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Tender Is the Night

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3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  82,959 Ratings  ·  3,452 Reviews
'Tender Is the Night' is based upon the author's unhappy marriage, and was written as he was experiencing the tragedies of his wife's nervous breakdown and his own decline.
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published November 4th 2010 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published 1934)
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Spencer Matthew Bruccoli in "Some Sort of Epic Grandeur" makes the case that though Crowley's 1951 version was received with "a flurry of attention", it was…moreMatthew Bruccoli in "Some Sort of Epic Grandeur" makes the case that though Crowley's 1951 version was received with "a flurry of attention", it was soon discontinued by Scribners. Merely changing the chapter order was not enough. Fitzgerald built in many links and connections that became obscured with the changed narrative plan. Bruccoli holds that the original 1934 version has been vindicated by reader preference, in spite of its flaws. I have three copies of "Tender", and they're all the 1934 version. I think the 1951 version might be hard to find. (less)
Maajed keep on reading nevertheless... i found some areas difficult as well but all in all, this book is beautifully written.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Ann
Jul 27, 2007 Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Martine
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  "Astute Crabbist"
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.
Kelly
Jun 11, 2007 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
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
Warwick
I mean…it begins badly, tails off a bit in the middle, and the less said about the ending the better.

Occasionally, there are books that leave you at a loss as to how to dismiss them. Reading this I kept thinking of a line from Stoppard's The Real Thing: ‘There’s something scary about stupidity made coherent. I can deal with idiots, and I can deal with sensible argument, but I don’t know how to deal with you.’ Tender is the Night is not stupid, but it is, if you like, triviality made coherent. Th
...more
Vessey
Oct 06, 2014 Vessey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

SPOILERS


"He wished she had no background, that she was just a girl lost with no address save the night from which she had come."


Tender is the Night is a love story. It is also a story about loneliness. But mostly, it is about the need to love and belong. Dick Diver falls in love with mentally ill woman and marries her. But he never truly finds happiness with her. He falls in love with an young actress, but he never gets to be with her, because his connection with and his love for his sick wife
...more
Jonathan
Jun 23, 2008 Jonathan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
ariel
Sep 02, 2013 ariel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Shovelmonkey1
May 10, 2012 Shovelmonkey1 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
helen the bookowl
Jan 28, 2017 helen the bookowl rated it did not like it
1.5/5 stars.
This book was a hot mess and such a disappointment compared to "The Great Gatsby" which is a favourite of mine. Right from the beginning, I had no idea where this dishevelled story was going, and having now finished it I'm still not sure what the overall point of it was.
Sure, "Tender Is the Night" comes with some beautiful passages and observations on life and people, but it also comes with a bunch of contradicting themes and destinies that all go in different directions. I get tha
...more
Kirk
Dec 21, 2007 Kirk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
·Karen·
Mar 09, 2011 ·Karen· rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa
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
Steven  Godin
Time is our most valuable commodity. Had enough of this!, Dick is precisely one of those, Rosemary is leaving me with clammy hands of bored annoyance, and Nicole appears to be living on another planet.

Two reasons why the two stars,
Beautiful sounding title
The French Riviera

Two reasons that stopped me trowing this out the window in frustration,
It's a borrowed book (from a rather charming lady)
Wouldn't want to knock somebody out on the sidewalk, I am on the fourth floor!
Empress
Aug 12, 2007 Empress rated it did not like it  ·  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
Rowena
Jul 17, 2016 Rowena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-lit
"After lunch they were both overwhelmed by the sudden flatness that comes over American travellers in quiet foreign places. No stimuli worked upon them, no voices called them from without, no fragments of heir own thoughts came suddenly from the minds of others, and missing the clamour of Empire they felt that life was not continuing here."- F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night

Fitzgerald has an absolutely beautiful way with words. He uses very stylized language and writes down some profoun
...more
Pooja
Nov 22, 2015 Pooja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owns-these-books
Tender is the night is the sad story of Nicole and Dick Diver's fall of marriage and in the end career after being such an ideal example of a wealthy and happy couple in front of the world.

Their richness reminded me of Fitzgerald's other works like The Great Gatsby and The beautiful and Damned.

I bought this book by mistaking it to The other side of Paradise by him, because I thought Charlie from Perks of Being Wallflower had this book in his read-list.

I enjoyed reading this Jazz Era book and fin
...more
Fino
Jul 18, 2016 Fino rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was Fitzgerald's last book, the one after The Great Gatsby. It is extremely well-written and equally extremely depressing. There is murder and incest and the hapless Dick aimlessly looking for meaning in life and never quite finding it. It is definitely worth reading after you have finished Gatsby, but not recommended if you are already feeling blue because it will definitely not cheer you up. The language is superb though and therefore I gave it 4 stars.
Kim
Oct 29, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Anh
Aug 02, 2012 Anh rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Perry
May 26, 2016 Perry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild...."
"Ode to a Nightingale," Keats

Dick Diver, a psychiatrist and writer in his late 30s with loads of potential, travels the fashionable places in France and Italy with his wife Nicole and a group of several other expat Americans.

The novel's title was taken from a line in Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale," which reflects on the fleetingness of pleasure and the certainty of death. The partly autobiographical novel was Fitzgerald's favorite and revolv
...more
Zanna
Mar 19, 2014 Zanna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa, inter-war
2.5 stars

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 Di
...more
Amanda
Dec 02, 2016 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a bit of a disappointment for me. I adored Gatsby and I expected to love this. When I first started it I thought it was going to be better than Gatsby but somewhere about halfway through it lost its way or I lost mine or something. I found the second half to be too wandering and, well, boring. It does pick up towards the end and I'm glad I read it. The characters were well developed and Dick Diver in particular was fascinating. I am definitely going to pursue more works by Fitzgerald. A ...more
Duane
With the popularity of Fitzgerald, it's difficult to comprehend that he only wrote four novels, this being the last. It's a dark novel because it was written at a dark time in his life. Zelda's illness, financial problems, and alcoholism all contributed to Fitzgerald's frame of mind. I've read several negative reviews of this novel here on Goodreads saying it is depressing, the characters are shallow and unlikeable. That may be partly true, but their struggles and problems, their desires and bet ...more
Skorofido Skorofido
Ως σκορόφιδον που σέβεται το λογοτεχνικό του υπόστρωμα, θα έπρεπε να εστιάσω στο μεγάλο αυτό μετρ της αμερικανικής λογοτεχνίας, στον best – sellerίστα του 20ου αιώνα, στο δημιουργό του «Υπέροχου Γκάτσμπυ», σε αυτόν που στο τελευταίο του έργο, στο «Τρυφερή είναι η νύχτα», έβγαλε όλο τον «πόνο» της χαμένης του γενιάς, της γενιάς του Μεσοπολέμου, όλο τον «πόνο» της προσωπικής του δύσκολης σχέσης με την ψυχασθενή γυναίκα του τη Ζέλντα, όλο τον «πόνο» του για το προσωπικό του πάθος, το αλκοόλ… Πόνοι ...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
Trudie
Jan 21, 2017 Trudie rated it really liked it
This is pretty much a hot mess of a novel, at least by comparison to the tightly formed The Great Gatsby. The first section introduces so many blandly defined characters, I found it really hard to keep all the men in tights straight ..

Beyond her was a fine man in a jockey cap and red-striped tights; then the woman Rosemary had seen on the raft, and who looked back at her, seeing her; then a man with a long face and a golden, leonine head, with blue tights and no hat, talking very seriously to a
...more
Tim
Aug 23, 2015 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, france
It took Fitzgerald so long to write this novel that it’s inevitably flawed. It seems to me he began with a view to distancing himself from himself and Dick Diver was conceived as a fictional character modelled on someone Fitzgerald knew. However as the novel progresses Diver becomes more and more Fitzgerald himself and the novel becomes ever more autobiographical. This is what ultimately gives it its beautiful heartbreaking quality – it’s the fictionalised story of Fitzgerald’s marriage to Zelda ...more
Rob
Aug 30, 2007 Rob rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Tatiana Khaykina
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lada Fleur
Aug 23, 2014 Lada Fleur rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story of a couple like a prince a princess, set in the beautiful French Riviera. Like a Hollywood movie. With a beautiful girl arriving in and having a crush on the prince, and the man childhood beau of the princess.A moving story of the impossibilty of love, because of deep-ingrained and stifled emotions that have become part of a secret. A dolorous marriage secret watered down in alcohol and despair. a shattered dream. Reality's dream. Love as a disillusion. Tendre is the Night becomes a dre ...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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“Actually that’s my secret — I can’t even talk about you to anybody because I don’t want any more people to know how wonderful you are.” 840 likes
“New friends can often have a better time together than old friends.” 559 likes
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