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233 of 248 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY TOUCHING, VERY WELL DONE
"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...
Published on April 10, 2004 by Heather Negahdar

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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My Thoughts of the Beautiful and the Damned
My thoughts of: The Beautiful and the Damned
The Beautiful and the Damned, by F.Scott Fitzgerald, is an exciting novel that brings friendship. Love, and confusion of young life all together. "here eyes were gleaming ripples in the white lake of her face; the shadows of her hair bordered the brow with a persuasive unintimate dusk." The author clearly tries to...
Published on October 10, 2003


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233 of 248 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY TOUCHING, VERY WELL DONE, April 10, 2004
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"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.

We are shown the Patches at their very best as the novel starts, with the world at their feet and loaded with cash with which they make very expensive choices. But, as we get further in, we see things begin to change gradually and we realize that those very choices will be their very downfall. It was quite a good read but it could be very heartbreaking at times as we put ourselves into the shoes of the main characters. All lovers of F. Scott Fitzgerald should read this book if you haven't done so already, and those of you who like reading about the ultra rich in the Roaring Twenties this one is for you. It is the kind of book that you feel you will want to read again. It is that good and I shall miss it.
Reviewed by Heather Marshall Negahdar (SUGAR-CANE 10/04/04)
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129 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moral depravity personified, February 22, 2003
By 
Chris Salzer (Gainesville, GA United States) - See all my reviews
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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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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When life takes a turn, October 12, 1998
By A Customer
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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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read--before it's made into a movie, December 22, 2009
By 
T. M. Teale (Colorado Springs, CO, USA) - See all my reviews
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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." And you can see Anthony deciding to have one more drink, his speech becoming slurred, his manners maudlin. While Anthony and Gloria wait for his inheritance, we find out what they're made of.

Most pleasurable about Fitzgerald's craft is his carefully-controlled technique of letting Anthony and Gloria visit hell (the "damned" in the title) while softening the harsh surgery-like light with well-timed, well-handled, lyrical sentences. In a single beautiful line, the passage of the winter sun describes both Fitzgerald's craft and his beautiful couple's descent: Gloria "lay still for a moment in the great bed watching the February sun suffer one last attenuated refinement in its passage through the leaded panes into the room" (p.173). Fitzgerald knew how to show the attenuated and refined way downhill.

One more thing about the craft of writing: Only the omniscient narrator technique--which Fitzgerald employs--can show characters in shameful acts and show what they're thinking, and the circumstances in which they got there, and how they "need" money in order to "survive." I wonder if now, in nearly 2010, this novel is not more important than in 1922. More than ever, _The Beautiful and Damned_ is a national portrait. (I can see how "spending" money could be the "sex" in the novel.)

Advice: Read this novel while in New York, if possible. The first time I read _The Beautiful and Damned_, I was living near 123rd (me, a Westerner!). I looked up every address in the novel (except for the gray house near Cos Cob, Conn.) and got to know New York through this novel. In fact, I could almost pick out their final apartment in Harlem near 127th.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My Thoughts of the Beautiful and the Damned, October 10, 2003
By A Customer
My thoughts of: The Beautiful and the Damned
The Beautiful and the Damned, by F.Scott Fitzgerald, is an exciting novel that brings friendship. Love, and confusion of young life all together. "here eyes were gleaming ripples in the white lake of her face; the shadows of her hair bordered the brow with a persuasive unintimate dusk." The author clearly tries to describe the joy and sorrow of finding a new love throughout this novel. Fitzgerald shows the ups, downs, confusions, and oddness of how love begins, lingers, and in some cases, ends.
Anthony Patch begins as a young, well educated, and wealthy man. He acts like a regular young man, engaging in drinking, associating with peers, and finding love. He stumbles upon love through a friend, Richard Caramel, an interesting author. Richard's cousin, Gloria, is an attractive young lady who sparks a flame in Anthony's eyes almost instantly. They create what may be love but gradually realize that alcohol and greed soon replaces it all.
The setting of this novel seems perfectly fit for the story. It switches from one impressive city to the next, Boston and New York City. A big city naturally puts these characters into play. The activities they persue, and every young person dreams of, fall snuggly into Boston Massachusetts and New York City. Dancing, dining out, and drinking, done so often they become almost as natural as breathing, all activate their fancy high life.
The characters in this novel bring back the old fashioned yet, somehow, modern ways of the young. The protagonist, Anthony Patch, signifies a highly opinionated person which shows throughout the story as he places himself in deep discussions with Gloria, the antagonist. The deep discussions also occur with Maury and Richard, some of their closest companions. Maury and Richard both get along great, but they characterize very different people. For instance, Richard loves writing. Writing almost addictively, searching for a new character to create always stays on his mind. Maury, a lot like Anthony, stands as an opinionated person who gives the two much to talk about, which only adds more interest to the story. Gloria conversates as well, but mostly about things only appealing to her. Gloria presents what Anthony and Maury call a "childish" kind of glow. Though she seems childish, this feature actually attracts people to her the most. All the characters play an interesting and important role in this book.
The Beautiful and the Damned, definitely worth reading, shows the realism of everyday life in the 1920's. F.Scott Fitzgerald portrays the life of the young and how easily it might self destruct through greed, material wants, and alcoholism. Fitzgerald proves that the fairytale of married life among the wealthy rarely happens. Money, though abundant, possibly means a lack of love and other ingredients that fuel a healthy life. Money turns into the only reason Gloria stays with Anthony. Though this book may seem fantasy-like at first, it breaks through the candy coated appearance of wealthy life in the early 1920's
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His Best Roaring 20's Novel, November 2, 1998
By A Customer
By no means his best novel (as others here suggest) but highly underrated. Often one hears of Great Gatsby as his best, Tender is the Night as his labored over lost classic, This Side of Paradise as his promising and famous debut, and The Love of the Last Tycoon as the classic that never was, but Beautiful and Damned is never mentioned. In my opinion this is the book that best describes the hedonistic society I have read of called the Roaring Twenties. As the reader watches all the characters lose their dreams and fall into a depraved, hollow existent based on alcohol I am reminded too fondly of my college years.
If you are a Fitzgerald fan read this one after This Side of Paradise. If you are someone with a passing interest in the Twenties read this. If you are someone with just a passing interest in Fitzgerald then read this one last, after any of the other Fitzgerald novels.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vocation of man (and woman), January 19, 2013
This novel is essentially about what you do with yourself when you don't know what to do with yourself. Like much of Fitzgerald it explores its theme through marital intimacies and intergenerational differences. This was Fitzgerald's second novel and has been sometimes been overlooked. However this new edition brings it back to life. This is a must for every serious reader's bookshelf.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An authentic tragedy, September 1, 2004
Highly recommended. Extremely compelling. Still relevant today although first published 80 years ago. A truly remarkable and memorable book.

For me reading great fiction is a bit like holding a mirror up to life. In some characters I see parts of myself and in other characters I see parts of other people in my life. With good fiction the characters are so vividly drawn that they seem real. You get to know them and sometimes you like them and sometimes you don't, but they're always believable and you can identify with their emotions and choices in life. For me that's the sort of book this is - and much much more.

The Beautiful and Damned is a tragic portrayal of a 1920s society enamored with beauty and wealth (I told you it was still relevant today). The novel traces the gradual downfall of Anthony Patch and his wife Gloria. When we first meet Anthony he is young, well educated and wealthy. Thanks to the generous allowance he receives from his wealthy Grandfather he doesn't have to work and instead spends his days lunching, philosophizing and drinking with his friends while he plans his entry into working life - perhaps as a statesman; perhaps as a writer. Life is a series of Broadway plays and extravagant meals. Nice for some.

When Anthony meets the beautiful, flirty and narcissistic Gloria he falls hopelessly in love. After a wonderful courtship they marry and the party really begins. While they wait for Anthony's Grandfather to die and pass his millions on to them, the young couple enjoy an endless string of parties, traveling and extravagance.

It is at about this point in the book that you begin to see a change. Up until now Fitzgerald portrays Anthony as pretentious and lazy, but generally a nice enough guy. Gloria is undoubtedly vain and selfish, but is also bubbly, fun and honest. Initially their life together is filled with optimism and breezy cheerfulness and they are undoubtedly a fun couple to be around. However, as they drink more (in particular Anthony) life begins to lose its rosy glow and we begin to see different, less pleasant parts of their personalities. Gradually at first and then faster and faster their downfall accelerates until they each face personal humiliation and suffer pathetic debacle. Believe it or not, it is actually quiet a heartbreaking story.

What makes this book so good for me is that it seems real. Anthony and Gloria (or parts of them) are people that you probably know. It all seems very believable. They make bad choices and they pay the consequences - just like real life. The supporting cast of characters that live on the edge of Anthony and Gloria's world also add a huge amount to the story. While flawed in their own ways they generally make a success of their lives.

Essentially a chronicle of alcoholic ruin, wasted opportunities and squandered talent, The Beautiful and Damned is a very compelling story. To my mind it's a first-class example of what a novel should be. A book to be savoured and enjoyed.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New edition -- just the thing!, January 23, 2013
Until I came across these beautifully illustrated editions of Fitzgerald's novels I didn't realize the degree to which a fresh edition could make re-reading a classic book like a new experience. These editions are like a voyage of re-discovery of Fitzgerald's wonderful novels.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uneven but worthwhile, July 5, 2011
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I found Fitzgerald's second novel (published shortly after This Side of Paradise) to be rather uneven. Both protagonists (Anthony and Gloria Patch) are tediously self-absorbed throughout most of the story, and this makes it difficult for me, as a reader, to care about what happens to them. It also seems to me that none of the secondary characters comes to life in a believable way. Some of the dialogue, particularly that between Anthony and his college friends, is longwinded and pretentious. However, there are occasional flashes of brilliance that make reading this American classic a worthwhile effort.

The Kindle edition was clear and readable, with only a few small editing issues overlooked.
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The Beautiful and Damned: A Twentieth Century Classic
The Beautiful and Damned: A Twentieth Century Classic by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Paperback - March 4, 2010)
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