sage's Reviews > Tender Is the Night

Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
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May 07, 12

bookshelves: fiction, queer-interest, gender-politics, reviewed
Read in May, 2012

I listened to the audiobook version, since my paper copy is buried behind double-stacked books.

GLBT tag for a queer male couple, queer psychiatric patients, and various levels of both homophobia and acceptance, per individual characters.

Gender Politics tag for an interesting take on women using financial and social power in particular ways, while men use their power in different ways entirely. Much of the story deals with female characters becoming independent.

Warnings for racism and bigotry typical of privileged white people in the 1920s.

I watched a lovely interview with Ray Bradbury where he declared that this is his favorite novel and he rereads it every year and always discovers something new in it, despite him being in his 80s now. It took me listening to the audiobook version to get past the opening chapter, but I'm glad I did. It really took me getting through the entire first section (where I was full of "Oh honey, no") to completely hook me, although that was mainly due to my own impatience with Rosemary's innocence.

Reaching the end, I just sort of want to hug them all.

However, I really hate the summary given for this novel, which implies that it's all Nicole's fault that Dick's life falls apart, as if she magically forced his complete and persistent ethical failures upon him. Fitzgerald's narration NEVER tries to lay the blame for Dick's choices on Nicole. His foibles are all on Dick, for better or worse, beginning to end. As they should be.
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