Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1934, 392 pages)

To me, the last ten or so pages of The Great Gatsby are among the very most beautiful prose I have ever read.   I last readThe Great Gatsby (1925) just before I began my blog in July of 2009.   I liked the  last few pages of the book so much that I read them at least five times before putting the book down. 

The last work by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896 to 1940-USA) I read and posted on was his short story "Babylon" which I think is considered his best short work.    I bought a copy of  the last of his four novels, Tender Is The Night, right after I finished The Great Gatsby and have at last gotten around to reading it.

I am just going to write a very short post on the book (you can find a good plot summary Here).    This book did not live up to The Great Gatsby.  There are some very good turns of phrases and some really cute side stories. There is a minor character who has been working for many years on what he is sure will be the definitive book on armadillo skulls.   He submits it to the primary publisher of scientific treatises and he expects to be considered the leading authority  on armadillo skulls in the world when it is published.   Imagine his shock when he gets a rejection letter saying they already have a book longer and better than his set to be published very soon.   I hate to say it but  this was the highlight of  the book for me.  

I am not saying this is a bad book, just not as good as The Great Gatsby.   I did not find the characters terribly interesting and I admit a prejudice against alcoholics in literature.    (This is my only complaint on Raymond Carver!)  This is not a moral judgement,  just a personal one which may or may not be valid.

I am glad I read this book but I do not really endorse it strongly and I would not buy it again.

Mel u


@parridhlantern said...

Read a couple when I was a classic obsessed youth, but not for years, keep hearing good things about his short stories, so allowing for time & my TBR I may try some.

Mel u said...

Parrish Lantern-thanks as always for your great support-most of his short stories can be found online

JoV said...

I am sorry you didn't like this but it is also telling me that I may not like it as well. I like Great Gatsby but didn't love it.

Rebecca Reid said...

I have been wanting to reread GATSBY soon, this is also on my shelf. Sorry to hear it was disappointing :(

Rebecca Chapman said...

I wasn't a big fan of The Great Gatsby (I know, I am probably one of the three only people on earth who have read it and didn't enjoy it) and so I tried reading this one to try and bring me around the F Scott Fitzgerald as an author. Sadly, I couldn't even finish it. I have been wondering if it isn't a cultural thing. I know this sounds silly when you think at how little difference there is between America and Australia, but there is something just so…. American about his writing and stories, that I find it very difficult to identify with.

Mel u said...

JoV-If you did not really like The Great Gatsby, I would pass on this book

Rebecca Reid-Gatsby is way better than Tender is the Night-please dont deprive yourself of the pleasure of reading it

Becky(Page Turners)-I agree Gatsby is very American writer-some of his prose seems almost like clever frat boy writing to me-some of his sentences are so wonderful it kept me going to the end-but I was glad when I got there-