivalent of them not winning the lottery due to their own incompetence, and this turn is interpreted by them both as a tragedy that becomes the main factor driving the plot going forward. Anthony at one point goes to train for deployment in World War I, but the story makes that development all about him and fails to communicate what that experience was actually like. Not much happens in this book, and what does happen doesn't feel symbolic of society in the 20s like the action in The Great Gatsby did. When the book satirizes something, like the dating process in the 20s, it feels more like FSF did it by accident. The end of the story tries to recast this tale as one about the harmful nature of pride and stubbornness, but the problems of Anthony and Gloria are clearly stem from laziness and a mental inability to do anything but lounge and party- the story is more tied to the sins of sloth and avarice, so the ending pretending that it's about something else felt strange. Also abrupt. Finally, toward the end, FSF gives a shout out to his own book This Side of Paradise, an action that always makes me cringe.

It sounds terrible to say, but I think The Beautiful and Damned stands for the proposition that FSF had to go through some real pain and tragedy in order to evolve as a writer, with this work predating that occurrence. Like This Side of Paradise, this book felt immature in writing and subject matter, though not quite to the same degree. Once FSF experienced some actual hardship, I'm betting he was better able to craft an effective text, and because of this I'm adding Tender is the Night to my to-read pile. Unfortunately Fitzgerald's work predating Gatsby has all proven lackluster to me, but I'm hopeful that is last work realizes his potential as a writer- otherwise I'll be forced to consider Gatsby a fluke. ( )
  BayardUS | Dec 10, 2014 |
I kind of hated the characters, which may have been the point, but which makes it difficult to like the book. There were also descriptive passages which I felt outlasted their usefulness, although this is probably true of the great majority of written fiction.

What I liked about this book was how Fitzgerald would pick a psychological pattern and run with it. Many of these patterns were things I had recognized in my own life. There were a reasonable number of times when I would think "a-ha! I knew it would turn out that way!"

For an 88 year old book it has aged well; it's still quite readable and comprehensible. This edition also has sparse endnotes (this is a good thing) which were usually actually relevant. ( )
  Kenoubi | Sep 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (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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Awards and honors
The victors belong to the spoils.
-Anthony Patch
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.
The notion of sitting down and conjuring up, not only words in which to clothe thoughts but thoughts worthy of being clothed...
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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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)

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141187816, 0141195002

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