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The Love of the Last Tycoon Paperback – April 14, 1995

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Literary detective Bruccoli has produced a remarkable feat of scholarship in this welcome critical edition of the novel Fitzgerald began during his final year (1940) while working in Hollywood as a screenwriter. Generally considered a roman a clef, the story charts the power struggle of self-made, overworked producer Monroe Stahr (modeled on MGM producer Irving Thalberg) with rival executive Pat Brady (a stand-in for MGM head Louis B. Mayer). It is also the story of Stahr's love affair with young widow Kathleen Moore and is (partly at least) narrated by Cecelia, Brady's cynical daughter who is hopelessly in love with Stahr. After Fitzgerald's death in December, his conflicting drafts for the novel were reworked by Edmund Wilson, who spliced episodes, moved around scenes and altered words and punctuation. Bruccoli, Fitzgerald biographer and editor of Cambridge's critical edition of The Great Gatsby , has restored Fitzgerald's original version and has also restored the narrative's ostensible working title, one that implies that Hollywood is the last American frontier where immigrants and their progeny remake themselves. Equally significant are other entries in this volume: Bruccoli's informative introduction; letters by Fitzgerald, Wilson and Maxwell Perkins; facsimiles of Fitzgerald's notes and drafts; and textual commentary, including helpful explanations of the novel's numerous topical references.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Left unfinished and in rough form at the time of Scott's untimely death at age 44, these 17 existing-out of 31 planned-episodes were reassembled in 1993 by scholar Bruccoli according to the author's notes (Classic Returns, LJ 12/93). Those who passed on that $35 edition can now have the reconstructed text and Bruccoli's notes for $10. Essential for public and academic libraries.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (April 14, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0020199856
  • ISBN-13: 978-0020199854
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

F. Scott Fitzgerald was one of the major American writers of the twentieth century -- a figure whose life and works embodied powerful myths about our national dreams and aspirations. Fitzgerald was talented and perceptive, gifted with a lyrical style and a pitch-perfect ear for language. He lived his life as a romantic, equally capable of great dedication to his craft and reckless squandering of his artistic capital. He left us one sure masterpiece, The Great Gatsby; a near-masterpiece, Tender Is the Night; and a gathering of stories and essays that together capture the essence of the American experience. His writings are insightful and stylistically brilliant; today he is admired both as a social chronicler and a remarkably gifted artist.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Chelle on May 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
It's really a shame that Fitzgerald never had the chance to finish this novel. Or, for that matter, to have written just a chapter or two more.
In Monroe Stahr, the hero and last tycoon, Fitzgerald has created a character to rival Gatsby's charisma--in fact, if Stahr had been more fully developed, as the working notes included with text hinted that he would have been, it's very possible that he would have exceeded Gatsby in that regard. Stahr is ultimately a compelling man of mixed personas, and because of such you care about him, you wonder at him, and you're almost happy that Fitzgerald was never able to doom him to the tragic ending that he had in mind.
The most wonderful aspect of this novel is that it seems to me as though Fitzgerald was taking some kind of risk with it. I cannot put my finger on exactly what makes this so, but there is a different mood, a different energy to it. It's like we're seeing what Fitzgerald could have been like, unburdened of care and freshly in love with writing and life. It's a side of this superb writer that I would have dearly liked to have seen more of.
I thoroughly enjoyed *The Love of the Last Tycoon*--I realized, perhaps even moreso than after reading Gatsby, that Fitzgerald's romanticism shines in everything that he does, adding a luminous quality to his prose that proved ellusive to a great number of his peers.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
Don't be mislead by the three-star rating. This was clearly going to be a four- or five-star book, except that Fitzgerald died after completing only the first 17 of 30 intended "episodes." The writing is his most economical since Gatsby, and the setting of Hollywood provides good fodder for Fitzgerald's recurring theme of scandal among the wealthy or celebrated. The story is related, for the most part, by a woman, the daughter of a well-known producer, about events that occurred five years ealier, when she was in college and in love with a dynamic young producer named Monroe Stahr. Though she loves him from a distance, her somewhat obsessive interest in the man is a useful way to relate his story. The writing was at times vintage Fitzgerald, sometimes recognizably unfinished, but always worth the experience. The notes, letters and outlines included in the version I read were extremely interesting and worth their inclusion. This is a book that I don't think anyone can read without saying, "I wish he had finished this." This is also a book that I recommend to anyone who appreciates and enjoys the writing of F. Scott Fitzgerald.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Hovious on June 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
This work derives part of its importance from what it says about Fitzgerald at the untimely end of his career: fans of his earlier work will be pleased to see that this final tome showed all the hallmarks of becoming another masterpiece. By 1940, when "Tycoon" was written, FSF hadn't written a book in six years. But the familiar voice, though muted, had not been lost.
The lapse provides welcome proof of the endurance of Fitzgerald's talent over time. We can only imagine what biting, incisive insights he would have come up with if magically sent to chronicle the 1990s.
Fitzgerald's "Unfinished Symphony" is presented in this Scribner paperback edition in a way that will appeal to both casual readers and serious students. Leading Fitzgerald expert Matthew Bruccoli has assembled the fragments of this book into a gripping and highly readable narrative, and the publisher has included a detailed preface exploring FSF's thoughts at the genesis of the work, as well as a selection of working notes which will delight writing students looking for some insight into the workings of a great mind.
This book tells the story of Monroe Stahr, an early Hollywood producer who makes his mark on the industry almost at its very inception. Stahr's word is law within his studio, and a single order from him is enough to reshape, delay or outright kill a film in process. Since the death of his wife, actress Minna Davis, Stahr's job is his life - a life that illness and overwork threaten to cut short. But a chance sighting of englishwoman Kathleen Moore brings back a flood of old memories and new desires. Stahr's pursuit of Moore leads him briefly into the world outside the studio, and then her actions leave him reeling from the blows just when his rivals gang up against him.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic book! Though unfinished, THE LAST TYCOON lives up to the supreme writing style of Fitzgerald's which was set forth in THE GREAT GATSBY. Judging from Fitzgerald's notes, published at the end of the novel, Fitzgerald had hoped for THE LAST TYCOON to be his master work. I really liked this book and I recomend it to other fans of F. Scout Fitzgerald.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
Writers are endlessly second-guessing their work habits, their ideas and their purpose. As a novelist myself, I found this work-in-progress comforting, because it showed that even the greatest writers struggle with "The Process." Fitzgerald's inherent talent shines through, despite the incomplete nature of the work. The notes and other addenda helped shape the story even further for me, leaving it perhaps more fascinating for the wonder of what Fitzgerald might have done had he not died so young. I have groused in the past about the release of several Hemingway books after his death, and none has come close to the feeling of this unfinished work, but I cannot dispute the value to the reader of seeing these words, these last words, of one of America's greatest novelists. I am happy I got the chance.
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