Laura's Reviews > Tender Is the Night

Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
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's review
Jun 04, 2012

it was amazing
Read in June, 2012

One of the most wonderfully heartbreaking stories I have ever read. The beautiful language and the sheer expanse of Fitzgerald's vocabulary is fantastic and a lovely change from modern novels. His description of things is also terribly good - he paints the scene of the French Riviera so well that you need not be entirely conscious of the exact wording to be immersed in Gausse's beach and the world of the 1920s.
As the world of the protagonist, Dick, crumbles, you cannot help but feel an absolute sense of dread - what tragedy will befall him next? It is this kind of writing that I believe is the best; the caliber that leaves you feeling such empathy and compassion for characters that they become so much more than a creation within the written word. Alas, you cannot help but continue reading; I found myself constantly wanting to know what resolution Dick would come to after suffering so much through his marriage and his complete loss of power within his own life.
I notice a lot of people talk about Dick's racism and sexism; to me, while I find those things to be unacceptable, just saw that as normal for the era. It isn't set in the equality-driven world of 2012 and while some of his remarks may have stirred a slight moment of uncomfortable feeling in me, I just carried on reading and remembered that everyone is a product of their own time and that is not different for Dick.
The structure of the novel, while obscure - it is not entirely chronological, still works well and comes together nicely towards the middle of Part 2. The disjointed timeline gave me reason to pause and reflect more on the events of Part 1 which I liked.
Admittedly, some of the novel is quite hard to read at times due to references to early 20th century culture (I own the Penguin Classics edition which has some of these references explained, awfully helpful) but it is still one of the best books I've read. It takes a lot to keep me interested in a story and to keep coming back to it, so if I've actually reached the end then trust me, it is definitely worth the time to read.
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Quotes Laura Liked

F. Scott Fitzgerald
“One writes of scars healed, a loose parallel to the pathology of the skin, but there is no such thing in the life of an individual. There are open wounds, shrunk sometimes to the size of a pin-prick but wounds still. The marks of suffering are more comparable to the loss of a finger, or of the sight of an eye. We may not miss them, either, for one minute in a year, but if we should there is nothing to be done about it.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night

F. Scott Fitzgerald
“They were still in the happier stage of love. They were full of brave illusions about each other, tremendous illusions, so that the communion of self with self seemed to be on a plane where no other human relations mattered. They both seemed to have arrived there with an extraordinary innocence as though a series of pure accidents had driven them together, so many accidents that at last they were forced to conclude that they were for each other. They had arrived with clean hands, or so it seemed, after no traffic with the merely curious and clandestine.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night
tags: love

F. Scott Fitzgerald
“You're the only girl I've seen for a long time that actually did look like something blooming.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night

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