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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Luminous and Fresh
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...
Published on May 21, 2002 by Chelle

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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Recommended Reading
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...
Published on April 21, 2000


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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Luminous and Fresh, May 21, 2002
This review is from: The Love of the Last Tycoon (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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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Recommended Reading, April 21, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Love of the Last Tycoon (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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Last Achievement, June 2, 2002
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This review is from: The Love of the Last Tycoon (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.
The book is truncated at a very unfortunate point, Episode 17 of 30 - the precise point at which events begin to turn against Stahr. To finish the book in our minds, we can visualize the ending put forth in Fitzgerald's surviving notes, though we have not his words to shape it for us. But even in unfinished form, this book is still worth reading, if only to revisit one last time the mind that produced phrases such as this, in describing loops of unedited film hanging in a projection room: "Dreams hung in fragments at the far end of the room, suffered analysis, passed --- to be dreamed in crowds, or else discarded."
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "great book", March 11, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Love of the Last Tycoon (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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A glimpse of an artist at work, August 30, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Love of the Last Tycoon (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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unfinished, flawed, but fascinating, November 3, 1997
This review is from: The Love of the Last Tycoon (Paperback)
This working version of The Last Tycoon provides a finely detailed look from an insider--Fitzgerald--from within the starmaking machinery of Hollywood's Golden Age. I liked best the Stahr character (read: Thalberg) when he spins out his fevered visions of how his beleaguered writers could be kicked into inspiration thanks to his ingeniously quirky re-visions (literally) of their hackwork plots. His narrator--sometimes a female "Hollywood brat", sometimes a more omniscient p-o-v, swoops in and out between these studio scenes and a somewhat slatternly love interest for the overworked and undersatisfied mogul. I was reminded of Nick Carraway when reading Fitzgerald's attempts to come to grips with an unfamiliar, fabled-but-hubristic milieu. Reading it is not an entirely smooth process, but seeing the work-in-progress along with the scaffolding affords a rare glimpse into what might have emerged, in some critics' estimate, as one of his best novels since "The Great Gatsby."
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A promising start, but not much substance to this novel, July 1, 2001
By 
Craig (Lakeland, TN) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Love of the Last Tycoon (Paperback)
I was disappointed there was not more substance to this novel. Fitzgerald was less than halfway finished when he died, and the seventeen "completed" episodes were in obvious need of re-editing. Judging from the author's notes, they would have been revised extensively anyway to fit his shifting vision of how the plot would evolve. There are moments of clever satire on the Hollywood Industry (and especially its writers) that would probably have made the finished product well worth reading, but Fitzgerald was still struggling to balance the satirical tone of his novel with the love story of its protagonists. The editor's notes were very helpful, though, inasmuch as they showed what direction Fitzgerald wanted to take and the alternate endings he had in mind.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fitzgerald's talent shines through, August 2, 2000
This review is from: The Love of the Last Tycoon (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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Last Tycoon, December 7, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Love of the Last Tycoon (Paperback)
The Last Tycoon by F.Scott Fitzgerald was more than just another depiction of the Jazz Age. Fitzgerald's theme, corruptive wealth is also present in The Last Tycoon. Even in this unfinished work Fitzgerald portrays the spirit of the age well at the same time critizes the values of our society.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A glimpse into genius at work, June 7, 2000
This review is from: The Love of the Last Tycoon (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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The Love of the Last Tycoon
The Love of the Last Tycoon by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Paperback - April 14, 1995)
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