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Literature & Fiction

Tender Is the Night - F.Scott Fitzgerald

Tender Is the Night

Author: F.Scott Fitzgerald
Book title: Tender Is the Night
ISBN: 0460877917
ISBN13: 978-0460877916
Publisher: Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ); New edition edition (September 2, 1996)
Language: English
Category: United States
Rating: 4.5/5
Votes: 527
Pages: 368 pages
More formats: doc rtf azw docx

Reviews: (7)
This is the third time I've read this book, and have gained a new appreciation for it, as I had as a companion piece Matthew Bruccoli's Some Sort of Epic Grandeur. He devotes 93 pages to Fitzgerald's process and struggle with this, his last complete novel. It took him nine years, with many false starts. It was not until 1930-1931 that he wrote five short stories that allowed him to develop themes that would later be incorporated into Tender is the Night—"One Trip Abroad", "The Hotel Child", Babylon Revisited", "On Your Own", and "Emotional Bankruptcy". It was these stories that allowed him to write Zelda and himself into the novel. Zelda's mental illness is the catalytic event , but the subject of the novel becomes Fitzgerald's waste of his genius as expressed through the career of Dr. Richard Diver, who plunges from great promise to failure.
Fitzgerald finally has material he feels strongly about: Zelda's breakdown, and his own deterioration. He has a store of painful emotions to draw from. Dick Diver is ruined by the rich at the simplest level, but the true source of his collapse is his need to be loved and admired, leading him to squander his emotional capital. He succeeds at curing his patient-wife at the cost of his own career.
Most High School kids are well aware of the Great Gatsby, but I really enjoyed this Side of Paradise. The World has come a long way, since this book was first written, and yet much of the story is kind of a modern tale. Given the world of Social Media where High school and College never end, it’s pretty much standard for kids to seek Status, instead of seeking opportunity. And if you’re into epic prose, witty banter, and style, then you can truly never go wrong with a Fitzgerald book. Now more than ever, the Status Seeking, Social Climbing, Style Conscious, Social Media addicts need to get back to This Side of Paradise.
F. Scott Fitzgerald's anthem to the Lost Generation, "This Side of Paradise" gave me insight into the effect of war on a generation. The description of the carefree, pampered years of a boy reared in the world of private schools and elite universities showed us an inward looking generation indoctrinated in the beliefs of their parents. The crucible of World War I refined the generation into one that developed their own wisdom and generational spokesmen. I saw many parallels Fitzgerald's generation and today's post 9/11 youngsters.
Sure, we all recognize this as an American classic. But, unless you're a Fitzgerald completist, an alumnus of Princeton, a fan of books edited by Max Perkins, or keen on post-World War I American fiction or lost generation fiction, the continuing relevance of this particular book, (as opposed to "The Great Gatsby"), might escape you. I sympathize. But, there is a very nice volume, in the public domain, that's available as a Kindle freebie from Amazon. If you are curious, want to see what the fuss was about, or just in a browsing mood, this is a fine, readable edition. I was actually a bit surprised by some of the places Fitzgerald went with this book, and enjoyed many of the scenes and bits of conversation, and so ended up happy I had taken it up.

I found and read the Kindle freebie public domain edition of this book. It has been available here on Amazon for many years. I read the download on a Kindle Touch.

The book is well formatted and presents well on the Kindle. The native font is fine, but all the Kindle options - font selection, font size, line spacing, and margins - work properly. The book has a sloppy Table of Contents which I did not find to be active. The Kindle "Go To" function was a better choice for navigation anyway. There are no notes or annotations, and no editor foreword or supplementary material, apart from one page of production notes. This is a bare bones, but faithful, transcription of the text. This copy avoids the dreaded error where a letter, (usually "f" or "t" for some reason), has been omitted everywhere in the text. The text here is clean. There are no, (or very, very few), odd page breaks, no paragraphing problems, no garbled sentences, and no other format issues.

Bottom line - this is an excellent choice for browsing or experimenting and a nice freebie find.
Turning over the most memorable characters, Nicole and Dick Diver form a glamorous colourful but tainted love, set between Switzerland and the Riviera.
Elegant prose, lined with glittering dialog and streams of consciousness that observe the most occluded emotions and subtleties of character, Fitzgerald defines a style that is at once modern and of his time. Recalling the glory days of a fading empire, Dick Diver’s ascent, peak and melancholic unravelling lights up the world and then fades sadly into obscurity with no real trigger or turning point. Perhaps that undefined, loss of hope and confidence that real life observed and unchallenged leaves ever waiting for resolution. A masterpiece of introspection, carving out the shadowed corners and shining sunny moments of life’s incalculable arc.
The writing is very unlike anything you read today. His use of imagery is spectacular. The use of vocabulary makes me yearn for a time when words - and how you used them - really mattered to people.

This is not an easy book to read; however, once you realize how autobiographical the material is, you can better appreciate the emotion that when into the writing.

If you want to read a book written by one of the great authors of the Jazz Age, you should put this book at the top of your list.
It is no wonder F.Scott Fitzgerald is considered one of the very best American writers of the 20th century. The extremely well crafted prose in his novels is a wonder to behold. He also gives us a close up view of the Roaring Twenties and the mental attitude that went with it like the Flappers ( named by the press after his wife Zelda's dresses ) who wore sexy, clingy short dresses that broke away from the older styles that tried to hide women's sexuality. It is such a shame that he died in his early forties from alcoholism, he could have written so much more.
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