This bitingly ironic story eerily foretells the fate of the author and his own wife, Zelda-from its giddy romantic beginnings to its alcohol-fueled demise.
F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in 1896 in St. Paul, Minnesota,
and educated at the Newman School and at Princeton. This Side of
Paradise, his first novel, was published in 1920 and
transformed him virtually overnight into a spokesman for his
generation and a prophet of the Jazz Age. That same year, he
married Zelda Sayre, and the two became America's most celebrated
expatriates, dividing their time among New York, Paris, and the
Riviera during the Twenties. Fitzgerald's most famous novel, The
Great Gatsby, was published in 1925, and Tender Is the
Night in 1934. After Scott and Zelda were forced by money and
health problems to return to the States, Fitzgerald became a writer
for Hollywood movie studios. He died in 1940 while working on his
unfinished novel of Hollywood, The Last Tycoon. His other
works include Flappers and Philosophers (1920), The
Beautiful and Damned (1922), Tales of the Jazz Age
(1922), All the Sad Young Men (1926), and Taps at
Reveille (1935). Ruth Prigozy is Professor of English and Film
Studies at Hofstra University. She is Executive Director of the F.
Scott Fitzgerald Society, which she co-founded in 1990. She has
published widely on F. Scott Fitzgerald as well as on Ernest
Hemingway, J.D. Salinger, the Hollywood Ten, and film directors
Billy Wilder, D.W. Griffith, and Vittorio de Sica. She has edited
Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise, The Great Gatsby,
and The Cambridge Companion to F. Scott Fitzgerald. She is
the author of F. Scott Fitzgerald: An Illustrated Life. She
has co-edited two volumes on detective fiction and film, one on the
short story, and two collections of essays on Fitzgerald.
How can a reader not lose patience with Anthony and Gloria Patch, the "beautiful couple," as they squander their money, idle away their days, and drink themselves into blissful oblivion? Although the obvious parallel between the fictional Patches and the real-life Fitzgeralds is somewhat intriguing, anyone reading the book would be sorely tempted to close it long before the final scenes of degradation. Not so, however, with the audiobook. Peter Marinker's sympathetic narration is so effective that the listener, gradually and almost reluctantly, begins to feel a measure of compassion for Gloria and Anthony-almost as if they are naïve children who can't understand what is happening to them or why. Marinker's rendition of Gloria's soft voice is especially persuasive. By the end, it seems as if Fitzgerald's flawed second novel has been redeemed by audio. For most serious literature collections.-Jo Carr, Sarasota, Fla.
"Full of precisely observed life." --Arthur Mizener