The Beautiful And Damned (Penguin Modern Classics)
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The Beautiful And Damned (Penguin Modern Classics)

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  20,712 ratings  ·  1,406 reviews
"We know the old adage about judging books by their covers, but how could you not when the covers are as lovely as these?"
-Vogue (U.K.)

The jacket design by Coralie Bickford-Smith reflects the elegance and glamour of the Art Deco period paired with the modern aesthetic of mechanical repetition. Each jacket comes with a detachable bookmark.

Anthony and Gloria are the essence...more
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Published March 29th 2001 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published January 1st 1920)
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Brian
A deeply flawed book. A good amount of editing would've greatly improved this book. However, Fitzgerald was coming off his huge success with "This Side of Paradise", so the publisher allowed him to publish this very uneven piece of work. This was the final Fitzgerald novel that I have read, and by far the worst.

Yes, Fitzgerald writes beautiful prose. Eloquence for its own sake doesn't make a novel. Indulgent eloquence, uneven pacing, unsympathetic characters, a generally poor plot, and a terribl...more
Leah
I'm glad I read this after Tender is the Night, because if I'd gone from The Great Gatsby to The Beautiful and Damned, I'd have given up on Fitzgerald without having read his best and most redeeming novel.

FSF tells the same story over and over: the horrors of being rich, white, and bored in fin de siècle America. Boredom + money -> alcohol + other addictions -> ruin.

Fitzgerald wrote in this order:

- The Beautiful and Damned - 1922
- The Great Gatsby - 1925
- Tender is the Night - 1934

And I th...more
Briynne
Fitzgerald wasn't joking with that title. These people were completely screwed from the moment they hit the page, and it was fascinating to watch it all disintegrate. As I mentioned in the review I just finished for Tender is the Night , I found Anthony and Gloria to be some of the more unsympathetic characters I've encountered lately. They are both vain and shallow and utterly useless people in terms of anything practical. I can't imagine being friends with these people. This book worked for me...more
Sam
This book was... heavy. I read it in a couple days, but it's so emotionally and mentally exhausting it was just painful most of the time. Fitzgerald almost viciously pulls the rug out any time there's a slight chance of things getting better for Gloria and Anthony who, rather than confronting their flaws and getting their proverbial shit together, seem to alternate between wallowing and reveling in their self-destructive boredom and self-pity. It's a study in absolute misery. It reminded me more...more
Tom
"The Beautiful and Damned" is the perfect title for this novel, as well as for the author's life with his wife Zelda.

This is Fitzgerald's second novel, and he had become wealthy and famous. His protagonist and his wife--Anthony and Gloria Patch--move in a circle of rich, hard-drinking sybarites, who seem to move glibly from party to party. (On the first edition dust jacket, Anthony and Gloria are painted as Scott & Zelda)

Anthony doesn't want to work. After graduating from Harvard, he wander...more
Elena
I found this book fascinating and also really problematic. Fitzgerald's class prejudices and racism are on parade, and it's a horrifying parade. It's much less censored than in *Gatsby*, and in that sense it's more interesting. Fitzgerald surveys and mocks different "types," social and racial, and in that catalog we glimpse what moves and terrifies *his* kind. So when his hero and heroine start to come apart, we understand that it's bigger than Anthony's alcoholism or Gloria's spending . . . the...more
Julia
Fitzgerald left me gasping for breath, depressed at the end of the novel. The demise of Gloria and Anthony Patch and their ill-fated relationship incredibly drawn out. But the intricacies of each character is highly developed. I thought I was actually friends with these characters. It's an excellent read though it's not the most action-packed. I loved the dense descriptives, and the way he portrays Gloria's vanity: "Beauty is only to be admired, only to be loved -- to be harvested carefully and...more
Kat (Le Pauvre Cœur)
Jun 07, 2013 Kat (Le Pauvre Cœur) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: F. Scot Fitzgerald fans
Recommended to Kat (Le Pauvre Cœur) by: Myself

Anthony is young, lazy, handsome, and bored with the world. He spends his days having meals with his companions, Maury and Richard, and participating in the art of 'doing nothing'. When Richard introduces Anthony to his cousin Gloria, the world is suddenly a bit less boring.
Gloria is beautiful, with childish features and, like Anthony, bored easily. But Anthony is the first man in a long string of dull romances that she does not tire of. The two marry and are at the height of their lives.
But An...more
Jennifer Messina

Mi domando se Fitzgerald scrivendo Belli e Dannati non stesse delineando con largo anticipo il crollo della sua esistenza. Mi domando se Fitzgerald, guardandosi allo specchio, non vedesse riflesso lo sguardo sanguinante di Anthony Patch. Mi domando se, rileggendo le parti dedicate alle descrizioni di Gloria, non riscoprisse ogni volta tutto quello che amava e odiava di Zelda.
Se dovessimo rispondere a questi quesiti basandoci sul flusso incalzante, perfetto, naturale della scrittura e sull'eviden...more
Eric Kinney
description


F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" is a novel Im sure everyone is familiar with from high school, and in my case was the only book I ever picked up from the author until I came across "The Beautiful and Damned". Unlike other books that were recommended by friends and acquaintances, reading Fitzgerald's second novel derived from my curiosity for a rarely mentioned era of American history; one encompassing the age of wild jazz, speakeasies, and the notorious flappers. As an author, Fitzgeral...more
Madeline
As you may know, Reader, I struggled to get through George Eliot's masterpiece (cue massive eyeroll) Middlemarch. Refer to my review for a detailed explanation, or just read the next sentence of this one. It was boring, basically. There isn't really a plot, it's just a description of some people going about their daily lives with nothing very dramatic ever happening. The same can be said of the plot (term is used loosely here) of The Beautiful and Damned: rich people are miserable, make poor mar...more
Chiara Pagliochini
« In questa calamità furono come due pesciolini rossi in una boccia dalla quale fosse stata tolta tutta l’acqua; non riuscivano neanche a nuotare l’uno verso l’altro ».

Non posso dire – ed è bene precisarlo nella prima riga – che questo romanzo si sia fatto leggere con grande simpatia. E non è colpa di Fitzgerald né, tanto meno, della sua penna. La colpa sta, semmai, nell’esser riuscito a comunicare in pieno il suo messaggio: un messaggio di decadenza, di sfacelo morale che lascia il lettore fia...more
Jonfaith
Being bulky compared to Scott's other gems, may arouse faint hopes of an epic. The Beautiful and the Damned isn't quite that, but it does plumb the entrails of a relationship. The novel isn't about seltzer and sernades, nor invitations and the celebrity pages. It is about the sweet insomnia of expectations and the early chafing where discord gulps heavily. FSF gnaws within these pages. This isn't Homeric like Tender Is The Night. This is a novel of tingles and unexplained bruises. It is worth mo...more
Afshi
It’s easy to dismiss this book as one of Fitzgerald’s lesser novels, but it’s actually a gem and I like it much more than The Great Gatsby. This follows the lives of two characters as they come together in a time filled with drinking and dancing, and fall apart when vanity and alcoholism take over in later years. The story is extremely descriptive written with meticulous attention to detail, and often moves between being manic; brilliant and exciting, to being depressive with illustrations of ch...more
Rick
Decades before the Who sang, “Hope I die before I get old” there was Fitzgerald and The Beautiful and Damned. For its two main characters 25 is middle aged and the curtain of old age drops rudely and irrevocably at 30. Fitzgerald, still in his mid-twenties when he wrote this novel of a young couple who burn the candle too brightly at one end, thinking romantically that it is both ends, knew, as Townsend did, that “getting old” was a mental state, not a chronological one. Anthony Patch and Gloria...more
Sera
I read two books by Fitz in college - The Great Gatsby and Tender Is The Night. Although they both looked to be right up my alley, I didn't enjoy either one, and since then, I hadn't read Fitz again.

Recently two things happened - first, the resurgence of Hemingway over the last year or so brought in its wake a lesser resurgence of Fitz, since the two ran in the same circles. Second, while reading Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain, I learned how the change in one's...more
Ashley
I didn't like this novel as well as the other Fitzgerald works I've read, though that's not to say that I didn't like it at all. It just seems too preachy and predictable at times. And as a warning, it's kind of heavy. You feel as though you're part of the downward spiral of the main character.

The novel begins by briefly describing Anthony Patch's childhood and youth. As it moves into his time at college, it becomes more elaborate. Interestingly, Anthony does not seem like a character that will...more
Jill
I still think that Fitzgerald is one of the most fantastic writers of the 20th century. His books are romantic and introspective in a way that has been almost completely lost to the contemporary moment. He writes of two people in this book who are almost synonymous with the age they lived in whose story is summed up in the title in a way that is not revealed to the reader until the book's end - The Beautiful and the Damned, a metaphor for the US in the '20s and '30s - a culture at its highest, d...more
max
I find it intriguing how in the title of this work FSF employs two adjectives used as substantive nouns, in a formulation known as hendiadys. Cf. "the sound and the fury," "by force and arms," and so many others. So it means something like "the Beautifully Damned."

I enjoyed this novel quite a bit, much more than This Side of Paradise, FSF's first novel. While neither work exhibits the remarkable polish, symbolism, and tight (tragic) plot construction that is found in The Great Gatsby, this nove...more
Linds
Sep 23, 2010 Linds rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people that think that Daisy Buchanan had too much depth and kindness
Hmmm.....Anthony and Gloria. How do you describe Anthony and Gloria?

So far Anthony and Gloria are two of the most vile characters that aren't criminals or evil that I've ever read. They're entitled. Classist. Wasteful. Narcissistic. Greedy. Anthony's a weak alcoholic and Gloria is vainer than Snow White's stepmother.

The story starts out with Anthony graduating from college, the assumed heir to his grandfather's seventy five million. He's dreamy, likes to wax philosophic, party, but can't figure...more
Steve
I gave it a fair chance, a hundred pages, before deciding this was not a book for me. The good part, main character Anthony is convincingly and well made. The problems? As a person, I find Anthony so superficial, as intended, that I not only feel no connection to him, but extraordinarily rarely for me, I find him so thoroughly unlikeable that I haven’t the smallest desire to find out what happens to him. Which brings me to another complaint. I’m not an action fanatic, but in a hundred pages almo...more
Debra
The worst thing that happened to this couple is that they got more money in the end. Now they can continue their worthless, clueless lives until they run out of this set of money.

You have to wonder if somewhere along the way they will see the emptiness of their lives and seek a different route, similar to their grandfather's abrupt turn around.

These were the most unlovable characters I have every met.
Kelly
I love Fitzgerald. I will always love Fitzgerald. Just not this particular Fitzgerald. That Much, anyway. Aside from occasional genius of word twisting beauty, I feel like this is just This Side of Paradise having its existential midlife crisis and hacking up an alcohol soaked furball of a marriage plot. Short-form Fitz and I need to make a date for a hot and heavy quickie.
Irene
I despised these morally impoverished young adults living lives of dissolution, believing themselves entitled to endless pleasure devoid of responsibilities simply because they were good looking and the descendents of America’s nouveaux riche. I recoiled from the world that seemed to glamorize their lifestyle and enable their debauchery while leering at their decline. But, I loved this novel with its perfect writing. There is not a single unnecessary detail, not a description out of place, not a...more
Luana
Mi sembra ancora di sentire il rumore di bottiglie infrangersi e di risate posticce. Di vedere abiti costosi e di sentire chiamare un taxi nel cuore profondo della notte mentre tutto il resto di New York dorme e i belli si divertono mentre ancora non sanno di essere ormai dannati.
Mi fanno quest’effetto i libri di Francis Scott Fitzgerald: di dirmi la realtà, di raccontarmi qualcosa che poi posso rielaborare con gli occhi, che posso sentire con le orecchie, mi sembra di potermi trovare negli ann...more
Stela

In the first chapter of the The Beautiful and the Damned, the young Anthony Patch, seeing from his window a girl in a red negligee drying her hair by the afternoon sun, has a revelation of exceptional beauty. Soon afterwards, he realizes he had been tricked by the distance, and the girl was, in reality, “fat, full thirty-five, utterly undistinguished.”

What better mise en abyme than this one? The delusion concerning not only the others but even themselves is the main feature leading to the charac...more
Ben
I always imagined Fitzgerald as a writer who dresses his palatable ideas with academic pomp and philosophical swagger. However, with The Beautiful and Damned, I met a writer who simply said what he thought, employed an enviable talent for writing and admirably fused a dimension of himself, as author, into the story.

The novel begins with Fitzgerald describing, in no uncertain terms, the character of Anthony Patch. Yet at the end, it almost sounded as if the Anthony Patch at the beginning had writ...more
Sara
Il secondo romanzo di Fitzgerald, Belli e dannati, affronta l’odissea di due persone alla strenua ricerca di una propria individualità in una società che ha già definito tutto: tutto ciò che occorre essere, fare, pensare e soprattutto possedere, al fine di poter essere ascritti al pantheon delle “persone di successo” o degli “esempi positivi” o peggio ancora, in un’accezione che rasenta il misticismo, quella di anime “pulite.” Anthony e Gloria (gli stessi Scott e Zelda) non sono puliti. Sono car...more
Lisa
May 11, 2012 Lisa rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: People who wish to be bored to literal tears
I really enjoyed The Great Gatsby so I was looking forward to this, being especially lured in by the fabulous title. Sadly, this turned out to be the only good thing about the book as it turns out that reading about bored, boring people tooling about being bored is incredibly boring. So boring, in fact, that I've even bored myself writing this, so I won't bother with any more.
Starry
This is my equal favourite book of all time (tied with Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray) these are excellent companion books based on theme, and offer the most pertinent moral lessons for myself, as I am prone to be like the characters, alas!
Unfortunately I am too much like Becky Sharp of Vanity Fair, and a little too like Anthony Patch from the Beautiful and Damned.

One of my great disappointments in life is that Fitzgerald's other novels, especially The Great Gatsby, perennially grace...more
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Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American writer of novels and short stories, whose works have been seen as evocative of the Jazz Age, a term he himself allegedly coined. He is regarded as one of the greatest twentieth century writers. Fitzgerald was of the self-styled "Lost Generation," Americans born in the 1890s who came of age during World War I. He finished four novels, left a fifth unfini...more
More about F. Scott Fitzgerald...
The Great Gatsby Tender Is the Night This Side of Paradise The Curious Case of Benjamin Button The Short Stories

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“Here's to alcohol, the rose colored glasses of life.” 1153 likes
“Things are sweeter when they're lost. I know--because once I wanted something and got it. It was the only thing I ever wanted badly, Dot, and when I got it it turned to dust in my hand.” 1103 likes
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