The Last Tycoon, Paperback
4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Unfinished at the time of his death, F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Last Tycoon" is a story of doomed love set against the extravagance of America's booming film industry.

This "Penguin Modern Classics" edition is edited with an introduction by Edmund Wilson.

The studio lot looks like 'thirty acres of fairyland' the night that a mysterious woman stands and smiles at Monroe Stahr, the last of the great Hollywood princes.

Enchanted by one another, they begin a passionate but hopeless love affair, starting with a fast-moving seduction as slick as a scene from one of Stahr's pictures.

The romance unfolds, frame by frame, watched by Cecilia, a thoroughly modern girl who has taken her lessons in sentiment and cynicism from all the movies she has seen.

Her buoyant humour and satirical eye perfectly complement Fitzgerald's panorama of Hollywood at its most lavish and bewitching.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) has acquired a mythical status in American literary history, and his masterwork "The Great Gatsby" is considered by many to be the 'great American novel'. In 1920 he married Zelda Sayre, dubbed 'the first American Flapper', and their traumatic marriage and Zelda's gradual descent into insanity became the leading influence on his writing.

As well as many short stories, Fitzgerald wrote five novels "This Side of Paradise", "The Great Gatsby", "The Beautiful and the Damned", "Tender is the Night" and, incomplete at the time of his death, "The Last Tycoon".

After his death "The New York Times" said of him that 'in fact and in the literary sense he created a "generation"'.

If you enjoyed "The Last Tycoon", you might enjoy Fitzgerald's "The Beautiful and the Damned", also available in "Penguin Classics". "Wonderful...a novel about Hollywood, written from the inside". (Helen Dunmore, "Sunday Times").




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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

It's too bad this was never finished. I think this would have been my favorite Fitzgerald book. Even incomplete, I like it better than anything else I have read. This is a simple yet complicated story about love. She loves him. He loves someone else. That someone else is set to marry anyone else but him. Classic love square. You have to feel sorry for Monroe Stahr. He is lovestruck by a woman who strongly resembles his deceased wife. As a man in the movie business he has the money and the power to woo Kathleen into a brief relationship, even despite the fact she is engaged to be married to someone else. Meanwhile, there is young Cecilia, a junior at Bennington College, just willing Stahr to look at her, to notice her. It is her voice that tells the entire story. Fitzgerald explains the first and third person narrative. What Cecilia is not witness to, she imagines. "Thus, I hope to get the verisimilitude of a first person narrative, combined with a Godlike knowledge of all events that happen to my characters" (p 164).

Review by

Fitzgerald's unfinished novel of Hollywood in the 1930s centres on Monroe Stahr a workaholic film producer who falls for a young girl who reminds him of his dead wife. The novel is narrated by the young daughter of the studio head who has a crush on Starr. Had he lived this could have been a novel that would have revived his fortunes. An intriguing but sad read.

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