The Beautiful and Damned
154 Installments—Entirely free
In 1922 the Jazz Age was at its height—night after night, the privileged class danced till dawn, fueled by money, alcohol, and a taste for fun. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Beautiful and Damned, Anthony Patch and his wife Gloria are the epitome of 1920s glamour. Attractive and wealthy, they have access to all of their era's opportunities for adventure. And yet, as the couple soon finds, while their lifestyle offers its share of carefree amusement, it yields just as much power to ruin them. Languishing in pampered boredom as they await Anthony's much-anticipated inheritance, the couple finds no purpose for their life and turns to recklessness. As self-destructive behavior takes its toll on this husband and wife, there is much to learn from this sobering vision of the dark side of the Jazz Age.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) was born into a privileged family in St. Paul, Minnesota. Early on, the young Fitzgerald tried his hand at writing and saw his work appear in the school paper. Although not a stellar student, the young man attended Princeton University. While at college Fitzgerald began writing parts of what would become one of his most important works, This Side of Paradise. In 1917 the United States became involved in the First World War and Fitzgerald decided to join up and serve his country. He found himself at boot camp in Alabama, where he met the woman—Zelda Sayre—who would become his wife and closest companion in the wild and exciting decade to come. After the war's end, Fitzgerald went to work for a New York advertising agency and finally published his first novel. He and Sayre were married and throughout the 1920s they were one of the Jazz Age's most trend-setting couples, living a life of excess and fun in the spotlight. Fitzgerald and Sayre spent considerable time in Europe, where they moved in some of the most notable circles of the "Lost Generation," a community of artistic expatriates who lived and worked in the exciting world abroad. The decadent lifestyle that Zelda and Fitzgerald led would eventually bring a shadow of instability and destruction in its wake. Although he died at an early age, Fitzgerald's novels, such as The Great Gatsby and The Beautiful and Damned record a definitive moment in American culture, when new freedoms allowed a fleeting plunge into a world of inspiration and glamour.Back to top
Opening Lines (Experimental)
In 1913, when Anthony Patch was twenty-five, two years were already gone since irony, the Holy Ghost of this later day, had, theoretically at least, descended upon him. Irony was the final polish of the shoe, the ultimate dab of the clothes-brush, a sort of intellectual "There!"--yet at the brink ...Back to top
Reviewed by atmckechnie on Apr 24, 2012
Pretty and sad just the way I like it
Fitzgerald's work is deliciously over-written and had several moments of supreme poetry. There was this pathetic inevitability to it that you couldn't look away from, you just had to watch as these two people fell apart. The end disappointed me but that's a personal preference.
Reviewed by AmberStClaire on Feb 8, 2009
Paradise not found in reading this book!
I found the story depressing and not all that interesting but determined to stick with it...one hears so many raves about how great the story is...I can only wonder...why?
And then the ending! I feel cheated..the implausible ending...is there some deeper meaning to it? Other than it simply does NOT make any sense whatsoever?...I'd love to hear what that ending meant to others who may have shared in the 'joy' of reading this book.
Reviewed by jengirl17 on Dec 30, 2010
I liked Gatsby better.
I enjoyed reading this novel but must say that I enjoyed Fitzgerald's Gatsby much, much more. I think the characters in Gatsby were much more relatable, though still tragic. Though I started out not really liking the character Gloria, I actually was more empathetic to her than Anthony toward the end. This was a depressing story but also a good lesson in going after life and not just waiting for things to happen to you.
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Ratings for 'The Beautiful and Damned' by Fitzgerald, F. Scott