The Last Tycoon
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Last Tycoon

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  5,016 ratings  ·  341 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.
Mass Market Paperback, 163 pages
Published June 1st 1990 by Charles Scribner's Sons (first published 1941)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Last Tycoon, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Last Tycoon

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
It's funny reading an unfinished novel, since you know you're not going to get a really satisfying ending. All things considered, this was pretty good in spite of not having an ending. However, it was spotty in places, presumably waiting for another edit. Frankly, the most interesting part for me was the examination of studio-era Hollywood, a milieu that Fitzgerald knew well. He goes into the hierarchical social differences and how that affects people's personal lives, and the process of actuall...more
This is the best unfinished novel I've read (granted, it's a short list), but also better than many (most) finished ones. It's rough and patchy and incomplete, but that adds to its charm overall. Reading Fitzgerald's notes and synopsis and outline for the full-blown work, I'm glad he didn't finish it; the scraps that he did write were much more suggestive and flavorful for their standalone, incomplete nature. Based on the plans he had for it, the finished work would have been less than the sum o...more
John Williams
Reading Fitzgerald always reminds me of the joys of writing. Not of story-telling, but the technical act of writing in and of itself. Fitzgerald is a craftsman. And while he always tells his stories passionately and there is always great drama and romance to be found in his plots, it is always his poetic craftsmanship which intrigues and impresses me. I found myself laughing with joy on more than one occasion just at the mere feel of his word order and word choice as I read them in my mind. He h...more
Oh, Fitz. So bittersweet. :(
Nastia Daven
I really enjoyed and loved reading this book. Within the very first pages of the book, I was engulfed into the story. The setting and the situation in which the book is set in makes reading it very interesting, especially the beginning since that is when the narrator is directly talking to the reader. The novel starts quickly and gradually builds throughout the book. I found myself thinking one thing was going on between the characters, but once I read on, I came to find that the series of even...more
R. Manolakas
May 29, 2014 R. Manolakas rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any adult
Recommended to R. by: An English lit professor in Scotland in 1975
The "Great Gatsby" is often thought of as Fitzgerald's best book, but this will give it a run for its money. If I remember correctly, this book was slightly unfinished by the author due to his untimely death in Asheville, NC (I have been there and have seen where he lived). It is a truly great novel, and I feel would have been regarded as his best had he finished and polished it. Please read this, you will not be disappointed; I read this as a junior in college in Scotland as an exchange student...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. :)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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 started reading this book in the summer of 1976 while working as a cashier at a coffee shop in New York City. I just finished it -- the same copy -- 38 years later.

It is an insightful look at the inner workings of 1930s/40s Hollywood. In the notes section in the back of the book is Fitzgerald's famous line: "There are no second acts in American lives." He was wrong. Say what you will about America, numerous acts are possible if you have the energy and will. Ask Richard Nixon.

To be fair, I wil...more
I felt like it was appropriate that since Fitzgerald never finished writing this book, I shouldn't finish reading it. Also, it bored me.
Zachary Fletcher
Like a lot of people, I think The Great Gatsby is one of the greatest novels ever written, and that Fitzgerald was one of the best prose stylists the English language has ever seen. I've read a lot of reviews saying that this book could have been better than Gatsby, but I just don't see it. Obviously it's unfinished, so we'll never really know for sure, and I think it's a bit unfair to judge a work by its rough draft, but that was my gut feeling. Too many ideas, too many threads that didn't seem...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Where did F. Scott stop? 2 10 Jun 08, 2014 08:52AM  
Which should I read? 1 15 Jan 22, 2013 04:52PM  
  • Some Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Collected Writings
  • The Dangerous Summer
  • Three Complete Novels: Howards End, A Room with a View, Where Angels Fear to Tread
  • The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction, Compact Sixth Edition
  • The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Major Authors
  • Rabbit Angstrom: The Four Novels
  • The Mansion
  • The Big Money
  • Best Short Stories of Jack London
  • Byron's Poetry
  • The Decay of Lying
  • Sometimes Madness Is Wisdom: Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald: A Marriage
  • Hemingway: a Life Story
  • Zelda Fitzgerald: Her Voice in Paradise
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

Share This Book

“Writers aren’t people exactly. Or, if they’re any good, they’re a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person.” 616 likes
“Men don’t often know those times when a girl could be had for nothing.” 55 likes
More quotes…