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The Beautiful and Damned (1922)

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,649651,548 (3.69)115
Fitzgerald's second novel, a devastating portrait of the excesses of the Jazz Age, is a largely autobiographical depiction of a glamorous, reckless Manhattan couple and their spectacular spiral into tragedy. Published on the heels of "This Side of Paradise," the story of the Harvard-educated aesthete Anthony Patch and his willful wife, Gloria, is propelled by Fitzgerald's intense romantic imagination and demonstrates an increased technical and emotional maturity. "The Beautiful and Damned" is at once a gripping morality tale, a rueful meditation on love, marriage, and money, and an acute social document. As Hortense Calisher observes in her Introduction, " Though Fitzgerald can entrance with stories so joyfully youthful they appear to be safe-- when he cuts himself, you will bleed."… (more)
  1. 30
    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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» See also 115 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
I liked this novel, but at the same time I didn't like this novel. Maybe the weakest out of the three Fitzgerald books I have read. It's not really the story that bothered me, but it's more the fact this book was too long for Fitzgerald's style. In my opinion he works better if his novels don't go on for 400 pages. There were parts that could have been cut out or shortened.

I did like the story though. It was very different then Paradise and Gatsby, which is good. Noticing all of his works aren't the same tone or style. The other two I read were more upbeat, while this one was more slow and melancholy. With this book it's important to take the title literally.

This also shows a more realistic view on the Fitzgerald's marriage. If you know about Zelda's life, it's kind of obvious who she is in the book. It shows that they both loved each other, but that their marriage was perfect nor romantic I would say. Zelda had to put up with his drinking and Scott had to put up with her ambitions. They do make a great literary couple throughout Fitzgerald's novels.

I'm still on a Fitzgerald/1920s lit-kick. I guess I' reading Tender is the Night next. Hoping that one is a little better. Should be interesting since that one is mostly in Paris unlike his other that focus on New York. ( )
  Ghost_Boy | Aug 25, 2022 |
There is no doubt that F. Scott Fitzgerald can handle language. He writes in such a delicious manner that he can keep you going for a long time on that alone, no substance required. That is exactly what he does for the first half of The Beautiful and the Damned. I fully admit that I became weary of this novel by the halfway point, then, in that manner that is also so very Fitzgerald, he began to focus the story and I was lured to go forward to the end.

If any author can invent characters that are unappealing in themselves, Fitzgerald is the guy. I found absolutely nothing redeeming in either Anthony Patch or his wife, Gloria. The two of them are pretty much the epitome of spoiled, selfish, wasteful lives, people who contribute nothing and suck up everything around them. If we are meant at any point to feel sorry for them, it was a miss for me. We watch them deteriorate from a point that might have seemed itself to be rock bottom.

Gloria is a woman who depends 100% on her looks, her beauty, to carry her through life. Anthony is a man who feels no need to accomplish anything in life because he believes he is going to inherit millions from his grandfather. As a result, they live lives devoid of any meaning or purpose. Gloria is too selfish to want children, Anthony is too self-centered to stoop to work. You can’t help thinking that society and their families have set these two up for failure, and failure in a worse form than mere financial failure.

I read this too quickly on the heels of Tender is the Night. I have Fitzgerald burnout. I’m glad he wrote Gatsby, otherwise I think I would not be able to regard him as a great writer, but only a sufficient one. I always hate closing a book and saying to myself, “glad that is behind me.”
( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
I confuse this book in my memory with This Side of Paradise, both of which I read once ever in 2007. In retrospect, I see no meaningful distinction between their subject matter, styles of writing, or the experienceof reading them.

I don't say that to fault them though. I enjoyed them both like low end arrested development episodes - worth far more than contemporary equivalents but, at best, stepping stones to something greater. ( )
  ehershey | Mar 24, 2022 |
This is the story of an unhappy marriage. F. Scott Fitzgerald is a masterful writer, and he brings to life the misery of discontent and idle habits. An interesting but thoroughly miserable read. 3.5 stars. ( )
  DrFuriosa | Dec 4, 2020 |
I guess the prose is kind of gorgeous, but it's hard to appreciate that when I spent pretty much the whole book rolling my eyes at the lowkey racism, highkey misogyny, general heterosexual nonsense and characters I couldn't stand. ( )
  elusiverica | Aug 15, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 62 (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 (81 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fitzgerald, F. Scottprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cheshire, GerardContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Engel, Mary BessCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hagen, DonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harleman, PaganIntroductionsecondary 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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Wikipedia in English (3)

Fitzgerald's second novel, a devastating portrait of the excesses of the Jazz Age, is a largely autobiographical depiction of a glamorous, reckless Manhattan couple and their spectacular spiral into tragedy. Published on the heels of "This Side of Paradise," the story of the Harvard-educated aesthete Anthony Patch and his willful wife, Gloria, is propelled by Fitzgerald's intense romantic imagination and demonstrates an increased technical and emotional maturity. "The Beautiful and Damned" is at once a gripping morality tale, a rueful meditation on love, marriage, and money, and an acute social document. As Hortense Calisher observes in her Introduction, " Though Fitzgerald can entrance with stories so joyfully youthful they appear to be safe-- when he cuts himself, you will bleed."

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Legacy Library: F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

See F. Scott Fitzgerald's legacy profile.

See F. Scott Fitzgerald's author page.

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Average: (3.69)
0.5 1
1 11
1.5 1
2 55
2.5 10
3 193
3.5 44
4 318
4.5 18
5 127

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141187816, 0141195002

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page

Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1909676713, 1909676721

 

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