Dec 21, 11
Read from December 18 to 21, 2011
The Beautiful and Damned is a novel laced with irony and cynicism. Its characters are not admirable or easy to relate to. They do have a few occasional moments of weakness which makes them not completely despicable. The style reminded me to a certain extent of Thackeray and the cynical British writers of the 19th century and I felt that it captured perfectly the way of thinking of young American intellectuals who suffer from the same ironic affectations to this day. It is remarkable how little things have changed and while reading, I found myself easily superimposing scenes of amusement of today over those described by Fitzgerald.
The first part of the novel is much more enjoyable while the 2nd and 3rd are a lot harder to get through, mostly because the 2nd concerns Gloria and Anthony’s marital problems and the 3rd their downward spiral. The 3rd was hard to read because it was fairly harsh and unpleasant while the 2nd is a bit too mundane. All and all, it’s not a bad read, but it left me with a feeling of dissatisfaction and it wasn’t because the two ‘heroes’ didn’t get a very happy ending. I felt like something was missing.