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The Beautiful and Damned Paperback – March 12, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

How can a reader not lose patience with Anthony and Gloria Patch, the "beautiful couple," as they squander their money, idle away their days, and drink themselves into blissful oblivion? Although the obvious parallel between the fictional Patches and the real-life Fitzgeralds is somewhat intriguing, anyone reading the book would be sorely tempted to close it long before the final scenes of degradation. Not so, however, with the audiobook. Peter Marinker's sympathetic narration is so effective that the listener, gradually and almost reluctantly, begins to feel a measure of compassion for Gloria and Anthony-almost as if they are naive children who can't understand what is happening to them or why. Marinker's rendition of Gloria's soft voice is especially persuasive. By the end, it seems as if Fitzgerald's flawed second novel has been redeemed by audio. For most serious literature collections.
Jo Carr, Sarasota, Fla.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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“Full of precisely observed life.” —Arthur Mizener --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reissue edition (March 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476733422
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476733425
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (185 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,264,214 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

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

250 of 268 people found the following review helpful By Heather Negahdar on April 10, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"It is seven thirty on an August evening. The windows in the living room of the gray house are wide open patiently exchanging the tainted inner atmosphere of liquor and smoke for the fresh drowsiness of the late hot dusk. There are dying flower scents upon the air, so thin, so fragile, as to hint already of a summer laid away in time."

This is the story of a young couple Anthony and Gloria Patch living out their days to the hilt in New York City as they await the death of Anthony's grandfather, Adam Patch from whom they expect to inherit his massive fortune.

Gloria is a spoilt child from Kansas City turned into a sophisticated and most beautiful woman. Gloria does not intend to lift a finger to do any domestic work in the home, no matter how slight; while Anthony who considers himself an aesthete, finds it quite hard to get his act together and instead of buckling down to some work, prefers instead to hang with his wife and their friends on nightly binges. They drink and eat in the classiest restaurants and hotels, rent the most expensive apartments, travel out to the West in the spring time driving plush cars, wearing top-of-the-line clothing and just generally living it up high on the hog, as they wait.

Meet Maury Noble who is Anthony best friend who spends his time between New York and Philadelphia; Richard Caramel who has just completed writing a book and looking for new ideas for a second one. Joseph Bloeckman from Munich who started out small in America and is now a big shot in Show Biz. Also the quiet Jewess Rachael Barnes and Muriel Kane who is young, flirtatious and sometimes a bit too talkative and Tana the Japanese housekeeper of the Patches.
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144 of 159 people found the following review helpful By Chris Salzer on February 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
The genius of F.Scott Fitzgerald shines brilliantly in this vastly underappreciated classic novel of moral depravity. The pervasive themes of Fitzgerald include moral corruption, profligate behavior, agnosticism, selfishness, narcissism, egocentrism, and of course, a sick obsession with money and alcohol. These themes permeate all too well throughout the beautifully written The Beautiful and Damned(pardon the pun).
Released in 1922, 2 years subsequent to the seminal This Side of Paradise and 3 years prior to the magnum opus The Great Gatsby, incomprehensibly, The Beautiful and Damned was not well received critically nor financially. As a result, history has erroneously filed it under the dubious sophomore jinx category. Strange it may seem, I vehemently disagree. As you read this book, you witness first-hand the maturation of an amazing writer. No American writer of the 20th Century can compare to the profound power and unwavering genius that is F.Scott Fitzgerald. If you enjoyed The Great Gatsby, you will no doubt enjoy this work - an equally beautifully writen and tragic tale of aspiring morally depraved young Americans in pursuit of The American Dream.
"Remarkable that a person can comprehend so little and yet live in such a complex civilization."
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By T. M. Teale on December 22, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nearly ninety years after its first publication, _The Beautiful and Damned_ is still a shockingly relevant account of the entitlement class, the children of the rich or privileged who don't know how to navigate through life without big money. And, it's a New York City novel--written as only a mid-westerner can. It seems to me that because New Yorkers are too much in the middle of it to see themselves clearly, an intelligent "outsider" like F. Scott Fitzgerald must come along. To write as well as he did, Fitzgerald let the city inhabit him. New York got into his blood, and he recorded it in narrative right down to the dirt under the carpet. Fitzgerald's details lead the reader into the depths of the beautiful and doomed couple, the Gloria-Anthony entanglement, as they are part and parcel of the extremes of poverty and wealth (in the World War I era or the roaring 20s).

I don't know how Fitzgerald knew what he knew about the human psyche, or specifically about how a young man might react when he is good-looking and swimming in money and New York, but Fitz's life at Princeton University among this set of people gave him the environment in which to observe; Fitzgerald supplied the story around which the narrative coheres. Of course, there are autobiographical elements to this novel--a lot of himself and Zelda--but what the literary art requires is critical distance. To put his main characters through some shameful scenes, Fitzgerald had to know what tough love is in the New York City context. He had to put his couple to the test, people who from birth had relied on the "religion" of charm and money. And the author had more than just critical distance: F. Scott had them down right! Every expression, every word. Gloria: "This is life! Who cares for the morrow.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 12, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Fittingly, this was the last of Fitzgerald's novels that I read. And I apparently saved the best for last. In this enrapturing portrayl of young lovers who are attracted by their differences in the beggining yet destroyed by their similarities in the end (the need of wealth). I find this perhaps one of Fitzgerald's finest literary achievements. He has it all working for him in this novel, his character development is excellent, I feel as though I could recognize Anthony or Gloria on the street if they were to saunter my way. Fitzgerald truly breaks his own mold on this terrific literary achievement. He not only tells a wonderful story of two young lovers but he also parallels it with a very strong supporting cast of characters to Anthony and Gloria. Much can be understood of the lead characters by reading into the supporting characters, focus on Anthhony's grandfather for example. The rosy picture which is so commonly printed by the media of the rich has never been so wonderfully redone with vibrant color as Fitzgerald waves his "paint brush" through all the old misconceptions of the rich and into something truly brilliant: Real life. Fitzgerald was indeed touched with brilliance, and never has it ever been more evident than in his wonderful novel :The Beautiful and Damned." An absolute must read.
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