Tender Is the Night

Tender Is the Night

A Romance

Book - 2000
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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

Publisher: London : Penguin Group, [2000], c1934
ISBN: 9780141183596
Branch Call Number: FIC Fitzg 3567
Characteristics: xlvi, 357 p. --


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Oct 19, 2017

Set against the backdrop of Europe during the Roaring Twenties, Tender is the Night features the glamorous life of Dick and Nicole Diver, a young American couple. Fitzgerald has beautifully described the inner qualities and conflicts of characters from the third person perspective. Primarily, the story is about the transformation of Dick, as from a charming and ambitious psychiatrist whose politeness and graciousness are favoured by others, he turns into a man who can no longer live up to his professional and personal standards. His moral dissolution and diminishing vitality are illustrated in a way that is both effective and emotionally charged. Fitzgerald’s work on this book is admirable; the vivid descriptions of the settings and relationships are true examples of classic literature. 4/5 Stars
- @VirtueofReading of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

Jun 01, 2016

Fitzgerald writes period pieces; this one is too much with a European scene which is unknowable to an average American reader such as I; thus it is a fine story, well-written, in lovely prose, but without the intimacy of Gatsby which is an American period piece, and much more to my liking.

Sep 29, 2015

The writing is excellent. The plotting a little uneven. But still a classic, if only to peer inside Mr. Fitzgerald's head. The characters have a lot in common with the author.

Jul 20, 2013

Rising starlet Rosemary Hoyt arrives at the French Riviera in the roaring twenties and becomes enamored with charismatic psychiatrist Dick Diver and his troubled heiress wife, Nicole. Reading this was infuriating. Were it not for the redeeming quality of Fitzgerald’s exquisite prose, I would have given up within 100 pages. The execution was terrible! Fantastic writing wasted on fragmented storytelling! Don’t get me wrong, there was a substantial and intriguing story contained in the 300+ pages, but it was permeated with inconsequential drivel throughout. The drama highlights the psychology of expat American high society (though this isn’t apparent until book II, 100+ pages in!), specifically focusing on the impact of father figures and their influences on the neuroses of the characters. Read this novel with a deep reservoir of patience and lenience for poor editing.

bwortman Mar 28, 2013

First and foremost a character study, Tender Is the Night slowly reveals the inner-workings of Dick Diver over the course of several years, investigating how an intelligent and ambitious man ended up in a relationship in which he feels he is slowly losing his independence. However, surrounding the melancholy tale of Dick, Fitzgerald beautifully describes several parts of Europe and the life of the idle rich American expats who lived there during the late 1920s. A read that is great not only to experience the skills of an author near the height of his brilliance but to empathetically observe Dick on his decline.

Aug 16, 2011

As much as I love The Great Gatsby, Tender is the Night is Fitzgerald's true masterpiece. It is a haunting tale that most readers can more readily identify with.

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