From the author of The Great Gatsby, a tale of marriage and disappointment in the Roaring Twenties.
Fitzgerald’s rich and detailed novel of the decadent Jazz Era follows the beautiful and vibrant Anthony Patch and his wife Gloria as they navigate the heady lifestyle of the young and wealthy in 1920s New York. Patch is the presumptive heir to his grandfather’s fortune, and keeps his equally spoiled wife in comfort while biding time until his grandfather’s death. Patch is unable to hold down any kind of job and spends his days in luxury, indulging in whatever pleasures are available. But as the money begins to fail, so does their marriage. Patch’s gradual descent into alcoholism, depression and alienation from his marriage ultimately lead to his ruin. Fitzgerald’s novel is a remorseless exploration of the horrors of an age of excess and lost innocence.
F. Scott Fitzgerald is regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Despite his present popularity, Fitzgerald was often in financial trouble, due to the fact that only one of his novels sold well enough to support the extravagant lifestyle that he and his wife Zelda adopted, and later Zelda’s medical bills. His novel The Great Gatsby has sold millions of copies and remains a continual best-seller.
In Tender Is the Night, Fitzgerald deliberately set out to write the most ambitious and far-reaching novel of his career, experimenting radically with narrative conventions of chronology and point of view and drawing on early breakthroughs in psychiatry to enrich his account of the makeup and breakdown of character and culture.
Tender Is the Night is also the most intensely, even painfully, autobiographical of Fitzgerald's novels; it smolders with a dark, bitter vitality because it is so utterly true. This account of a caring man who disintegrates under the twin strains of his wife's derangement and a lifestyle that gnaws away at his sense of moral values offers an authorial cri de coeur, while Dick Diver's downward spiral into alcoholic dissolution is an eerie portent of Fitzgerald's own fate.
F. Scott Fitzgerald literally put his soul into Tender Is the Night, and the novel's lack of commercial success upon its initial publication in 1934 shattered him. He would die six years later without having published another novel, and without knowing that Tender Is the Night would come to be seen as perhaps its author's most poignant masterpiece. In Mabel Dodge Luhan's words, it raised him to the heights of "a modern Orpheus."
Raised by his mother, a charismatic eccentric determined to show her son the very best that life has to offer, Amory Blaine spends his childhood traveling from one party to the next. For this worldly sophisticate, life is heaven—until reality comes crashing through the door.
When a burst appendix limits his mobility, Blaine is sent to live in Minneapolis, where he finds that his unique sensibility does not endear him to the other boys. From prep school to Princeton to the crushing inhumanity of the US Army during World War I, Blaine searches for his proper place in the world. His quest brilliantly personifies the struggles of an entire generation that came of age in a time of great turmoil.
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Commentary by Edmund Wilson, Henry Seidel Canby, and Arthur Mizener
Fitzgerald’s second novel, a devastating portrait of the excesses of the Jazz Age, is a largely autobiographical depiction of a glamorous, reckless Manhattan couple and their spectacular spiral into tragedy. Published on the heels of This Side of Paradise, the story of the Harvard-educated aesthete Anthony Patch and his willful wife, Gloria, is propelled by Fitzgerald’s intense romantic imagination and demonstrates an increased technical and emotional maturity. The Beautiful and Damned is at once a gripping morality tale, a rueful meditation on love, marriage, and money, and an acute social document. As Hortense Calisher observes in her Introduction, “Though Fitzgerald can entrance with stories so joyfully youthful they appear to be safe—when he cuts himself, you will bleed.”
Includes a Modern Library Reading Group Guide
Born gray-haired and grumpy, Benjamin Button may be an infant, but his body and personality are those of an old man. Curiously, however, he grows younger with each passing year. Benjamin is aging backwards, which begs the question, when does a man become a man? And how do we recognize our true selves?
A delightful fable that poses serious inquiries about the nature of existence, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is one of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s best-known stories and the centerpiece of this legendary collection. From the Jazz Age decadence of “May Day” to the delightful fantasy of “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz,” these evocative tales showcase one of the twentieth century’s greatest authors at the height of his talent.
In 1860 Benjamin Button is born an old man and mysteriously begins aging backward. At the beginning of his life he is withered and worn, but as he continues to grow younger he embraces life -- he goes to war, runs a business, falls in love, has children, goes to college and prep school, and, as his mind begins to devolve, he attends kindergarten and eventually returns to the care of his nurse.
This strange and haunting story embodies the sharp social insight that has made Fitzgerald one of the great voices in the history of American literature.
The bestselling novel that established F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary reputation and brought to vivid life the glory and despair of the “Lost Generation”.
Amory Blaine grew up in a wealthy family and was given an Ivy League education. Without a need to learn a profession, he chiefly dabbled in literature and partying. His school chums were of similar background, and the ideas they reflected to each other grew in their minds to be of the greatest importance. Amory began to think of himself as somewhat of a character in a Rupert Brooke poem (from which the book's title is taken).
World War I intervened in this happy fog and brought focus to some, doubt to others.
In the rapidly changing technology of the war era, the financial underpinnings of the Blaine fortune began to fall apart. The deaths of Amory's parents left the finances without a rudder and as Amory's situation deteriorated he came to realize he had only his interest in literature to fall back upon.
Meanwhile, a series of young women traipsed through his life, attracted to his handsome face and bright wit like moths to a candle. But Amory could never master the role of being a real person... and, one by one, they traipsed out.
An Author's Republic audio production.
"Rip Van Winkle"
by Washington Irving,
narrated by George Vafiadis
"The Man of the Crowd"
by Edgar Allan Poe,
narrated by Ralph Cosham
"The Red Badge of Courage"
by Stephen Crane,
narrated by Sean Pratt
"The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"
by Mark Twain,
narrated by Thomas Becker
"The Ransom of Red Chief"
narrated by Michael Hanson
"The Call of the Wild"
by Jack London,
narrated by Michael Kramer
by Kate Chopin,
narrated by Jacquilin Kinlow
"Miss Tempy's Watchers"
by Sarah Orne Jewett,
narrated by Tana Hickens
by Edith Wharton,
narrated by Ralph Cosham
"Bernice Bobs Her Hair"
by F. Scott Fitzgerald,
narrated by Kimberly Schraf