Jonathan's Reviews > Tender Is the Night

Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
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's review
Feb 09, 2009

it was ok
Recommended for: people who don't do anything without first consulting Mother.
Read in July, 2008

** spoiler alert ** Tender is Night or so they say. I say tender is a woman's psyche, and the man's ego that tries to make it strong. Too bad both of them suffer from a severe case of asshatitis.

"Tender is the Night" is the story of Dick Diver and his Wife Nicole. You don't actually find this out until a fourth of the way into the book. At first we meet the happy couple through the eyes of Rosemary, a young actress from America with a Norman Bates styled affinity for "Mother." She quickly latches onto Mr. Diver, his charms no match for her ignorance and youth. They all hang out together, doing rich people things like eating, and hanging out at the beach, and hating minorities (It is the 20's after all), and all other sorts of things that make you want to slash the tires on their Rolls.

Book two abandons Rosemary and we focus on Dick Diver, Psychiatrist at Large. He doesn't actually do much psycho analyzing, but spends most of his time wondering why he married Nicole in the first place and developing a drinking problem. Turns out Nicole is cuckoo for cocoa puffs, and Dick married her with some God complex of trying to save her. But all he ends up doing is ruining himself.

Book three continues the downfall, kind of told through Nicole's eyes. Dick falls further and further down the rabbit hole while Nicole seems to see daylight in the fog of her crazy. She ends up pulling a Dick (Diver. Head out of the gutter people) but with the opposite reaction of what it did to him. I think.

This book isn't necessarily long, though it feels like it. Long passages of time pass in one paragraph, making it confusing and a rather dull read. None of the characters are likable, and I think you end up just wishing all of them went the way of Abe North. Speaking of, what the heck DID happen to Abe North. That story line was never really resolved.

They say it took him forever to write this and it kind of feels like it. It doesn't connect very well and you wonder how much is Fitz's desperate cry for help from his own life full of money and ruin. Can anyone tell me why I am supposed to love Fitzgerald so much?
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03/15 marked as: read

Comments <span class="smallText"> (showing 1-4 of 4) </span> <span class="smallText">(4 new)</span>

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message 1: by Ally (new)

Ally The brand new group - Bright Young Things - is nominating books to read in January & Tender is the Night is among them. Its the perfect place to discuss your favourite books and authors from the early 20th Century, why not take a look...

message 2: by Jen (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jen Beuning I loved your review! Made me laugh and I agreed with your feelings about the book wholeheartedly. I could actually feel my brain cells popping and fizzling into thin air while reading this. I HATE it when I end up feeling more stupid rather than smarter at the end of a book! Haha.

Sarah I agree with you on everything you said. I am having a hard time liking Fitzgerald no matter how hard I try to like him, and everyone says he's one of the greatest authors ever but I'm just not getting what is so great about his novels (except Great Gatsby, which is his one great novel). Great review!

Thomas Fennell I have to say I do not agree with your review.
I think you fail to understand the parallels between this book and the author's. Zelda and he were in the same sort of capricious relationship as Dick and Nicole. And although I will agree with you in saying that the novel was a bit boring on occasion, it made up for it with the physiological twists and themes in the novel. Not to mention the complex relationships that intertwine each other.
By the way...
Abe was murdered in a speakeasy in New York. He was a very important figure from the start of the novel. He was a harbinger of Dick's own life. Maybe you need to read the novel a third time...

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