Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Beautiful and the Damned


Category: The Moderns

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Summary: Fitzgerald's second novel is a dazzling portrait of love and life among the beautiful people. Through the story of two newlyweds, Anthony Patch of New York and Gloria Gilbert of Kansas City, Fitzgerald flawlessly captures the heady atmosphere and jaded values of the Jazz Age. Patch, expecting to become the sole heir to his grandfather's millions, embraces a life of endless parties and intellectual pretensions. In Gloria, he finds an exquisite ornament and a passionate lover. The couple whirls through days that mirror Fitzgerald's own--a fast life amid a smart set for which there is never enough cash. Beginning with wit and clever repartee, The Beautiful and the Damned quickly becomes a scathing chronicle of a dying marriage and a hedonistic society where beauty is all too fleeting. Through the character of Richard Caramel, a successful hack writer whose talent fails as he prospers, Fitzgerald caricatures himself. But today's readers will find an even more poignant self-portrait of Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda in Anthony and Gloria, a couple whose days of wine and roses fade quickly toward a tragic end.

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