F. Scott Fitzgerald's second novel, The Beautiful and Damned, is a savage and haunting satire of the young, rootless postwar generation who lived intent only on the pursuit of wealth and decadent pleasure.
Anthony Patch is a 1920s socialite and the presumptive heir to a tycoon's fortune. His marriage to the beautiful but selfish Gloria is idyllic at first, but the union slowly disintegrates as reality sets in and their sole goal becomes Anthony's grandfather's fortune. Gloria's beauty fades, and Anthony's drinking takes its toll.
Charting the corrosive attraction of wealth and malign influence, The Beautiful and Damned is also a vivid portrait of early-20th-century New York and the sights and sounds of the city's burgeoning night life.
What disappointed you about The Beautiful and Damned?
Have it on my kindle, can barely hear it...no excuse for an audio book to have insufficient volume...
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
I like the way Fitzgerald uses words. That is why I listened to this book. I don't think it is his best work, because it was hard for me to care about these people. Gloria is a beautiful, pampered girl who expects to get whatever she wants whenever she wants it. She does grow up before the end of the book, so that is at least something.
Anthony Patch is the supposed hero of the piece. He does nothing in the book but wait for his grandfather to die so he can inherit 41 million dollars. Trouble is, his grandfather disapproves of his drinking and doing nothing so he disinherits him. So Anthony gets a lawyer and fights the will in the courts which takes five years to come to a final decision. In the meantime he has an affair, tries wall street, sales and even the army, but never finds a career. He takes up drinking full time and his way of economizing is to buy his booze by the case...
It's hard to like Anthony but it is enlightening to see how people with a trust fund and a promise of more can waste their lives if they have no real guidance from anyone.
Kirby Heybourne does an adequate job as narrator. I can't complain about his reading it just wasn't special.
I recommend this book if you are a fan of Fitzgerald's and I fully intend on reading Tender is the Night in the future.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful
How could the same F. Scott Fitzgerald who composed such a brilliant novel in The Great Gatsby have preceded it with such a lifeless moral tale?
A bantam-cock and his haughty hussy, Anthony and Gloria Patch, squander their days for more than a decade of their lives anticipating an inheritance of a large part of the estate of Anthony's grandfather, a Rockefeller-type magnate, who excludes them from his Last Will and Testament because of their debauched style of living.
It's just hard to be captivated by two despicable anti-heroes.
The gritty sand before the pearl.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful