Melody's Reviews > The Beautiful and Damned

The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
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's review
Jul 04, 2012

it was ok
Read in July, 2011

Okay, so with my wonderful Kindle I have access to all the classic literature I want (you know, as long as its copyright is up). My latest adventure in attempting to be more classically read was with F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Beautiful and the Damned. Actually, I don't know if I would title it an adventure. It was more a battle. A 366 page battle. A book I was expecting to knock out in like a day took me a little over a week, a lifetime for me when it comes to reading.

Now, I would like to make it clear that I have read the Great Gatsby. While it was never officially assigned to read in high school, I was exposed to the idea of it enough that I felt it was something I was supposed to read in high school. So I did. And I appreciated it, but I just couldn't connect to it like so many others seemed to be able to. I had many of the same the same quibbles with Gatsby that I had with Wuthering Heights (yes, I was a teenage girl who didn't like Wuthering Heights's angst. Deal with it. ).

At this point, you're probably asking why the heck I would pick up another Fitzgerald of my own volition (and it was of my own volition). Well, I had convinced myself, yet again, that I was missing out on something with Fitzgerald. I downloaded the Beautiful and the Damned and here we are.

I understand that I was not supposed to like Anthony or Gloria. Yet, because I didn't like them, I couldn't connect with them. I found myself rejoicing in their failures (which also might have been the point), and, ultimately, feeling like a bad person because of it. And the book was very much character driven. I felt like I was aimlessly ambling along with their lives, lives I didn't really care about. In fact, the most interesting character in the book to me was Gloria's cousin Dick, and his artistic corruption. He had an actual journey. Anthony and Gloria were just immature and vain the whole book. While I appreciate Fitzgerald and his work, I just couldn't with this book. Maybe I'll have more luck with This Side of Paradise, but it's going to take me a little bit more time to work up the courage to go on that adventure, and hopefully it really is an adventure.

I recognize what F. Scott Fitzgerald is trying to do, but I just couldn't get engaged for most of the book. I understand having flawed characters, but then most of the action bored me as well. However, I now know where Gossip Girl got her inspiration...and why I couldn't read past the first book in the series.

“Everywhere we go and move on and change, something’s lost-something’s left behind. You can’t ever quite repeat anything…”
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