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

3.7 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 0.5 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 (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book as a teen-ager, when I read almost everything else that Fitzgerald wrote, and I didn't particularly like it. Re-reading it nearly 40 years later, I can more easily recognize the seeds of greatness contained within its pages. For one thing, this is the most Gatsby-like of Fitzgerald's other novels, so if you love Gatsby, you will probably like Monroe Stahr. Like Gatsby, Stahr began life as a child of poverty, with big dreams of power, riches, and grandeur, which he achieves while still in his thirties. Also like Gatsby, Stahr pines for an idealized past love, in this case his deceased wife, Minna Davis, a celebrated film star who died tragically young. Again, like Gatsby, Stahr is something of a mysterious, romantic loner with few real friends; but unlke Gatsby, he suffers from an unspecified "heart condition" that we are told will take his life in a matter of months (the real-life model for Stahr, Irving Thalberg, died at 37).

And also unlike Gatsby, Stahr falls in love with a woman who is nothing like the typical "Fitzgerald heroine." Kathleen Moore, a bit part player who physically resembles the idealized Minna Davis, is definitely NOT, as Fitzgerald described his most famous female character (Daisy Buchanan) "the king's daughter, the golden girl."

She is rather a woman making her own way alone in the world, not like the pampered society girls based on Fitzgerald's own wife, Zelda, or his lost love from his college days, Ginevra King. Born in a London slum, Kathleen is beautiful, but grew up in even more impoverished circumstances than Stahr, and is an orphan; she literally survives by a series of alliances with men in more fortunate positions.
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