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The Last Tycoon (1941)

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,437214,975 (3.44)43
The studio lot looks like 'thirty acres of fairyland' the night that a mysterious woman stands and smiles at Monroe Stahr, the last of the great Hollywood princes. Enchanted by one another, they begin a passionate but hopeless love affair, starting with a fast-moving seduction as slick as a scene from one of Stahr's pictures.… (more)
  1. 00
    Beloved Infidel by Sheilah Graham (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Die Liebesgeschichte zwischen Sheilah Graham und Fitzgerald soll die Grundlage dieses Romans bilden.
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» See also 43 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
ENTERTAINMENT CENTER
  DavidDuBois | Feb 5, 2022 |
Classics
  hpryor | Aug 8, 2021 |
It's unfortunate that Fitzgerald never had the chance to finish this book. He got as far as offering an aromatic sniff and minuscule taste of the meal he was preparing, but nothing more. Based on the notes provided in the edition I have, it sounds like it would have been a wonderfully tragic tale.

In many ways, Monroe Stahr - the story's Hollywood producer protagonist - can be likened to Hank Reardon in Ayn Rand's [b:Atlas Shrugged|662|Atlas Shrugged|Ayn Rand|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1157143422s/662.jpg|817219]. Stahr, like Reardon, is a self-made man, working his way through the rank and file to become superlative, effecting a revolution for film production as Reardon did for steel. Also like Reardon, Stahr baffled those around him as he moved his company, his pictures, his life in the direction that he wanted, never giving into other's whims and constantly manipulating them with his own. The subject of The Last Tycoon is every bit the Atlas of the movie industry, holding Hollywood and the rest of motion picture world of the 40s on his expansive shoulders.

But lest I take the comparison too far and scare off some who might deign to read Fitzgerald's finest work, let me admonish myself and clarify that the similarities end there. For, where the purpose of Rand's novel was to expound a philosophy she had refined for years, Fitzgerald was interested only in the story. The Last Tycoon is a glorified character sketch, a protracted contemplation of the motivations and resiliency - and mortality - of a captain of industry. It also is a snapshot of a dying era, as candid and unrelenting as a deathbed Polaroid. It has none of the truculent mishegaas that Rand injects into her tome, and it is better for the lack.

In some ways, the fact that Fitzgerald did not finish the book is appropriately ironic. We see Stahr at the height of his career, with only a few minor blemishes beginning to surface. We are left with the feeling that maybe, just maybe, Our Hero is strong enough to recover his failing health, smart enough to outwit the nefarious union organizers and his partner, and persistent enough to win the love of the beautiful Englishwoman with whom he shared a mere thimbleful of ecstasy. Even though we know it would not have worked out the way we desire, we are left with the same hope that crops up at the end of movies like Night of the Living Dead, when Ben emerges from the house and just before we remember (or realize) that story is a tragic one. Such is the hope that we may feel toward the author himself, as well. ( )
  octoberdad | Dec 16, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
". . . an ambitious book, but, uncompleted though it is, one would be blind indeed not to see that it would have been Fitzgerald's best novel . . . Even in this truncated form it not only makes absorbing reading; it is the best piece of creative writing that we have about one phase of American life -- Hollywood and the movies."
added by GYKM | editNew York Times, J. Donald Adams (Nov 9, 1941)
 

» Add other authors (44 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fitzgerald, F. Scottprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Altena, Ernst vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schürenberg, WalterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, EdmundEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, EdmundForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, EdmundPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Though I haven't ever been on the screen I was brought up in pictures.
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Action is character.
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Disambiguation notice
While "The Love of the Last Tycoon" and "The Last Tycoon" are based on the same unfinished manuscript, they should not be combined as the posthumous editing of the two resulted in distinctly different works.
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The studio lot looks like 'thirty acres of fairyland' the night that a mysterious woman stands and smiles at Monroe Stahr, the last of the great Hollywood princes. Enchanted by one another, they begin a passionate but hopeless love affair, starting with a fast-moving seduction as slick as a scene from one of Stahr's pictures.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141185635, 0141194081

 

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