Tender is the Night : A Romance, Paperback Book

Tender is the Night : A Romance Paperback

4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


F. Scott Fitzgerald's last completed novel, Tender is the Night is edited by Arnold Goldman with an introduction and notes by Richard Godden in Penguin Modern Classics. Between the First World War and the Wall Street Crash the French Riviera was the stylish place for wealthy Americans to visit.

Among the most fashionable are psychoanalyst Dick Diver and his wife Nicole, who hold court at their villa.

Into their circle comes Rosemary Hoyt, a film star, who is instantly attracted to them, but understands little of the dark secrets and hidden corruption that hold them together.

As Dick draws closer to Rosemary, he fractures the delicate structure of his marriage and sets both Nicole and himself on to a dangerous path where only the strongest can survive.

In this exquisite, lyrical novel, Fitzgerald has poured much of the essence of his own life; he has also depicted the age of materialism, shattered idealism and broken dreams. 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 Tender is the Night, you might like Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's, also available in Penguin Classics. 'One of the most wonderful writers of the twentieth century' Financial Times




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Review by

If it wasn't for the fact that I was reading this for a bookgroup it would have gone back to the library days ago but I decided to persevere and it was an interesting intellectual exercise.But I didn't enjoy the experience. Maybe I'm shallow, maybe I'm jaded, but it just wasn't my kind of book. Watching the echoes of someone elses life and someone elses marriage fall asunder is just not my cup of tea. The cookie cutter women just jarred and regularly I had to go back a bit to check which person was involved in a situation and sometimes even though I was a little puzzled I didn't care. The casual racism also jarred but was somewhat understandable with the period. But the snobishness and value-judgement statements that littered the book annoyed me and jarred me out of the experience.Not an experience I regret but not one that filled me with any enthuaism for the book or the author.

Review by

F. Scott Fitzgerald is a master of transporting his reader through time and space. In Tender is the Night, I felt like I was on the French Riviera with Rosemary and Dick. Rosemary is a young actress and Dick is a psychologist, married to one of his patients. Dick's love for his family is apparent even as he and Rosemary become involved in a beautiful, yet childish affair. Rosemary's innocence and Dick's almost mid-life-crisis worthy involvement with her is romantic but also awkward at times and is quite revealing about Dick's own personality; this focus on Dick is an ironic illumination of his background in psychology and also what is going on inside his own mind. Later, something clicks inside Dick's head and this picture-perfect family man's life is shown in a new light. F. Scott Fitzgerald paints lovely and sometimes tragic scenes that let me feel like I was watching the scenes of Rosemary's and Dick's lives through a foggy window. Fitzgerald shows true romantic genius in this rival to The Great Gatsby.

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