|:||West, James L. W., III|
|Publisher:||Simon & Schuster|
|Publish Date:||Mar 2013|
|Number of Pages:||455|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||0.8|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||5.5 x 8.25 x 1.25|
F (Francis). Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 24, 1896. He was educated at Princeton University and served in the U.S. Army from 1917 to 1919, attaining the rank of second lieutenant. In 1920 Fitzgerald married Zelda Sayre, a young woman of the upper class, and they had a daughter, Frances. Fitzgerald is regarded as one of the finest American writers of the 20th Century. His most notable work was the novel, The Great Gatsby (1925). The novel focused on the themes of the Roaring Twenties and of the loss of innocence and ethics among the nouveau fiche.
He also made many contributions to American literature in the form of short stories, plays, poetry, music, and letters. Ernest Hemingway, who was greatly influenced by Fitzgerald's short stories, wrote that Fitzgerald's talent was "as fine as the dust on a butterfly's wing". Yet during his lifetime Fitzgerald never had a best-selling novel and, toward the end of his life, he worked sporadically as a screenwriter at motion picture studios in Los Angeles.
There he contributed to scripts for such popular films as Winter Carnival and Gone with the Wind. Fitzgerald's work is inseparable from the Roaring 20's. Berenice Bobs Her Hair and A Diamond As Big As The Ritz, are two short stories included in his collections, Tales of the Jazz Age and Flappers and Philosophers. His first novel The Beautiful and Damned was flawed but set up Fitzgerald's major themes of the fleeting nature of youthfulness and innocence, unattainable love, and middle-class aspiration for wealth and respectability, derived from his own courtship of Zelda.
This Side of Paradise (1920) was Fitzgerald's first unqualified success. Tender Is the Night, a mature look at the excesses of the exuberant 20's, was published in 1934. Much of Fitzgerald's work has been adapted for film, including Tender is the Night, The Great Gatsby, and Babylon Revisited which was adapted as The Last Time I Saw Paris by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1954. The Last Tycoon, adapted by Paramount in 1976, was a work in progress when Fitzgerald died of a heart attack on December 21, 1940, in Hollywood, California. Fitzgerald is buried in St. Mary's Cemetery in Rockville, Maryland.
The story of Anthony Patch's pursuit of the beautiful, spoiled Gloria Gilbert and their financial and social decline after marriage seems interminable and rather self-indulgent; the dialog and descriptions, too, are strained. But in this audio edition of Fitzgerald's longest and arguably weakest novel, while actor/narrator Kirby Heyborne initially seems overwhelmed by the overripe verbiage, his understated style ultimately emerges as a perfect match for the callow hero, and he ably conveys the sense of wonder in audiences Fitzgerald surely intended them to feel. For Fitzgerald completists, who will savor this best reading The Beautiful and Damned is likely ever to receive, and for those who might appreciate the work for its portrait of early 20th-century New York.
- Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr. Lib.
(c). Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
How can a reader not lose patience with Anthony and Gloria Patch, the "beautiful couple", as they squander their money, idle away their days, and drink themselves into blissful oblivion? Although the obvious parallel between the fictional Patches and the real-life Fitzgeralds is somewhat intriguing, anyone reading the book would be sorely tempted to close it long before the final scenes of degradation. Not so, however, with the audiobook. Peter Marinker's sympathetic narration is so effective that the listener, gradually and almost reluctantly, begins to feel a measure of compassion for Gloria and Anthony-almost as if they are nave children who can't understand what is happening to them or why. Marinker's rendition of Gloria's soft voice is especially persuasive. By the end, it seems as if Fitzgerald's flawed second novel has been redeemed by audio. For most serious literature collections.
-Jo Carr, Sarasota, Fla.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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