Tender Is the Night
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Tender Is the Night

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  51,638 ratings  ·  2,198 reviews
1920s French Riviera. Nicole and Dick Diver are a wealthy, elegant, magnetic couple. A coterie of admirers are drawn to them, none more so than the blooming young starlet Rosemary Hoyt. When Rosemary falls for Dick, the Diver's calculated perfection begins to crack. As dark truths emerge, their marriage disintegrates and idealism fails.
Paperback, 315 pages
Published July 1st 1995 by Scribner (first published 1933)
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Steve Sckenda
What happens when an ambitious psychiatrist marries his rich mental patient? Nicole struggles with mental illness caused by childhood sexual abuse, and Dick Diver dedicates his skill to curing his wife but risks self-destruction. As Nicole recuperates, she becomes contemptuous of Dick as he spirals into alcoholic dissolution and professional ruin. Physician, heal thyself.

Fitzgerald gradually reveals the sad reality of this couple in the last two parts of the novel, but he introduces us to the D...more
When Fitzgerald finished this gem, he was stunned by the poor reviews it received. I honestly think it's a profoundly more true and powerful book than Gatsby ever will be. His effortless and viceral writing tells a story of such complex and accurate human relationships, I often find myself reflecting on Dick Diver as a friend I should check up on, and part of me thinks I spent a year of my youth hanging out on the French Riveria having too much to drink, but somehow pulling it off sophistication...more
How is one to feel about a protagonist who frequently displays signs of elitism, sexism, bigotry and homophobia, finds himself worryingly attracted to young girls, has no goal in life except to make himself useful to damsels in distress, and drinks away his career and marriage, ending up a mere shadow of his former self? Is one supposed to regard him as a tragic hero? Is one to sympathise with him? And if one does sympathise with him, is that because of the way he was written, or rather because...more
Jeanette (Most of My Favorite Authors Are Dead)
This book is so pointless, you could read the chapters in random order and probably not feel like you'd missed much. This marks my second and final attempt to read it. I almost made it to the halfway point this time. If you loved The Great Gatsby, don't get your hopes up for this one to be anything close to that good. You'll be disappointed.
Jul 05, 2012 Shovelmonkey1 rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: people who want to see beyond Gatsby
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: 1001 books list
For the longest time I lived an F. Scott Fitzgerald free existence. The name was familiar enough although I mostly associated it with those bulky Penguin Classics which are prone to making me break out in a cold-sweat. Weighty tomes burdened by commentary on class difference, forbidden or tormented or doomed romance, some of which are drier than a mouthful of Jacob's Crackers.

I am F. Scott Fitzgerald-free no longer! And how glad does this make me? Very. I read The Great Gatsby a couple of month...more
Feb 09, 2009 Jonathan rated it 2 of 5 stars Recommends it for: people who don't do anything without first consulting Mother.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is a hard but necessary book to read. It should be the type of plot we're attracted to, because it's a dissolution story, not unlike LOST WEEKEND or LEAVING LAS VEGAS, to name but two examples of the genre. And yet many friends I share this with just can't get into it. Part of the blame lies with the style: it's just so damned intricate and thick, it tends to scare away those who don't want to be ravished by style. As someone who does, I can get lost in this book any day of the week. I rere...more
i knew a dick once. his name was sam, and he was a star. people gravitated toward him everywhere he went. i did, too. he radiated light and fun and when he talked to you, he made you feel like the most important person in the room. he partied hard, and he was the type of person you wanted to party with, because it was always a good time. he was the son of a diplomat, knew five languages, and always knew exactly what to say or do to get the situation how he wanted it. when i was about sixteen, we...more
Mar 04, 2008 Empress rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: poor little rich girls.
Shelves: suck-a-tating
I am trying to like this book because for some reason I think that I should.
But, in truth, I am finding it quite dull and painfully slow.
Maybe I lack in patience or sophistication, because--given other reviews of this book--there is a good chance I am missing something (or simply haven't read enough into it yet--apparently it gets good after the tedious first 100 pages...)
But so far, I am pretty seriously bored and disintersted in his saga about rich people, poor misunderstood movie stars and...more
Chiara Pagliochini
“Dick cercò di rilassarsi: la lotta sarebbe presto incominciata a casa e avrebbe forse dovuto vegliare a lungo ricomponendo l’universo per lei.”

È stato molte volte detto - e scritto certo in tutte le lingue - che l’amore dovrebbe essere una fusione tra due persone, una fusione fisica e mentale e spirituale che faccia di due esseri un essere solo.
“Tender is the night” viene a raccontarci quel che accade quando questo obiettivo è raggiunto, e le conclusioni che se ne traggono non sono felici nean...more
This is my favorite Fitzgerald book. I read it back to back with This Side of Paradise last year, which was an interesting experiment. I had the young, beautiful, self-confident Fitzgerald and the Fitzgerald of post-Zelda's craziness, dark dark alcoholic Fitzgerald. Besides showing obviously how much his skills had improved, it showed the sheer range he was capable of as well. This is a dark, depressing novel. Loss, loneliness, isolation, desolation. It does not end well. But the sheer power of...more

In 1932, F Scott Fitgerald was living in suburban Baltimore. His father had recently died and his wife Zelda had been committed to a psychiatric institution in Switzerland. He finally decided that the novel on which he had been working on and off since the publication of The Great Gatsby in 1925 would be about the destruction of a man of great promise through an ill-judged marriage. In writing the novel, Fitzgerald liberally used material from his life. This material included his relationship wi...more
Marco Tamborrino
Ci si sentiva soli e tristi, ad avere il cuore così vuoto l'uno per l'altra.

Una struggente storia d'amore? L'antenato dei romanzetti rosa odierni? Non direi. Piuttosto la discesa in un abisso. Raccontarlo non è facile, recensirlo tantomeno. Del resto in questo romanzo non succede pressoché niente. Niente d'importante, almeno. È, come ho già detto, un viaggio nella follia, ma non solo follia amorosa, anche follia mentale, fisica, morale, sociale. "Tenera è la notte" è un bellissimo titolo, un tit...more
I can't believe I read this and it wasn't even for school. Although I remember I was temping at JPM Chase in Montvale NJ when I was reading this and some guy was like, "Yo, why you reading romance novels?" And I was like, "It's F. Scott Fitzgerald you mook." Of course I didn't say that, but I should have. God I hated that place. I decided that I never wanted to work in a corporate park ever. Of course, now I work nowhere, so I got my wish. The book still sucks. I mean, the main character's name...more
Such a beautiful title.

The only other book from Fitzgerald I read is, of course, The Great Gatsby, which didn't impress me. So only naturally, I'm reluctant to read any other book by The Lost Generation, or at least, any by Fitzgerald. I know it's ridiculously assuming of me, but first impression makes all the differences and I'm oh so prejudiced.

Ah, but the title is so, so beautiful. So I thought, why not giving it a go? It's only a fairly thin book anyway. At least it won't take long.

Another m...more
Ah the roaring 20s! The Great War (WWI) is over. The stock market is going gang busters; its crash is yet to come. The Great Depression is looming in the not too distant future, but of course no one knows that. What's a rich, shallow, American to do but hang out in Europe and behave badly???

Earlier this week I heard on the news that narcissism is on the rise. I looked down at Mr. Fitzgerald in my hand and thought surely the person on television telling me this is not a student of history. Tender...more
When I sit down to consider Hot American Expat Writers from the 20s (which I do often), I most often divide the field into two camps: The Romantic, Tragic Disinfranchised and The Stoic Motherfuckers. Obviously (obviously), the clear choices for mascots of either camp are Misters Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway, respectively. Reflecting upon this dichotomy, one might, if one is was so inclined--which (see above) I am--undergo one of the ultimate literary litmus tests:

Which one...more
Update!: If you'd like to see the girl Rosemary was based on, skip to the 4:45 in this video:
(She's the one in the apron).

Original review:
The psychology is outdated -- but the writing! The writing! So lovely. So moving. I'm in love with this book.
Of course, it doesn't matter what the author really meant to say. Reading Richard Godden's introduction though, it was quite comforting to me to remember that it doesn't matter what scholars think the text means, or author meant, either. Or the press. "A tragedy backlit by beauty" is the highlighted quote.

What tragedy? There is a 'tragedy' here, if that word, so empty of agency, so forgiving and concealing, can be used for a rape. But I don't think that's what's meant; they mean poor Dick, empti...more
First off, I would like to say that the description Goodreads has included for this novel is lacking any sort of sufficient plot and/or character summary; if I wanted to read a biography of Fitzgerald, I would.

Okay. I went through a phase last year of REALLY wanting to like F. Scott Fitzgerald. I read three or four of his works in a row, "Tender is the Night" being one of them. I can't deny his style is elegant and commanding, but I have yet to read a Fitzgerald novel that I really love. The rea...more
Ok, well, this is a hard thing to do, to give F. Scott Fitzgerald two stars. Who am I to criticize one of the (supposedly) greatest authors and literary geniuses ever? But the truth is that although I do aprecciate his excellent writing technique and many wonderful passages in this book (hence the extra star), I failed to connect with this book in any way whatsoever. I didn't care for any of the characters and their joys and sorrows left me completely unmoved. I just could not care less what hap...more
To be fair, this really wasn't Fitzgerald's fault.

I love The Great Gatsby and I love The Beautiful and the Damned. And, as my dedication to The List proves, I love reading about rich white people and their Rich White People Problems. But everything about this book rubbed me the wrong way, for the following reasons (none of which, as I said, are Fitzgerald's fault. Well, maybe the last one.):

I first started this as an audiobook, which is a medium that I'm trying to get into thanks to my 40-minut...more
The most depressing book I've ever read.
Tender is the Night, one of F Scott Fitzgerald’s later works, was begun in 1925, but was not published until some years later. Indeed, the lapse between composition and publication had significant impact upon the book’s success: although the author considered it to be his masterpiece, it was met with little of the runaway success and critical accolades of a work such as The Great Gatsby, which arguably remains today Fitzgerald’s seminal work. This in part was due to the temporal disconnect betwe...more
The young psychiatrist Dick Diver finds himself falling in love with Nicole Warren, a young psychotic patient, the victim of an incestuous relationship with her father, in a posh in-patient clinic in Switzerland. She in her turn is infatuated with Diver. The situation is professionally unethical and therapeutically dangerous, but Diver seems passive and unable to resist. Fitzgerald’s prose is exquisite and his portrayal of interpersonal yearning is sensitive and agonizing. The characters seem ve...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Faith Bradham
Tender Is the Night completely blew me away - I've never been wholly in love with The Great Gatsby before, so I was wondering what I would think of this.

It's stunning.

I was entirely immersed in the world inside this book - I could feel the sun on the French Riviera, and I could see the circle of people collected around the Divers. Fitzgerald is also a master of manipulating emotion in the reader; I went through such a rollercoaster of feelings regarding almost every character in the book. Somet...more
Dec 17, 2012 Jason added it
Shelves: read-2008
The thing with reading Fitzgerald is that it starts off very slowly for me. I don't care much for the language, how it is stilted and overly formal, even in its most informal tones, how it is biased and processed. In fact, I don't care for most of his characters, I don't care much for the way that they act and I think to myself when beginning a novel of his, why am I reading this? It is only after I have forced myself through the first fifty or so pages that I realize why. Despite my prejudices...more
I think I liked this book better than Gatsby, probably because I didn't feel the need to slap the narrator every five minutes. Fitzgerald moves the narrative between the minds of three characters - a psychologist, his troubled wife, and a young actress. I adored how the characters altered and changed throughout the story, and all against the backdrop of 1920s decadence. There's a passage showing the movement of the wife's feelings from her engagement to the present - a brilliant, stream of consc...more
There is something deeply ambivalent about Fitzgerald's appraisal of the dissipation, drunkenness and fatuous frivolity of a world to which he himself belonged. Surely we can only condemn the characters for their snobbery, their thoughtlessness, their attitude that money should get them out of the kind of difficulty that they have brought upon themselves through ignorance, self-deception or sheer bloody-mindedness? And yet at the same time we can feel sympathy for fragile Nicole, for Dick's desc...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
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The Great Gatsby This Side of Paradise The Curious Case of Benjamin Button The Beautiful and Damned The Short Stories

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