The Last Tycoon
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The Last Tycoon

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  4,584 ratings  ·  309 reviews
The Last Tycoon, edited by the renowned literary critic Edmund Wilson, was first published a year after Fitzgerald's death and includes the author's notes and outline for his unfinished literary masterpiece. It is the story of the young Hollywood mogul Monroe Stahr, who was inspired by the life of boy-genius Irving Thalberg, and is an expos� of the studio system in its hey...more
Hardcover, 163 pages
Published August 1st 1977 by Scribner Book Company (first published 1941)
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I'm not precisely sure why this book effected me the way it did, but it certainly did. Fitzgerald finished writing the fifth chapter of this book before he had a heart attack and died. When you get to the end of this unfinished novel, you find the last word one of the greatest American writers ever wrote. Something about this is chilling. And despite the fact that one can not make any substantial investment in characters who we know in advance we'll never know completely or whose stories we won'...more
Oh, Fitzgerald, Fitzy, Scott, F. I kept putting this one off because I knew exactly how it would leave me, and I was exactly right. As much as I love Gatsby, as much as I love Tender is the Night and the short stories and the essays and every wastebasket scrap he’s written, this would have been It. Capital-I It. It still almost is, even terribly unfinished.

Now what? The other woman was more missed in her absence. They were alone and on too slim a basis for what had passed already. They existed...more
May 19, 2013 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Bettie, Wanda, Carey
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Another Fitzgerald novel that I read in French a long time ago, and have just rediscovered with wonder by reading it in English. There's something about Fitzgerald's writing style that is really unique and that no translation, as good as it may be, can communicate. Because The Last Tycoon is unfinished, and is a work in progress that will always stay this way, it can come across as frustrating not to have the complete novel, and to read sentences and paragraphs that the author may have rewritten...more
I have now read all of Fitzgerald's major published works. After finishing The Love of The Last Tycoon, the incomplete manuscript on his desk when he died, I ask immediately wonder how this novel differs from his other works. Did he know he had this one last chance to voice his ideas? Did he compile the breadth of his lifelong learning into his final literary hero? Unfortunately, we can only speculate on these questions. But I find comfort in the idea that we would not have these questions had n...more
I can only be brief here because of how unmemorable a read this book was. I was honestly disappointed by the quality of prose and story I observed in this novel. Sadly diminished as it was from Fitzgerald's usual quality. However to be fair the story was incomplete due to his untimely death and he may have gone back and edited it later. Still I found it to be rather dry and boring.

It seemed that he attempted to write another moral tale in the vein of The Great Gatsby yet failed to produce a tale...more
Evan Kingston
There are some really great scraps in this manuscript: complex, well-drawn characters; witty dialogue; a vivid sense of setting, both time and place; rare insight into the workings of the studio system; and frequent passages of gorgeous prose. It seems that if F. Scott could have kept working on it, he could have reclaimed his talent and turned it into another great novel, maybe going on to write many more.

Unfortunately, he died before he finishing a whole draft; this book has no end--and worse-...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
This is Fitzgerald's last work before he died, and is incomplete. This authorised text version comes with a lot of preface and appendices, all designed to be extremely helpful to the Fitzgerald enthusiast.

That ain't me.

Aside from a couple of neat lines in The Great Gatsby, I was incredibly bored by that book and haven't bothered with anything else of his.

I don't think I'd even heard of this book before, but I had to read it for one of my bookclubs. It's very short, at only 127 pages, and ends ab...more
Elizabeth Periale

"Fitzgerald deftly sketches the 24-hour schedule of a studio boss, while also making him a thinking, feeling human being. The object of Stahr's desire, Kathleen, is a little less clearly drawn, but that seems deliberate, as she presents herself at first as a woman of mystery, to discourage Stahr's romantic pursuit. ...

Stahr and his work, not just his potential romance, are so involving that it is truly tragic for the reader when the text stops abruptly. Th...more
Jul 18, 2008 Art rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: everyone, especially aspiring writers
As a stand alone work (this is an unfinished novel), the book does not hold up. But as a glimpse into the writing process of a literary genius, it is a stunning work. This is the book I wish he had finished before dying. The most polished pieces of the book, the first few chapters, are some of his very best work. I was amazed when I read it, and again when I re-read it.

Drawing on his experiences as a lackluster screen writer in Hollywood in the 30's, Fitzgerald weaves a modern-day (for his time)...more
Reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s penultimate novel, “Tender is the Night,” saddened me, because it showed a once-great man struggling—and failing—to write a novel worthy of his prodigious talent and storied past.

Reading “The Last Tycoon” saddens me, because he found that novel, then suddenly died before he could finish it.

“The Last Tycoon” tells the story of Hollywood golden boy Monroe Stahr.
He’s a good guy, pays his people well, and works hard to make good, profitable films—he’s not even afraid...more
This is a terrific half novel and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course being obsessed with "making pictures" myself didn't hurt my appreciation of the story. But even if I wasn't movie-crazed, the book would still appeal just as strongly--Fitzgerald has a wonderful way of balancing his lyricism with character and action, creating suspense and then letting that suspense carry you through the more peaceful moments, while adding a healthy dollop of humor for good measure.

Fitzgerald was a certified r...more
I finished The Last Tycoon, what there is of it, and it underwhelmed in the end. I have a bit of a problem with the mix of first person and third person. Fitzgerald justifies it in a letter included with the book, but I think the book would have been better all in first person. He also says in the letter that

"Unlike Tender is the Night, it is not the story of deterioration--it is not depressing and not morbid in spite of the tragic ending. If one book could ever be 'like' another, I should say i...more
with an unfinished manuscript, the story is bound to be a bit muddled, which The Last Tycoon absolutely was. However, the read poignancy of the book lies in the last 40 or so pages where the editors have included all of Fitzgerald's notes about where the novel would take him and how he would handle certain characterization. He evens writes in a letter that he hopes this novel is similar to The Great Gatsby in sentiment, but ends in a more hopeful way. For some reason it never dawned on me that s...more
Shelly Holder
Jan 31, 2010 Shelly Holder is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
The paragraph transitions are a little choppy, but for an uncompleted manuscript this is extremely polished and honed. Sometimes one will simply forget this detail because of the quality of the story-telling. I am quickly falling in love with the book that is the unfinished jewel at the pinnacle of a master's career.

I grew up in Southern California, not far from Hollywood, and has always despised the movie industry in a way from the familiarity. I lost the sense of glow and glamor, but Fitzgera...more
Michael Neno
This Cambridge Edition, edited by the most important Fitzgerald scholar, Matthew J. Bruccoli, is the ultimate resource for Fitzgerald's last and unfinished novel.

The partly ironically titled book tells the story of a Hollywood producer, Monroe Stahr, based on Fitzgerald's observations and meetings with MGM second-in-command Irving Thalberg, as well as many other Hollywood denizens. Like the three novels he wrote before it, it's a tragic love story.

The novel, what we can read of it, is structural...more
Even though I didn't like the story as much as "The Great Gasby" this edition was worth reading just for the author's notes about unfinished chapters and the letter to his editor at the back of the book. This book is especially for people who have a writerly crush on Fitzgerald. :)
The author's last book, and a very incomplete one at that. One can see some fragments of the genius that wrote Gatsby, but there isn't very much left here to admire. Fame destroys.
I love Fitzgerald's impeccable style and his take on Hollywood is intriguing. What a shame he didn't live to complete this novel as I'm sure it would have ranked with his best work.
I felt like it was appropriate that since Fitzgerald never finished writing this book, I shouldn't finish reading it. Also, it bored me.
Kevin Zielinski
A book that had the potential of topping The Great Gatsby, The Love of The Last Tycoon is F. Scott Fitzgerald's final work. It follows the life of a seemingly indefatigable captain of industry whose job in hollywood is that of a producer whom everybody turns to for guidance.

The novel features everything Fitzgerald needed to make it great, an honorable main character that the reader is inclined to root for, a love story that throws the man off balance, and a plot of deception which delivers the...more
Anne Nikoline
May 19, 2013 Anne Nikoline rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: jazz age fans
Recommended to Anne Nikoline by: Fitzgerald's work
"The Last Tycoon" by F. Scott Fitzgerald has been tipped to be the author's greatest work, but also remained his last work left unfinished at his death in 1940. The novel is the story of the Hollywood producer Monroe Stahr, who after a meteoric career finds the pendulum beginning to swing the other way: his health is worn by an all-consuming work.

Though the novel was released one year after the author's death it
might in fact seem more like a sketch of options, "The Last Tycoon" is still a remark...more
Michael de Percy
If only I had read this work years ago... There is much to be learnt by reading an unfinished book, especially this with the author's chapter plan, character sketches, unedited rants and revisions. I expected Fitzgerald's colleagues to have attempted to finish the novel. Instead, however, the rawness of "The Last Tycoon" provides a window into the mind of an author in full swing. Yet if it were finished I doubt it would have had the same impact. On finishing reading the book I was at once melanc...more
It's imperfect but wonderful for this very reason. And it's got the best dialogue about creating stories:

"But let's imagine something that isn't either dialogue or
jumping down a well. Has your office got a stove in it that lights with a match?"

"I think it has", said Boxley stiffly, "- but I never use it".

"Suppose you're in your office. You've been fighting duels or writing all day and you're too tired to fight or write any more. You're sitting there staring - dull, like we all get sometimes. A p...more
May 22, 2009 Curtis rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Fitzgerald aficionados
Shelves: novel
It's unfortunate that Fitzgerald never had the chance to finish this book. He got as far as offering an aromatic sniff and minuscule taste of the meal he was preparing, but nothing more. Based on the notes provided in the edition I have, it sounds like it would have been a wonderfully tragic tale.

In many ways, Monroe Stahr - the story's Hollywood producer protagonist - can be likened to Hank Reardon in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged . Stahr, like Reardon, is a self-made man, working his way through t...more
"vamos a suponer que debe de construirse un camino a través de una montaña... para tender la vía del tren, y dos o tres topógrafos, más otras personas, te dan sus informes y tu tienes confianza en unos sí y en otros no, y parece haber una media docena de posibilidades para abrir ese camino, y hasta donde puedes apreciar son tan buenas unas como otras-; supongamos que tu eres el jefe y hay un punto donde ya no te es posible usar tu intelecto de la manera habitual, sino que debes recurrir a la sim...more
Monroe Stahr, the hero of Fitzgeralds final (and unfinished) novel, is perhaps the most realistic of all Fitzgerald's heroes. He is, when you get down to it, a realistic Jay Gatsby. The novel itself are mere smatterings of episodes and chapters, edited together to create a narrative that is cut off in it's middle. Luckily, the editor (whose name escapes me) copied Fitzgerald's notes almost verbatum so that we can glimpse into the mind of the great American novelist's ending of the story.

Using th...more
Joseph Raffetto
The Last Tycoon is Fitzgerald's great unfinished novel. It would have been his greatest and most mature piece of fiction. Even unfinished, it is a fascinating read. His friend from Princeton, Editor Edmond Wilson, edited the published version and wrote the introduction.

The story focuses on the last days of Monroe Stayre, the brilliant studio executive, who understands how to make a popular blockbuster, but also how to make quality movies that he knew would lose money. Fitzgerald based this chara...more
One might say The Love of the Last Tycoon is the greatest novel almost written about Hollywood.

As with Mozart's Requiem, this is F. Scott Fitzgerald's great unfinished work. Reading this novel is to read a writer in mid-process, polishing and cutting a diamond in the rough down into glittering perfection. Sadly, we're left only with the uncut stone; not quite six of the planned nine chapters were completed, and even those six doubtless would have been revised and reworked by Fitzgerald before pu...more
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Which should I read? 1 9 Jan 22, 2013 04:52PM  
  • Some Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Save Me the Waltz
  • The Dangerous Summer
  • E.M. Forster: Three Complete Novels: Howards End, A Room With a View, Where Angels Fear to Tread
  • The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Major Authors
  • The Hamlet
  • What Makes Sammy Run?
  • The Decay of Lying
  • Sodom and Gomorrah (In Search of Lost Time, #4)
  • Rabbit Angstrom: The Four Novels
  • Dodsworth
  • Up at the Villa
  • The Big Money
  • The Cocktail Party
  • Best Short Stories of Jack London
  • The Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain
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 Beautiful and Damned

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