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Tender Is The Night (Modern Classics)

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Set on the French Riviera in the late 1920s, Tender Is the Night is the tragic romance of the young actress Rosemary Hoyt and the stylish American couple Dick and Nicole Diver. A brilliant young psychiatrist at the time of his marriage, Dick is both husband and doctor to Nicole, whose wealth goads him into a lifestyle not his own, and whose growing strength highlights Dick Set on the French Riviera in the late 1920s, Tender Is the Night is the tragic romance of the young actress Rosemary Hoyt and the stylish American couple Dick and Nicole Diver. A brilliant young psychiatrist at the time of his marriage, Dick is both husband and doctor to Nicole, whose wealth goads him into a lifestyle not his own, and whose growing strength highlights Dick's harrowing demise. A profound study of the romantic concept of character, Tender Is the Night is lyrical, expansive, and hauntingly evocative.


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Set on the French Riviera in the late 1920s, Tender Is the Night is the tragic romance of the young actress Rosemary Hoyt and the stylish American couple Dick and Nicole Diver. A brilliant young psychiatrist at the time of his marriage, Dick is both husband and doctor to Nicole, whose wealth goads him into a lifestyle not his own, and whose growing strength highlights Dick Set on the French Riviera in the late 1920s, Tender Is the Night is the tragic romance of the young actress Rosemary Hoyt and the stylish American couple Dick and Nicole Diver. A brilliant young psychiatrist at the time of his marriage, Dick is both husband and doctor to Nicole, whose wealth goads him into a lifestyle not his own, and whose growing strength highlights Dick's harrowing demise. A profound study of the romantic concept of character, Tender Is the Night is lyrical, expansive, and hauntingly evocative.

30 review for Tender Is The Night (Modern Classics)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    When Fitzgerald finished this gem, he was stunned by the poor reviews it received. I honestly think it's a profoundly more true and powerful book than Gatsby ever will be. His effortless and viceral writing tells a story of such complex and accurate human relationships, I often find myself reflecting on Dick Diver as a friend I should check up on, and part of me thinks I spent a year of my youth hanging out on the French Riveria having too much to drink, but somehow pulling it off sophistication When Fitzgerald finished this gem, he was stunned by the poor reviews it received. I honestly think it's a profoundly more true and powerful book than Gatsby ever will be. His effortless and viceral writing tells a story of such complex and accurate human relationships, I often find myself reflecting on Dick Diver as a friend I should check up on, and part of me thinks I spent a year of my youth hanging out on the French Riveria having too much to drink, but somehow pulling it off sophistication. Now that I sound like a lunatic, I must express this is not normal for me. The world and characters really got under my skin. After my first reading I woke myself by weeping...and I was weeping for the characters. That has never before or since happened to me. It is a work of profound beauty and pain about the resilience of the human spirit. If you're feeling the world is too glib, I feel this is a great antidote.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Martine

    How is one to feel about a protagonist who frequently displays signs of elitism, sexism, bigotry and homophobia, finds himself worryingly attracted to young girls, has no goal in life except to make himself useful to damsels in distress, and drinks away his career and marriage, ending up a mere shadow of his former self? Is one supposed to regard him as a tragic hero? Is one to sympathise with him? And if one does sympathise with him, is that because of the way he was written, or rather because How is one to feel about a protagonist who frequently displays signs of elitism, sexism, bigotry and homophobia, finds himself worryingly attracted to young girls, has no goal in life except to make himself useful to damsels in distress, and drinks away his career and marriage, ending up a mere shadow of his former self? Is one supposed to regard him as a tragic hero? Is one to sympathise with him? And if one does sympathise with him, is that because of the way he was written, or rather because we are aware that he is a thinly veiled version of the author himself, a giant of early-twentieth American literature? Those were some of the questions I pondered after reading Tender Is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald's last finished novel, and possibly his most autobiographical one. Set in France and Italy in the 1920s, it tells the story of two wealthy American expats, Dick and Nicole Diver (largely based on the author and his wife Zelda), who seem to others the most glamorous couple ever, 'as fine-looking a couple as could be found in Paris', but are finding their private lives increasingly less glamorous. We first see the couple through the eyes of Rosemary Hoyt, a young and naive American actress holidaying in Europe. Rosemary falls madly in love with suave Dick, but also admires angelic Nicole. After about 130 pages during which Rosemary hangs out with the Divers and nearly embarks on an affair with Dick, the narrative stops and goes back in time to tell the story of Dick and Nicole's marriage, which is considerably more complicated than Rosemary realises. Nicole, it turns out, has a history of mental illness, and Dick is both her husband and the doctor treating her -- a recipe for disaster, obviously. Being a tale of needy people, broken relationships, loss of purpose and wasted potential, Tender Is the Night is quite a depressing read, and one's appreciation of it largely depends on one's tolerance for that kind of thing. If you like your books bleak and tragic, chances are you'll appreciate Tender Is the Night. If not, you might want to steer clear of it. I generally love a good tragedy, but I confess I wasn't overly impressed with Tender Is the Night. For a book which has garnered so many rave reviews, I found it remarkably flawed. Fitzgerald himself seems to have somewhat agreed with me. Despite referring to Tender Is the Night as his masterpiece and being shocked by its lack of critical and commercial success, he began reconstructing it a few years before his death, placing the flashback chapters at the beginning and making all the textual alterations required by this change. However, he died before he could finish the project, or perhaps he abandoned the project as not worth completing (no one seems to know for sure). A friend of his, Malcolm Cowley, then completed the revision, and for years this was the standard edition of the book. However, the Cowley version has fallen into scholarly disfavour (or so Penguin informs me), and several publishers, Penguin included, now use the first edition, the one that Fitzgerald thought needed revision. Apparently, there are no fewer than seventeen versions of the novel extant, which says much about how satisfied Fitzgerald was with his own work. My guess? Not very much. I read a version based on the first edition of the book, and to be honest, I can see why Fitzgerald felt it needed some work. Tender Is the Night felt very disjointed to me. To a certain extent, this was because of the aforementioned non-linear structure, which felt a bit jarring to me. However, as far as I'm concerned, that is not the book's only problem, nor even its biggest one. What most annoyed me was the way in which the perspective keeps shifting. Fitzgerald uses an omniscient narrator in Tender Is the Night, but not consistently so; the story is always written from a certain character's perspective. Sometimes the perspective is Rosemary's, sometimes it's Dick or Nicole's; even the minor characters have stretches of the story told from their perspectives, often on the same page as a main character's perspective. To me, these shifts in point of view often felt haphazard, not to mention a little jarring. I didn't think they were particularly effective, either, as they hardly build on each other and don't provide any information that couldn't be gleaned from a 'regular' omniscient narrator. I may be in a minority here, but I think the book would have benefited from a more consistent approach to perspective. The story itself is a bit haphazard, as well. It occasionally drags, it has little plot, and there are quite a few scenes and storylines which don't really go anywhere. Among several other seemingly unlikely scenes, the book contains a murder, a shooting and a duel, none of which is fully integrated into the story, and none of which is given proper significance. Scenes are introduced and then left so randomly that you have to wonder why Fitzgerald bothered to include them at all. At the risk of being unkind and judgemental, I guess that's what being an alcoholic will do for an author: it gives you wild ideas, but prevents you from carrying them out properly. Which brings me to the characterisation. I'll probably get a lot of flak for this, but I felt that Fitzgerald's vaunted characterisation was a bit 'off' in this novel. Many of the minor characters are sketchily drawn, whereas the main characters are described well (sometimes brilliantly so), but never properly explained. While Fitzgerald does a good (and occasionally excellent) job of sharing his protagonists' feelings, he hardly ever bothers to explain their motivations. This particularly bothered me in the parts written from Dick Diver's point of view, as Dick is supposed to be a psychiatrist. By rights, he should be analysing people actions and motivations all the time, and asking lots of questions. However, Dick hardly ever asks questions. He does not even ask himself questions. He never wonders why he is so drawn to young girls, or what it is in him that causes him to need to be their saviour. He just observes other people in a way of which any intelligent person (trained psychologist or not) would be capable, and then describes their behaviour in a few felicitous phrases. For this and other reasons, I didn't buy Dick Diver as a psychiatrist. Fitzgerald may have read up on psychology (and undoubtedly learned a lot from the doctors who treated his own wife), but I never found his alter ego convincing as a psychiatrist, let alone a brilliant psychiatrist. To me, Dick has 'writer' written all over him. It's a pity I kept finding such flaws, because Tender Is the Night obviously had the potential to be amazing. It has all the right ingredients: interesting (albeit snobbish and bored) characters, powerful themes, evocative (albeit frequently vague) writing, you name it. And the story certainly doesn't lack in pathos. It is quite harrowing to watch Dick Diver, a supposedly brilliant and popular man who never lives up to his potential and is increasingly torn asunder by money, alcoholism and his failed marriage to a mentally ill woman, go to pieces, becoming, in his own words, 'the Black Death' ('I don't seem to bring people happiness any more'). The fact that this was Fitzgerald writing about himself, about his own frustrations and shattered dreams, adds considerable poignancy to the reading experience. Even so, Tender Is the Night ended up leaving me fairly cold, as I simply didn't care for Dick enough to be genuinely moved by his descent into failure. While others may find Dick a swell guy, I myself found his complacency and lack of purpose grating, his alcoholism exasperating, and his brilliance skin-deep. I seem to be alone in this opinion, but I stand by it. In summary, then, I enjoyed and admired aspects of Tender Is the Night, but I don't think they add up to a great whole. While I appreciate Fitzgerald's brutal honesty and the masterful way in which he evokes mutual dependence, isolation and frustration, I can't shake off the feeling that the book could have been much better than it ended up being. And this pains me, as I hate wasted potential as much as Fitzgerald himself seems to have done. As it is, Tender Is the Night is in my opinion not just a book about wasted potential, but an example of wasted potential. It is fitting, I suppose, but no less disappointing for that. 3.5 stars, rounded down to three because I really didn't like it as much as many of the books I have given four stars lately.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    “I don't ask you to love me always like this, but I ask you to remember. Somewhere inside me there'll always be the person I am to-night.” If you were to meet Dick and Nicole Diver at a party, a restaurant, or on the beach, you would leave them feeling as if you had been in the presence of greatness. They are both witty, charming, gorgeous, majestic, sexy, and in command of whatever situation they find themselves in. They are the sun and moon merged together, and no one shines brighte “I don't ask you to love me always like this, but I ask you to remember. Somewhere inside me there'll always be the person I am to-night.” If you were to meet Dick and Nicole Diver at a party, a restaurant, or on the beach, you would leave them feeling as if you had been in the presence of greatness. They are both witty, charming, gorgeous, majestic, sexy, and in command of whatever situation they find themselves in. They are the sun and moon merged together, and no one shines brighter in the daylight or in the moonlight. They are what many aspire to be, but few will ever achieve, the suave assurance of the Diver couple. As Rosemary Hoyt, a burgeoning movie starlet, says after meeting them, ”The Divers made her want to stay near them forever.” She loves them both, but she wants a part of Dick for herself. She might be naive, but even she senses that to break them apart dissipates the magic of the two of them together. The Divers are at the height of their power when Rosemary meets them. Nicole Warren is obscenely rich, and Dick is a successful, published psychologist. They met when Nicole was suffering a mental breakdown. Dick brought her back from the brink. ”They were more interested in Nicole’s exterior harmony and charm, the other face of her illness. She led a lonely life owning Dick who did not want to be owned.” The Warren family is used to owning everything in their universe. She is so beautiful and tragic, and Dick, like most of us, wants to preserve lovely things. He is on the verge of reaching the pinnacle of his profession. He is breaking new ground and getting noticed by the top men (this is 1929) in his field. That drive he has to succeed erodes as he starts to enjoy the life on the Riviera more than the life in a clinic in Zurich. Who wouldn’t? Aren’t we supposed to enjoy being rich? Dick is well aware that there is only a small window in every smart man’s life to experience success. ”You’ve taught me that work is everything and I believed you. You used to say a man knows things and when he stops knowing things he’s like everyone else, and the thing is to get power before he stops knowing things.” F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald It is impossible to separate F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda Sayre from the characters populating his novels. Their almost mythical love affair and the disastrous unraveling of their lives are mined heavily by Scott for his novels and stories. Zelda was often exasperated to find something gay and spirited she had said at a party or something dark and insightful she may have shared in the privacy of the bedroom show up in Scott’s writing. She was in many ways the subject of all of his writing. She was certainly the muse. F. Scott drank too much, and Zelda slowly slid into madness. She died at 47 and he at 44. They had lives used up too quickly. Dick has Rosemary fluttering around him like a lovely, lustrous satellite, but Nicole has her numerous admirers, as well. Foremost of these is Tommy Barban. ”He sat in the only chair, dark, scarred and handsome, his eyebrows arched and upcurling, a fighting Puck, and earnest Satan.” He is virile and alive and lustful. He lacks Dick’s polish and sophistication, but then Dick, as he drinks more and more, isn’t exactly Dick anymore. “‘We can’t go on like this,’ Nicole suggested. ‘Or can we?--what do you think?’ Startled that for the moment Dick did not deny it, she continued, ‘Some of the time I think it’s my fault--I’ve ruined you.’ ‘So I’m ruined, am I?’ he inquired pleasantly. ‘I didn’t mean that. But you used to want to create things--now you seem to want to smash them up.’” As Dick and Nicole’s dependency on one another becomes more and more uncertain, the influences of others start to drive wedges between them. It is like watching the disintegration of a monument. They can not find the synergy with other people that they had together, but they can’t find it with each other anymore, either. The whole was greater than the sum of their parts. Fitzgerald is wonderful at dangling this world of infinite possibility that so infused the 1920s era. Living for today, not worrying about tomorrow, and not letting the past be a burden on the present. Even as he shows us this glittering world, he begins to inch back the curtain to reveal the darkness that holds it all up. To be Dick and Nicole, they must be on the top of their game all the time. They are performance artists. They dazzle those fortunate enough to be around them, but like most rock stars, they start to feel the pressure to always entertain. Alcohol or drugs can take the edge off and temporarily make them feel like themselves, but eventually the centers of who they are become buried under the shimmering facades of the people everyone wants them to be. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    (Book 638 from 1001 books) - Tender is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald Tender Is the Night, is the fourth and final novel, completed by American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was first published in Scribner's Magazine, between January and April 1934, in four issues. Dick and Nicole Diver are a glamorous couple, who take a villa, in the South of France, and surround themselves, with a circle of friends, mainly Americans. Also staying at the resort are Rosemary Hoyt, a young actress, and her mother (Book 638 from 1001 books) - Tender is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald Tender Is the Night, is the fourth and final novel, completed by American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was first published in Scribner's Magazine, between January and April 1934, in four issues. Dick and Nicole Diver are a glamorous couple, who take a villa, in the South of France, and surround themselves, with a circle of friends, mainly Americans. Also staying at the resort are Rosemary Hoyt, a young actress, and her mother. Rosemary becomes infatuated with Dick, and becomes close to Nicole. Dick toys with the idea of having an affair with Rosemary. Rosemary senses something is wrong with the couple, which is brought to light when one of the guests at a party reports having seen something strange, in the bathroom. Tommy Barban, another guest, comes loyally to the defense of the Divers. The action involves various other friends, including the Norths, where a frequent occurrence is the drunken behavior of Abe North. The story becomes complicated, when Jules Peterson, a black man, is murdered and ends up in Rosemary's bed, in a situation which could destroy Rosemary's career. Dick moves the blood-soaked body to cover up any implied relationship, between Rosemary and Peterson. It is revealed that, as a promising young doctor, and psychiatrist, Dick had taken on a patient with an especially complex case of neuroses. This patient is Nicole, whose sexual abuse, by her father is suggested as the cause of her breakdown. As her treatment progresses, she becomes infatuated with Dick, who in turn develops Florence Nightingale syndrome. He eventually determines to marry Nicole, in part, as a means of providing her with lasting emotional stability. Strong objections are raised by Nicole's sister, who believes Dick is marrying Nicole because of her status as an heiress. Dick is offered a partnership in a Swiss clinic, and Nicole pays for the entire clinic. After his father's death Dick travels to America and then Rome in hopes to see Rosemary. They start a brief affair, which ends abruptly and painfully. Dick gets into an altercation with the police, and Nicole's sister helps him to get out of jail. Dick doesn't see how he can be the same person after such a humiliation. He gradually develops a drinking problem. After this becomes an issue with the patients, Dick's ownership share of the clinic is bought out by American investors following his partner's suggestion. Dick and Nicole's marriage breaks down when he becomes increasingly alcoholic and pines for Rosemary, who is now a successful Hollywood star. Nicole becomes increasingly aware of her independence. She distances herself from Dick as his confidence and friendliness turn into sarcasm and rudeness towards everyone. His constant unhappiness over what he could have been fuels his alcoholism, and Dick becomes increasingly embarrassing in social and familial situations. Nicole enters into an affair with Tommy Barban. Nicole divorces Dick and marries Barban. ... تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز هفدهم ماه نوامبر سال 2011میلادی عنوان: لطیف است شب؛ نویسنده: فرانسیس اسکات فیتزجرالد؛ مترجم: اکرم پدرام نیا؛ تهران، نشر قطره، هنوز، 1388، در 491ص؛ شابک 9789643419646؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، میلکان، 1393؛ در 370 ص؛ شابک 9786007443378؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 20م رمان «لطیف است شب»، داستان روانپزشک جذابی ست، به نام «دیک دایور»، که همسری زیبا، و ثروتمند، ولی روانپریش، به نام «نیکول» دارد؛ ورود «دیک» به رمان، در فصل نخست، و در ساحل رویایی «ریوریرای فرانسه»، رخ می‌دهد؛ نویسنده ی «گتسبی بزرگ»، باز هم میدرخشند این‌ها نخستین تصاویری هستند، که از جغرافیای اروپا، بر صفحه نقش می‌بندند: نقل از متن کتاب: (بر کرانه‌ ی دلپذیر ریویرای فرانسه...؛ هتل و ساحل درخشان آن، که به جانمازی آجری رنگ میمانست...؛ در تمام منطقه، فقط همین ساحل در حرکت و جنب و جوش بود...)؛ پایان نقل شخصیت «دیک» با پیشروی داستان، به دلیل بیماری همسرش، دچار تزلزل می‌شود؛ جرقه‌ ی فرود از فراز او، با دل‌دادگی «رزماری» ستاره نوپای هالیوودی به وی، با آغاز دوباره ی حملات روان‌ پریشانه‌ ی «نیکول»، آغاز می‌شود؛ اگر ابتدای رمان، یعنی سواحل دریا را، مقایسه کنیم با خطوط پایانی داستان، شخصیت «دیک» انگار دیگر شده است، و ایشان دیگر آن مرد موفق همیشگی نیست: «از شهری به شهر دیگر...»؛ و این جمله‌ ی پایانی کتاب است، و انگار نقطه‌ ی پایان «دیک دایور» باشد، و البته که در فروترین فرود؛ آزاد منشی «دیک»، که با آن موج‌های روان و آرام دریا، بر فراز بود و معنی می‌یافت، حالا جایش را به درماندگی داده، و فرود از فراز به سرانجام رسیده است؛ «لطیف است شب» که عنوان شاعرانه‌ ای هم هست، عنوانش را از شعر «کیتس» برگرفته: «بر بال‌های نامرئی شعر / ذهن کـُـندم چه گیج است و عقب / در کنار تو چه لطیف است شب / ماه ملکه کامیاب نشسته بر تخت / و پریانِ ستاره، گرد او پر طرب / ولی اینجا تاریک است شب.»؛ کتاب جزو صد رمان برتر سده ی بیستم میلادی است؛ «ارنست همینگوی» بارها «لطیف است شب» را بهترین اثر دوست صمیمی‌ خویش، «اسکات» نامیده است تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 02/09/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 26/06/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ilse

    To me the title was the best part of the book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Vit Babenco

    Tender Is the Night is a flowery derision of the beautiful people’s world and a bitter tale of ruination. There are man and wife living in comfort and luxury… She is enigmatic and beautiful… She sat in the car, her lovely face set, controlled, her eyes brave and watchful, looking straight ahead toward nothing. Her dress was bright red and her brown legs were bare. She had thick, dark, gold hair like a chow’s. He is courageous and beautiful… Save among a few of the tough-minded and perennially suspici Tender Is the Night is a flowery derision of the beautiful people’s world and a bitter tale of ruination. There are man and wife living in comfort and luxury… She is enigmatic and beautiful… She sat in the car, her lovely face set, controlled, her eyes brave and watchful, looking straight ahead toward nothing. Her dress was bright red and her brown legs were bare. She had thick, dark, gold hair like a chow’s. He is courageous and beautiful… Save among a few of the tough-minded and perennially suspicious, he had the power of arousing a fascinated and uncritical love. The reaction came when he realized the waste and extravagance involved. He sometimes looked back with awe at the carnivals of affection he had given, as a general might gaze upon a massacre he had ordered to satisfy an impersonal blood lust. Then a seductress arrives… The girl is adolescently naïve and beautiful… Her fine forehead sloped gently up to where her hair, bordering it like an armorial shield, burst into lovelocks and waves and curlicues of ash blonde and gold. Her eyes were bright, big, clear, wet, and shining, the color of her cheeks was real, breaking close to the surface from the strong young pump of her heart. Her body hovered delicately on the last edge of childhood – she was almost eighteen, nearly complete, but the dew was still on her. But there is no love triangle really… Everything is entertainment and fun: crazy drinking bouts, curious drunken escapades, extravagant jolly trips, lavish shopping sprees… So many open roads for the asking… But all those roads go to mirages and emptiness… And emptiness is a mire – first it sucks one in and then it sucks out one’s soul.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette (Ms. Feisty)

    This book is so pointless, you could read the chapters in random order and probably not feel like you'd missed much. This marks my second and final attempt to read it. I almost made it to the halfway point this time. If you loved The Great Gatsby, don't get your hopes up for this one to be anything close to that good. You'll be disappointed. This book is so pointless, you could read the chapters in random order and probably not feel like you'd missed much. This marks my second and final attempt to read it. I almost made it to the halfway point this time. If you loved The Great Gatsby, don't get your hopes up for this one to be anything close to that good. You'll be disappointed.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Warwick

    I mean…it begins badly, tails off a bit in the middle, and the less said about the ending the better. Occasionally, there are books that leave you at a loss as to how to dismiss them. Reading this I kept thinking of a line from Stoppard's The Real Thing: ‘There’s something scary about stupidity made coherent. I can deal with idiots, and I can deal with sensible argument, but I don’t know how to deal with you.’ Tender is the Night is not stupid, but it is, if you like, triviality made coherent. Th I mean…it begins badly, tails off a bit in the middle, and the less said about the ending the better. Occasionally, there are books that leave you at a loss as to how to dismiss them. Reading this I kept thinking of a line from Stoppard's The Real Thing: ‘There’s something scary about stupidity made coherent. I can deal with idiots, and I can deal with sensible argument, but I don’t know how to deal with you.’ Tender is the Night is not stupid, but it is, if you like, triviality made coherent. The story of a wealthy married couple going through a mid-life crisis, it's such a nothingy narrative couched in formally perfect prose that attacking it feels like swinging at a ghost – the disparity between form and content is dizzying. It's like watching Stephen Hawking spend half an hour punching something into his speech computer, only to hear it reel off a haiku about Joey Essex. Where to start. Construction-wise, it's a complete mess; Fitzgerald realised this, and was still rearranging chapters until he died, hoping for a rehabilitation which the novel has eventually found (it was panned on release). In its original, and most commonly printed, form, the first hundred and twenty pages introduce a baffling profusion of characters with no discernible story, at which point the narrative drops back a few years to set up the main couple of Dick and Nicole, a charmless pair of socialites based fairly closely on F. Scott and Zelda. A chronological reordering might, perhaps, solve some of the problems, although personally I would advocate cutting the opening section altogether, dropping the middle bit, and then drastically abridging the end section, so that you're left with a slim pamphlet consisting of a nice speech about the First World War, some good descriptions of Zurich, an extramarital fumble in a French hotel room, and then a speedy conclusion. Job done. Instead it just goes on and on, retailing anecdotes about peripheral characters who seem to spend the whole book going through a series of boring encounters designed only to highlight the period's casual racism, homophobia and misogyny. It's difficult to overstress how little I cared about anyone in here. The settings – Nice, Rome, Lausanne – should provide colour, but in fact they have few distinguishing features, becoming interchangeable stops on a general American-eye view of Yurp. In Gatsby I had loved Fitzgerald's nocturnal flights of melancholy prose; here, instead, he seems to be in a sort of Hemingway mode, all flat cynicism and brittle dialogue and bitter comments about ‘the opportunistic memory of women’. Most of all, perhaps, I hated the equation drawn between professional productivity and personal happiness. The long, drawn-out decline and fall which comprises the latter half of the novel tries to show that Dick is a failure as a man because he never completed his book and because he develops a greater affection for his children. Don't get me wrong, Dick is – well – he's a dick, isn't he – but all the same, I thought it seemed a bit unfair to argue that because he chooses not to fight to keep his adulterous wife, and instead ends up practising medicine in a tiny town in New York state, that he's somehow therefore an archetypal symbol of a wasted life.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Richard (on hiatus)

    We first meet Dick and Nicole Diver on the beach in the south of France. They are a golden couple, beautiful and rich. All those around them are slightly in awe, especially Rosemary Hoyt, a very young actress who immediately convinces herself she’s fallen in love with Dick. The Divers epitomise cool, they are self assured, well travelled and fashionable - they belong to a set of well off Americans who drift around Europe, sometimes with purpose, some times indolently. Rosemary is accepted into t We first meet Dick and Nicole Diver on the beach in the south of France. They are a golden couple, beautiful and rich. All those around them are slightly in awe, especially Rosemary Hoyt, a very young actress who immediately convinces herself she’s fallen in love with Dick. The Divers epitomise cool, they are self assured, well travelled and fashionable - they belong to a set of well off Americans who drift around Europe, sometimes with purpose, some times indolently. Rosemary is accepted into the Diver’s set and is one of several important characters that float in and out of the narrative - a narrative that meanders lazily in the sun, occasionally punctuated by short bursts of violence or high drama. Tender is the Night plays out in the post WWI world of the Jazz Age ‘..... the broken universe of wars ending ....’ as Americans flood into Europe, rich, confident, sometimes flashy and Europeans emerge jaded and blinking from the shadows of conflict. This is a tale of inappropriate relationships and marriage breakdown, of facades crumbling and dreams fading. Aspects of the author’s own life are inevitably woven into the storyline ...... failed love, infidelity, alcoholism, the spectre of mental illness and a constant preoccupation with money. Knowing a little about Fitzgerald, much of the story felt raw and desperate. There’s a sadness that grows throughout the book and lingers after turning the the last page (or reaching 99%!) Some of the text is a bit wordy and whole dissertations could be written (and have been!) about the questionable attitudes of characters concerning race, gender, politics etc ........ but I love Fitzgerald’s writing, the lyricism, the soul bearing melancholy, and the sense of time and place. This is my second reading of this novel after many years and I enjoyed it a lot.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Violet wells

    I was besotted with Scott and Zelda in my youth. Along with Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield I read everything about them I could lay my hands on. And I loved this novel because of how much obvious autobiography it contained. And to some extent the measure of enjoyment you glean from Tender will depend on how heavily you are invested emotionally in Scott and Zelda's real-life story. Because, despite all the smokescreens, the ruse that Dick and Nicole are based on Gerald and Sarah Murphy, i I was besotted with Scott and Zelda in my youth. Along with Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield I read everything about them I could lay my hands on. And I loved this novel because of how much obvious autobiography it contained. And to some extent the measure of enjoyment you glean from Tender will depend on how heavily you are invested emotionally in Scott and Zelda's real-life story. Because, despite all the smokescreens, the ruse that Dick and Nicole are based on Gerald and Sarah Murphy, it's very much a portrait of their life together, or the lengthy period of their life lived in France. Except in his novel Scott makes himself a psychiatrist and saves Zelda. He reverses the pattern of her illness - makes her sick to begin with and then heals her. It's a kind of wish fulfilment fantasy on his part. Tender is the Night took Fitzgerald thirteen years to write and for a lot of this period he was drunk and it shows, especially in the early part of the novel where his structure seems off and his focus lacks sharpness. There's a sense many passages have been transposed from notebooks, shoehorned in, rather than come about organically. Often the beautiful writing doesn't mesh seamlessly into the narrative. There are lots of sensational sideshows featuring very minor characters, characters only there, in fact, to provide these sideshows - there's a duel, an attempted murder and then a successful murder. - Tender has little of the tight technical artistry of Gatsby where there was barely a superfluous word. Neither, despite its ambition, does it achieve the scope of Gatsby largely because of its structural flaws. (Not surprising as much of his material was in the midst of happening in real life: Zelda, for example, was essentially a healthy young woman when he begun this.) However, it was his personal favourite of his books and you begin to understand why in the second half which dramatically improves when Fitzgerald hones in on his two central characters, makes them more explicitly himself and Zelda and their volatile doomed marriage. Dick, a bit of a self-satisfied bore when he's in command of his life and heralded as an organiser of gaiety, becomes more interesting when he's on the back foot. The writing improves too and there are many truly beautiful passages and insights, especially on the underlying causes of human failure. And by the end Scott has evoked a generous measure of the tragic poignancy of his marriage to Zelda.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Vessey

    SPOILERS "He wished she had no background, that she was just a girl lost with no address save the night from which she had come." Tender is the Night is a love story. It is also a story about loneliness. But mostly, it is about the need to love and belong. Dick Diver falls in love with mentally ill woman and marries her. But he never truly finds happiness with her. He falls in love with an young actress, but he never gets to be with her, because his connection with and his love for his sick wi SPOILERS "He wished she had no background, that she was just a girl lost with no address save the night from which she had come." Tender is the Night is a love story. It is also a story about loneliness. But mostly, it is about the need to love and belong. Dick Diver falls in love with mentally ill woman and marries her. But he never truly finds happiness with her. He falls in love with an young actress, but he never gets to be with her, because his connection with and his love for his sick wife are too strong. And he goes through life alone, leading a battle that cannot be won. This is a beautiful and touching book, but it is also adamant in the way it shows what loneliness, what falling in love with the wrong person can do to us. Still, does loving a person you cannot be happy with mean that you have truly chosen (as much as love is choice) the wrong person? There are those of us who love those that cannot be reached, that cannot be saved, even those don’t love us back. For which do we need bigger strength? To quit loving such person or to go on loving them? Is Dick’s growing detachment from Nicole a sign for the diminishing of his love or his loss of hope? Can a distinction be made? Do we love a person only when we believe there is a chance for them to turn into what we need them to be and for us to be happy with them? We dream of finding that perfect person, for the connection that breaks us apart and builds us all over again, but what happens when we meet an already broken person whose pieces are there, waiting for us to pick them up and put the puzzle back together, only to realize that there will always be a piece that will be missing, that won’t fit as we need it to? I believe that when we love, it is forever. Love that dies is no love, unless the object of our love changes severely. But maybe sometimes the person hasn’t become so different as we think, maybe they are the same, and it us who have changed without realizing it and this has lead to a change of heart. “Think how you love me. I don’t ask you to love me always like this, but I ask you to remember. Somewhere inside me there’ll always be the person I am tonight.” If the person we have grown to love stays forever there, under some form, does the part of us that loves this person goes on existing even while we feel that with another part of ourselves we slip away from our loved one’s reach and start needing new horizons, new lands to explore, new hearts to conquer? Is there such thing as loving only with a part of yourself or is love something that sweeps you completely and you love with your whole being? Do humans have the potential, the depth to love absolutely and completely? Or is love fragmented, like we are fragmented? Is it possible for the part that loves and the part that stays indifferent (or even hates) to be two sides of the same coin, two faces of the same feeling? Dick Diver goes on loving his wife, but a part of him grows cold. This terrible contradiction comes not from weakening of his love for her, but from his inability to connect to her. Are love and connection the same thing? I thought so. I am not so sure anymore. He loves her, but feels disconnected from her. "He moved on through the rain, demoniac and frightened, the passions of many men inside him and nothing simple that he could see." If we are ready to love without connection does that make our love extraordinarily strong or not strong enough? Can a man who loves a woman whole-heartedly accept only half of her, fragments of her, isn’t the strongest kind of love the one that compels us to either have a full possession of somebody or walk away, because we love them too much to bear to have only fragments of them? Or is the strongest love the one because of which we are ready to make any sacrifices and accept even the smallest particles, when even the smallest piece is better than nothing, when we are ready to sacrifice our life, our pride, our very essence? Dick Diver feels like he has lost an essential part of himself, a part that leaves any real feeling in him incomplete. If we sacrifice too much for the loved one, so much as we no longer feel as ourselves, can love survive? Does true love transcends all? Which is the stronger? The love we bear for the other person or our sense of self? When the sense of self vanishes, do we keep loving? Would Dick have been happier had he left Nicole? Would he have been happy with Rosemary? I think not. When we love somebody, we bear all their baggage, their pain overwhelms us, it becomes a part of us, but the same is valid for their joy, for everything amazing they are and everything amazing they give us. We are overwhelmed, but the mere fact that we love someone so deeply as to let ourselves be overwhelmed gives us a sense of security and belonging and fullness. "He knew that the price of his intactness was incompleteness." They made no love that day, but when he left her outside the sad door on the Zurichsee and she turned and looked at him he knew her problem was one they had together for good now Is his love for her weakness or strength? Or both? When we truly love, how much do we belong to ourselves and how much to the other person? "There were now no more plans than if he had arbitrarily made some indissoluble mixture, with atoms joined and inseparable; you could throw it all out but never again could they fit back into atomic scale. As he held her and tasted her, and as she curved in further and further toward him, new to herself, drowned and engulfed in love, he was thankful to have an existence at all, if only as a reflection in her wet eyes." I believe that no two people are absolutely alike or absolutely different, therefore there is no such thing as an absolute harmony or absolute disconnection. The relationship between Dick and Nicole, however strong or weak, keeps on living and tearing him apart. When the relationship does not bring us happiness, when the pain prevails, is it still love? Does true love mean that no matter the circumstances, we can always find some happiness, some spark there? Or do we love even when the passion no longer exists and desperation and emptiness fill our hearts and minds and hang over us and touch us like a pale, cold sun, so alike and unlike the real one that once kept it all alive, but has now melted and disappeared into space, leaving us merely with the memory? It was not so much infatuation as a romantic memory. She was still his girl Tender Is the Night left me incredibly satisfied and yearning at the same time. I wish Scott Fitzgerald had developed Nicole’s character more. Or Rosemary’s. But with Dick himself being the main focus and how his love and longing, pain and loneliness affect his life and personality, they were more of a catalyst for him than actual characters in the novel. I think that had Fitzgerald given them more personality, this would have been a five-star book for me. Still, it was a great experience. One I am tempted to go back to one day. Read count: 1

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    This is my favorite Fitzgerald book. I read it back to back with This Side of Paradise last year, which was an interesting experiment. I had the young, beautiful, self-confident Fitzgerald and the Fitzgerald of post-Zelda's craziness, dark dark alcoholic Fitzgerald. Besides showing obviously how much his skills had improved, it showed the sheer range he was capable of as well. This is a dark, depressing novel. Loss, loneliness, isolation, desolation. It does not end well. But the sheer power of This is my favorite Fitzgerald book. I read it back to back with This Side of Paradise last year, which was an interesting experiment. I had the young, beautiful, self-confident Fitzgerald and the Fitzgerald of post-Zelda's craziness, dark dark alcoholic Fitzgerald. Besides showing obviously how much his skills had improved, it showed the sheer range he was capable of as well. This is a dark, depressing novel. Loss, loneliness, isolation, desolation. It does not end well. But the sheer power of the prose, and just how completely lost everything is here can't fail to get to you. The story is so tight, well put together, flows along without a hitch. It sinks you slowly lower and lower and lower until you're hardly aware of just how dark of a place the novel has gone. And then all of a sudden things evaporate, and there you are. Just like Fitzgerald. Wandering off the last page. Really. I recommend it to everyone. Do give it a try.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Margaret M (Semi hiatus until October)

    Tender is the night, peaceful is the Rivera setting and fascinating is a novel that is scathing in its messaging as it mediates in heavy themes of infidelity, materialism, alcoholism, child abuse, mental illness, and vanity but most of all moral suppression in pursuit of pleasure. A novel that makes no apologies for shining a light on the moral shortcomings of society, the burden of class, wealth and expectation, and the power of love and lust that turns people blind, as the characters are forced Tender is the night, peaceful is the Rivera setting and fascinating is a novel that is scathing in its messaging as it mediates in heavy themes of infidelity, materialism, alcoholism, child abuse, mental illness, and vanity but most of all moral suppression in pursuit of pleasure. A novel that makes no apologies for shining a light on the moral shortcomings of society, the burden of class, wealth and expectation, and the power of love and lust that turns people blind, as the characters are forced to live with the consequence of decisions taken when none of their lives remain unchanged. The Plot Dick Diver and his wife Nicole are a rich couple who take a holiday in the French Riviera with other America expatriates, Dick a successful psychiatrist, Nicole a wealthy heiress, and with no shortage of wealth they live the dazzling champagne lifestyle to the fullest. And into that world of decadence steps seventeen-year-old Rosemary Hoyt, a young actress who unashamedly believes “It is not necessarily poverty of spirit that makes a woman surround herself with life—it can be a superabundance of interest...” And her interest is both Dick and Nicole. Rosemary wants Dick as a lover and wants to be like Nicole his wife. A self-absorbed girl who begins to recklessly court the couple, as cracks begin to show in their marriage. Meanwhile, Nicole remains a mental ward of her husband after suffering abuse at the hands of her father, leaving her with a vulnerable mental state that she does well to hide from many, as Dick, the eternal white Knight, fails to see the all-important delineation of husband and doctor. However, more importantly he fails to deal appropriately with the advances of Rosemary, who he professes to love. Review and Comments Tender is the night is a theme driven novel, complex but poignant, expressive in its portrayal of a high society and people that are flawed, and powerful in its messaging of the consequences. A novel that does not shy away from painting a sad and heart rendering story as though the author has his own moral obligation to highlight such fables as teachings of consequence whilst he laments in the failure of a society where idealism is only a dream and aspiration. I felt the story lost its way a few times in the middle, as though it was trying to pad out the story length. However, this is one of the best theme driven books I have read. The characterisation is superb but all of the characters are unlikeable, in some way, which is in itself a bold move as the reader is forced to observe a society through the authors lens and in it, he exposes the failings and weaknesses in human behaviour. Fitzgerald has a beautiful writing style where the power of his work sits with the messaging and themes that he effortlessly introduces without overburdening the reader. Excellent.

  14. 4 out of 5

    ariel

    i knew a dick once. his name was sam, and he was a star. people gravitated toward him everywhere he went. i did, too. he radiated light and fun and when he talked to you, he made you feel like the most important person in the room. he partied hard, and he was the type of person you wanted to party with, because it was always a good time. he was the son of a diplomat, knew five languages, and always knew exactly what to say or do to get the situation how he wanted it. when i was about sixteen, we i knew a dick once. his name was sam, and he was a star. people gravitated toward him everywhere he went. i did, too. he radiated light and fun and when he talked to you, he made you feel like the most important person in the room. he partied hard, and he was the type of person you wanted to party with, because it was always a good time. he was the son of a diplomat, knew five languages, and always knew exactly what to say or do to get the situation how he wanted it. when i was about sixteen, we spent an amazing weekend together, that took us from manhattan to new jersey to connecticut, all for good reason, and it was one of the most memorable weekends of my life. we talked very infrequently for the next few years, and then we hit it back up again, online, and he was such a blast to talk to. so we made plans to meet up. but i was older and wiser then. and as much as i wanted to be with him, to breathe in his intensity, his vitality, i was more guarded. id been burned by then. by friends who were fun and energetic but weren't, when it came down to it, there in any meaningful way. there was one in particular who taught me that lesson... and when sam inevitably disappointed me, i stood my ground. i didnt want to be friends with someone like that. i said that i wanted to believe he wasnt like that, that he was all the positive things i knew to be true but also reliable--that he was reliable--but that now i knew he wasnt. i wanted him to fight for me. to show me i was wrong. if he had insisted, i'm sure i would have continued to be friends with him. and it wasnt like a hard line was drawn in the sand or anything. but he just wasnt interested in continuing a friendship with someone who maybe wasnt as dazzled by him anymore, i think. but as things worked out, that was the last time i spoke to him. he died four years ago. that they held memorial services in literally ten different countries. so, see, i'm not exaggerating the effect he had on people. i'm not sure what my point is, except that dick reminded me of sam. and like sam... dick was a remarkable character. i was so disappointed in his decisions, wanted to be disgusted by his actions... but somehow, what i really felt, was empathy. love. pity. there's so much pain in this book, so much longing, so much sorrow. i dont know. i guess maybe life is just hard for everyone, and when faced head on with that, it's hard to begrudge him his choices.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Tender is Night or so they say. I say tender is a woman's psyche, and the man's ego that tries to make it strong. Too bad both of them suffer from a severe case of asshatitis. "Tender is the Night" is the story of Dick Diver and his Wife Nicole. You don't actually find this out until a fourth of the way into the book. At first we meet the happy couple through the eyes of Rosemary, a young actress from America with a Norman Bates styled affinity for "Mother." She quickly latches onto Mr. Diver, h Tender is Night or so they say. I say tender is a woman's psyche, and the man's ego that tries to make it strong. Too bad both of them suffer from a severe case of asshatitis. "Tender is the Night" is the story of Dick Diver and his Wife Nicole. You don't actually find this out until a fourth of the way into the book. At first we meet the happy couple through the eyes of Rosemary, a young actress from America with a Norman Bates styled affinity for "Mother." She quickly latches onto Mr. Diver, his charms no match for her ignorance and youth. They all hang out together, doing rich people things like eating, and hanging out at the beach, and hating minorities (It is the 20's after all), and all other sorts of things that make you want to slash the tires on their Rolls. Book two abandons Rosemary and we focus on Dick Diver, Psychiatrist at Large. He doesn't actually do much psycho analyzing, but spends most of his time wondering why he married Nicole in the first place and developing a drinking problem. Turns out Nicole is cuckoo for cocoa puffs, and Dick married her with some God complex of trying to save her. But all he ends up doing is ruining himself. Book three continues the downfall, kind of told through Nicole's eyes. Dick falls further and further down the rabbit hole while Nicole seems to see daylight in the fog of her crazy. She ends up pulling a Dick (Diver. Head out of the gutter people) but with the opposite reaction of what it did to him. I think. This book isn't necessarily long, though it feels like it. Long passages of time pass in one paragraph, making it confusing and a rather dull read. None of the characters are likable, and I think you end up just wishing all of them went the way of Abe North. Speaking of, what the heck DID happen to Abe North. That story line was never really resolved. They say it took him forever to write this and it kind of feels like it. It doesn't connect very well and you wonder how much is Fitz's desperate cry for help from his own life full of money and ruin. Can anyone tell me why I am supposed to love Fitzgerald so much?

  16. 5 out of 5

    Helene Jeppesen

    1.5/5 stars. This book was a hot mess and such a disappointment compared to "The Great Gatsby" which is a favourite of mine. Right from the beginning, I had no idea where this dishevelled story was going, and having now finished it I'm still not sure what the overall point of it was. Sure, "Tender Is the Night" comes with some beautiful passages and observations on life and people, but it also comes with a bunch of contradicting themes and destinies that all go in different directions. I get tha 1.5/5 stars. This book was a hot mess and such a disappointment compared to "The Great Gatsby" which is a favourite of mine. Right from the beginning, I had no idea where this dishevelled story was going, and having now finished it I'm still not sure what the overall point of it was. Sure, "Tender Is the Night" comes with some beautiful passages and observations on life and people, but it also comes with a bunch of contradicting themes and destinies that all go in different directions. I get that the overall storyline is about Nicole's and Dick's marriage but I didn't really care about them. The same goes for pretty much all of the characters except for Rosemary whom I found blossoming and therefore interesting. Unfortunately, we don't get to hear much about her. I didn't hate this book (I did finish it, after all), but I didn't like it much either. It's going to be interesting to see how my last book by Fitzgerald, "This Side of Paradise", is going to go down with me.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Shovelmonkey1

    For the longest time I lived an F. Scott Fitzgerald free existence. The name was familiar enough although I mostly associated it with those bulky Penguin Classics which are prone to making me break out in a cold-sweat. Weighty tomes burdened by commentary on class difference, forbidden or tormented or doomed romance, some of which are drier than a mouthful of Jacob's Crackers. I am F. Scott Fitzgerald-free no longer! And how glad does this make me? Very. I read The Great Gatsby a couple of month For the longest time I lived an F. Scott Fitzgerald free existence. The name was familiar enough although I mostly associated it with those bulky Penguin Classics which are prone to making me break out in a cold-sweat. Weighty tomes burdened by commentary on class difference, forbidden or tormented or doomed romance, some of which are drier than a mouthful of Jacob's Crackers. I am F. Scott Fitzgerald-free no longer! And how glad does this make me? Very. I read The Great Gatsby a couple of months ago and decided to go for a second hit with Tender is the Night, Fitzgerald's almost autobiographical tale of gilt edged glitz which conceals the slow ripening of mental decay on the French Riviera. But first I need to get the childishness out of the way. I approached this book with all literary seriousness - arched eyebrow, wire rimmed glasses and a suitable severe chignon and after a medium sized smirk at introduction to the principle character with the manly moniker, Dick Diver, I was prepared to be serious again. Then it hit me. Page 4. There it was. "Lucky Dick, you big stiff" he whispered to himself. And then I rolled off the sofa, laughing. And so begins my encounter with Tender is the Night, which is otherwise quite serious but in places, far from tender. Published in 1934, at a time of economic austerity, Fitzgerald's emotionally disturbed tale of rich people being a bit sad, but still being rich, was not well received and was soundly panned in a number of reviews. Presumably the people of America waved their empty plates, wiped the dust from their eyes and shouted "Yes life is not great but try an empty belly, Dust Pneumonia and burying your own children". Mental health and sexual abuse, are by no means, trifling issues and they are key issues in Tender is the Night, however set against a back drop of yachts, lavish parties and luxury mansions at a time of national economic catastrophe, well presumably they just seemed a bit less important. Add to this to the fact that frankly, none of the characters are particularly likeable, well you can see why people looked askance at the time. Dick Diver falls into a number of unfortunate but obvious traps. Marries way out of his league, marries a mentally unstable patient with whom he was originally professionally involved and then to cap it all, has an affair. Way to go Dick. I'm pretty sure that the Hippocratic oath probably says "don't do this" against all of these possible actions. Because this book is based on Fitzgerald's own experiences with his wife Zelda it is better than Gatsby. Not happier, not brighter, not more exhilarating to read but it has a clarity that makes the characters more real. After all, nobody said you had to like them or their actions.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kirk

    This is a hard but necessary book to read. It should be the type of plot we're attracted to, because it's a dissolution story, not unlike LOST WEEKEND or LEAVING LAS VEGAS, to name but two examples of the genre. And yet many friends I share this with just can't get into it. Part of the blame lies with the style: it's just so damned intricate and thick, it tends to scare away those who don't want to be ravished by style. As someone who does, I can get lost in this book any day of the week. I rere This is a hard but necessary book to read. It should be the type of plot we're attracted to, because it's a dissolution story, not unlike LOST WEEKEND or LEAVING LAS VEGAS, to name but two examples of the genre. And yet many friends I share this with just can't get into it. Part of the blame lies with the style: it's just so damned intricate and thick, it tends to scare away those who don't want to be ravished by style. As someone who does, I can get lost in this book any day of the week. I reread this for work probably once a year, and I'm always amazed at how fresh it seems to me---mainly because I'm always discovering a line or phrase that I'd passed over. Other reasons to like TITN: It's Fitzgerald's most experimental, with just about every modernist trick in the book. It has two fantastic heroines that come to life when they emerge from Dick Diver's point of view: Nicole and Rosemary. There are glamorous excursions from Nice to Paris and Rome. It has that overwhelming sense of abstraction---it feels like you're reading history, a socialist critique of excess capitalism (check out the chapter on Nicole's shopping spree), a look into the prurience and spectatorship of early filmmaking, a dressing down of romanticism, and a love story about the impossibility of love. Oh, and its so achingly, gloriously sad---I think that's the main reason I consider it a classic.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sawsan

    Losing is a part of being a human, and sometimes the more you lose, the more vulnerable and tender you are a kind of social and psychological story follows the life of Dick Diver and the nature of his marital relationship over years his life gradually was torn apart, he was lost between a trivial life, the psychological problems of his wife, faded career and an affair with a young actress finding himself adrift in a world that is entirely purposeless bitter but beautiful written novel, Fitzgerald w Losing is a part of being a human, and sometimes the more you lose, the more vulnerable and tender you are a kind of social and psychological story follows the life of Dick Diver and the nature of his marital relationship over years his life gradually was torn apart, he was lost between a trivial life, the psychological problems of his wife, faded career and an affair with a young actress finding himself adrift in a world that is entirely purposeless bitter but beautiful written novel, Fitzgerald writes cleverly about the glamorous entertaining life of rich people at the french riviera apparently the novel reflects Fitzgerald's own experiences and struggles with alcoholism and being with a partner suffering from mental illness

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amalia Gkavea

    “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.'' “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.''

  21. 4 out of 5

    Steven Godin

    Time is our most valuable commodity. Had enough of this!, Dick is precisely one of those, Rosemary is leaving me with clammy hands of bored annoyance, and Nicole appears to be living on another planet. Two reasons why the two stars, Beautiful sounding title The French Riviera Two reasons that stopped me trowing this out the window in frustration, It's a borrowed book (from a rather charming lady) Wouldn't want to knock somebody out on the sidewalk, I am on the fourth floor! Time is our most valuable commodity. Had enough of this!, Dick is precisely one of those, Rosemary is leaving me with clammy hands of bored annoyance, and Nicole appears to be living on another planet. Two reasons why the two stars, Beautiful sounding title The French Riviera Two reasons that stopped me trowing this out the window in frustration, It's a borrowed book (from a rather charming lady) Wouldn't want to knock somebody out on the sidewalk, I am on the fourth floor!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Roman Clodia

    September 2021 reread He had lost himself - he could not tell the hour when, or the day or the week, the month or the year... Yet he had been swallowed up like a gigolo, and somehow permitted his arsenal to be locked up in the Warren safety-deposit vaults. This is such a rich, dense and diffuse book that it's hard to do a quick 'what it's about' statement without simplifying and reducing and, in the process, erasing what makes it so marvellous. It is about idealism, especially in relation to l September 2021 reread He had lost himself - he could not tell the hour when, or the day or the week, the month or the year... Yet he had been swallowed up like a gigolo, and somehow permitted his arsenal to be locked up in the Warren safety-deposit vaults. This is such a rich, dense and diffuse book that it's hard to do a quick 'what it's about' statement without simplifying and reducing and, in the process, erasing what makes it so marvellous. It is about idealism, especially in relation to love and the consequent disillusion, as so many of FSF's books are. But it's also about what happens to a good, potentially brilliant, man who makes a wrong choice because of his own vulnerability to beauty and because he wants to be loved - but who ends up selling his soul to an icon of capitalist wealth. The toxic marriage of the Divers is reflected in that of the comically awful McKiscos, and Dick's gradual slide from bonhomie into full-blown alcoholism is forecast by the fate of his friend, Abe North. Power shifts within these marriages and it is usually the women who survive - perhaps a marker of FSF's own bitterness? But there are also interesting political narratives: Dick identifies WW1 as a key moment for the death of two empires and the potential emergence of the US as a world power - only the book seems to show the terrible debasement of American cultural potential (and is Dick himself a kind of personification of America's destiny?) from the 'glamour' of Hollywood which is built on a 12-year old girl being pushed into an acting career by her ambitious mother, to the spectacle of the shooting of 'The Grandeur that was Rome' using a fake set despite actually being in the authentic Rome. There are pointed comments on American letters ('McKisco was having a vogue. His novels were pastiches of the work of the best people of his time, a feat not to be disparaged, and in addition he possessed a gift for softening and debasing what he borrowed, so that many readers were charmed by the ease with which they could follow him' - ouch!), and on American money ('the Americans would play their trump card, the announcement of colossal gifts and endowments, of great new plants and training schools, and in the presence of the figures the Europeans would blanch and walk timidly'). And Dick himself is essentially bought by the Warrens who see him as an asset to be managed for their maximum benefit ('...whatever Dick's previous record was, they now possessed a moral superiority over him for as long as he proved of any use'), just as Rosemary's loving mother invests in putting her on stage as a child in order to get the returns later. But because this is FSF, it's never quite this reductive: Nicole, especially, is a shifting character who moves from youthful vulnerability as a response to traumatic abuse, to something much harder and slicker and shows herself adept at wielding the power that is her legacy from her stupendously wealthy Chicago family. In fact, it's the women in the book - Nicole, Rosemary, Mary North - who are shown to be the survivors, who step up and forward, who abandon their American husbands and lovers for 'foreign' men: French Tommy Barban, the Valentino-alike Italian actor, and the 'Kabyle-Berber-Sabaean-Hindu' Conte di Minghetti who 'was not quite light enough to travel in a Pullman south of Mason-Dixon' but who displaces Abe North and gives Mary a social cachet and money to rival the Divers. There is a tremendous focus on acting and performance ('Oh, we're such actors - you and I'; 'She ought to be in the cinema... that's where all American women would be happy') and a disturbing dynamic of older men with younger, even child-like, women from the title of Rosemary's film, 'Daddy's Girl', to Nicole's past which seems to set a pattern for her first marriage. Amidst all this, is a harrowing portrait of a toxic love that still leaves behind an aching melancholy and regret: 'It was lonely and sad to be so empty-hearted toward each other'. ------------------------------------------ Greater than Gatsby Gatsby may be Fitzgerald's great popular success, but I've always preferred this book. Opening on the just-emerging French Riviera, Dick and Nicole Diver are the perfect couple: beautiful, charming, wealthy and in love. But the flawless surface hides its secrets well - and beneath the glamour lies something tainted and corrupt... This is less tight as a novel than Gatsby, but is more tragic and harrowing. Fitzgerald clearly struggled with the book, attempting to re-order the chronology before he died. In places brutal and savage, this is also desperately sad with a wistful and poignant fragility that is made all the clearer through the parallels with the Fitzgeralds' own lives. Subtle and elusive, this remains for me Fitzgerald's best work.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Why am I drawn to dark and destructive stories of breakage and damage in beautiful settings? Please don't answer this question. It is better danced away in a glorious Antibes summer night! Tender is the literature that touches on the invisible abyss underneath the perfect reflection in the surface. Why am I drawn to dark and destructive stories of breakage and damage in beautiful settings? Please don't answer this question. It is better danced away in a glorious Antibes summer night! Tender is the literature that touches on the invisible abyss underneath the perfect reflection in the surface.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Duane

    With the popularity of Fitzgerald, it's difficult to comprehend that he only wrote four novels, this being the last. It's a dark novel because it was written at a dark time in his life. Zelda's illness, financial problems, and alcoholism all contributed to Fitzgerald's frame of mind. I've read several negative reviews of this novel here on Goodreads saying it is depressing, the characters are shallow and unlikeable. That may be partly true, but their struggles and problems, their desires and bet With the popularity of Fitzgerald, it's difficult to comprehend that he only wrote four novels, this being the last. It's a dark novel because it was written at a dark time in his life. Zelda's illness, financial problems, and alcoholism all contributed to Fitzgerald's frame of mind. I've read several negative reviews of this novel here on Goodreads saying it is depressing, the characters are shallow and unlikeable. That may be partly true, but their struggles and problems, their desires and betrayals, are what make them so compelling and so real. One has to take context into consideration when reading a novel, especially the time period when the novel was written and set. Also the mentality of this set of people and the lifestyle they lived is almost incomprehensible to the average person today. It was a great read for me. I give it 4.5 stars, I can't quite put it on the same level as The Great Gatsby.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Michael Finocchiaro

    This was Fitzgerald's last book, the one after The Great Gatsby. It is extremely well-written and equally extremely depressing. There is murder and incest and the hapless Dick aimlessly looking for meaning in life and never quite finding it. It is definitely worth reading after you have finished Gatsby, but not recommended if you are already feeling blue because it will definitely not cheer you up. The language is superb though and therefore I gave it 4 stars. This was Fitzgerald's last book, the one after The Great Gatsby. It is extremely well-written and equally extremely depressing. There is murder and incest and the hapless Dick aimlessly looking for meaning in life and never quite finding it. It is definitely worth reading after you have finished Gatsby, but not recommended if you are already feeling blue because it will definitely not cheer you up. The language is superb though and therefore I gave it 4 stars.

  26. 5 out of 5

    ·Karen·

    There is something deeply ambivalent about Fitzgerald's appraisal of the dissipation, drunkenness and fatuous frivolity of a world to which he himself belonged. Surely we can only condemn the characters for their snobbery, their thoughtlessness, their attitude that money should get them out of the kind of difficulty that they have brought upon themselves through ignorance, self-deception or sheer bloody-mindedness? And yet at the same time we can feel sympathy for fragile Nicole, for Dick's desc There is something deeply ambivalent about Fitzgerald's appraisal of the dissipation, drunkenness and fatuous frivolity of a world to which he himself belonged. Surely we can only condemn the characters for their snobbery, their thoughtlessness, their attitude that money should get them out of the kind of difficulty that they have brought upon themselves through ignorance, self-deception or sheer bloody-mindedness? And yet at the same time we can feel sympathy for fragile Nicole, for Dick's descent into oblivion, for Rosemary's innocence. These are the characters that Fitzgerald treats with sympathy and kindness, whereas the McKiscos, whose only crime seems to be that they are not 'well-bred', are cruelly done by: Dick laid aside his reading and, after the few minutes that it took to realize the change in McKisco, the disappearance of the man’s annoying sense of inferiority, found himself pleased to talk to him. McKisco was “well-informed” on a range of subjects wider than Goethe’s — it was interesting to listen to the innumerable facile combinations that he referred to as his opinions. They struck up an acquaintance, and Dick had several meals with them. The McKiscos had been invited to sit at the captain’s table but with nascent snobbery they told Dick that they “couldn’t stand that bunch.” Violet was very grand now, decked out by the grand couturières, charmed about the little discoveries that well-bred girls make in their teens. She could, indeed, have learned them from her mother in Boise but her soul was born dismally in the small movie houses of Idaho, and she had had no time for her mother. Now she “belonged”— together with several million other people — and she was happy, though her husband still shushed her when she grew violently naïve. Does that reveal a deep-seated sense of superiority in the narrator, or is he making fun of the McKiscos' ambition, of their wish to belong to this tawdry world of high society? Does Dick marry Nicole for her money or for love? Is Dick brilliant or merely self-aggrandizing? There were so many questions left open in my mind, but then that is the mark of a classic, one that is not closed off, reduced to only one obvious interpretation, but a work that opens up possibilities in the imagination.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rowena

    "After lunch they were both overwhelmed by the sudden flatness that comes over American travellers in quiet foreign places. No stimuli worked upon them, no voices called them from without, no fragments of heir own thoughts came suddenly from the minds of others, and missing the clamour of Empire they felt that life was not continuing here."- F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night Fitzgerald has an absolutely beautiful way with words. He uses very stylized language and writes down some profoun "After lunch they were both overwhelmed by the sudden flatness that comes over American travellers in quiet foreign places. No stimuli worked upon them, no voices called them from without, no fragments of heir own thoughts came suddenly from the minds of others, and missing the clamour of Empire they felt that life was not continuing here."- F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night Fitzgerald has an absolutely beautiful way with words. He uses very stylized language and writes down some profound thoughts. And that’s what tricked me at first into thinking this would be a profound story. Like in The Great Gatsby, his characters are not likeable and just seem so disconnected from the world. It’s quite interesting reading Fitzgerald writing about American life in France, including black riots, at the same time that I was reading Langston Hughes The Great Big Sea: the contrast between the lives of black and white Americans in France in this period is huge. This is a story about rich Americans in the French Riviera. The story revolves in part around Dr. Dick Diver, charming man, the ultimate host and object of adoration of teenager Rosemary, an upcoming actress, who Fitzgerald describes thus: “Her body hovered delicately on the last edge of childhood–she was almost eighteen, nearly complete, but the dew was still on her.” Attraction between the two is immediate, despite the fact that Dick is married. I was raving about this book at first. Fitzgerald is an amazing writer and I think that his writing style initially blinded me to the flatness of the plot. The last thing I want to read is a book about privileged shallow and selfish rich people who are not introspective and just do whatever they please, but when Fitzgerald writes passages like the following, it makes it a bit easier to stomach, and fills you with hope that the characters in the book will say things you actually want to hear: “Following a walk marked by an intangible mist of bloom that followed the white border stones she came to a space overlooking the sea where there were lanterns asleep in the fig trees and a big table and wicker chairs and a great market umbrella from Sienna, all gathered about an enormous pine, the biggest tree in the garden. She paused there a moment, looking absently at a growth of nasturtiums and iris tangled at its foot, as though sprung from a careless handful of seeds, listening to the plaints and accusations of some nursery squabble in the house. When this died away on the summer air, she walked on, between kaleidoscopic peonies massed in pink clouds, black and brown tulips and fragile mauve-stemmed roses, transparent like sugar flowers in a confectioner’s window — until, as if the scherzo of color could reach no further intensity, it broke off suddenly in mid-air, and moist steps went down to a level five feet below.” But they didn’t. And after part 1 of the book, which I quite liked, which at least promised more, parts 2 and 3 fell extremely flat; I was completely let down. Part 1 of the book was basically rich people in Paris and the French Riviera, having parties and going shopping. Everything seems perfect but on the surface you are aware that some things are waiting to reveal themselves. In part 2 we find out what’s wrong and there is discussion of mental illness which I thought was quite candid and progressive for that time. Diver is a psychiatrist who is an admirer of Freud, so there is an interesting dialogue about psychology in this book. When we learn about how Diver met his wife, I was slightly disturbing, to be honest. Diver’s character was the most complex and I’m still not sure how I feel about him. He has a predilection towards young women and patients and although I felt this book was quite progressive seeing as it discussed mental health in the 1920s, I just couldn’t, in the end, get past the superficial and superfluous characters.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Empress

    I am trying to like this book because for some reason I think that I should. But, in truth, I am finding it quite dull and painfully slow. Maybe I lack in patience or sophistication, because--given other reviews of this book--there is a good chance I am missing something (or simply haven't read enough into it yet--apparently it gets good after the tedious first 100 pages...) But so far, I am pretty seriously bored and disintersted in his saga about rich people, poor misunderstood movie stars and I am trying to like this book because for some reason I think that I should. But, in truth, I am finding it quite dull and painfully slow. Maybe I lack in patience or sophistication, because--given other reviews of this book--there is a good chance I am missing something (or simply haven't read enough into it yet--apparently it gets good after the tedious first 100 pages...) But so far, I am pretty seriously bored and disintersted in his saga about rich people, poor misunderstood movie stars and their shallow love affairs, dull parties and dumb problems. I keep thinking of that Edie Sedgwick movie for some reason...(no offense to Edie or Andy, or Scott for that matter!) Every once in a while there is a great line though, so, hey. And, I do so love the name of this book--five stars for that at least! OK, now I feel justified in my dislike of this book: their night: by bukowski "never could read Tender Is the Night but they've made a tv adaptation of the book and it's been running for several nights and i have spent ten minutes here and there watching the troubles of the rich while they are leaning against their beach chairs in Nice or walking about their large rooms drink in hand while making philosophical statements or fucking up at the dinner party or the dinner dance they really have no idea of what to do with themselves: swim? tennis? drive up the coast? find new beds? lose old ones? or fuck with the arts and the artists? having nothing to struggle against they have nothing to struggle for. the rich are different all right so is the ring- tailed maki and the sand flea." Thanks Hank (and Rob!) :)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    It took Fitzgerald so long to write this novel that it’s inevitably flawed. It seems to me he began with a view to distancing himself from himself and Dick Diver was conceived as a fictional character modelled on someone Fitzgerald knew. However as the novel progresses Diver becomes more and more Fitzgerald himself and the novel becomes ever more autobiographical. This is what ultimately gives it its beautiful heartbreaking quality – it’s the fictionalised story of Fitzgerald’s marriage to Zelda It took Fitzgerald so long to write this novel that it’s inevitably flawed. It seems to me he began with a view to distancing himself from himself and Dick Diver was conceived as a fictional character modelled on someone Fitzgerald knew. However as the novel progresses Diver becomes more and more Fitzgerald himself and the novel becomes ever more autobiographical. This is what ultimately gives it its beautiful heartbreaking quality – it’s the fictionalised story of Fitzgerald’s marriage to Zelda. Though Gatsby is undoubtedly a much better novel in terms of construction and economy Tender has an emotional power Gatsby lacks. It’s a novel that captures poignantly the diminishing returns of youthful optimism and vitality, of young love, and as such one of the most beautifully sad novels I have ever read. One’s heart goes out to poor Dick Diver.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Clausen

    "Tender is the Night" is an interesting dinner guest that arrives half-drunk seems amusing but shallow, but then, as the night wears on, reveals itself as something deep, thoughtful, and yes, even tender. It's the story of one couple -- Dick and Nicole Diver; a charismatic American family living in France. They are charming, they are exceptional, they are fun, and of course, they are also flawed...and their tale is tragic. In short, this book is a classic and a joy to read. I'm always cautious a "Tender is the Night" is an interesting dinner guest that arrives half-drunk seems amusing but shallow, but then, as the night wears on, reveals itself as something deep, thoughtful, and yes, even tender. It's the story of one couple -- Dick and Nicole Diver; a charismatic American family living in France. They are charming, they are exceptional, they are fun, and of course, they are also flawed...and their tale is tragic. In short, this book is a classic and a joy to read. I'm always cautious about commenting on male writers writing female characters, especially those with mental disorders. But Nicole seems sympathetically and miraculously well-developed. Even though she is a kind of plague to the charismatic Dick Diver (I wonder what Freud would say about this character name), she also is a charming delight -- which makes Dick's situation all the more plausible and relatable. As the novel moves into its mature parts, we see that Dick himself is a kind of blight on Nicole. As Nicole gets better mentally and emotionally, Dick goes through a kind of dissipation. The very period-ness of the book, post-WWI Europe, the Jazz age, the backdrop of a rising and confident America, also makes the book interesting. In the edition I read, there are numbered references you can look up in the back that explain all the period details. The book is very much a work of its time, and thus, it's also a fascinating window into that part of history. One of the things that stands out the most is spectacular wealth that the Divers enjoy in their pre-Great Depression era lives. This is a subject I think that should resonate with modern America readers! The book was serialized (either in a newspaper or magazine, I forget), so the chapters are short, punchy, and something interesting happens in all of them. Since I read much of this on the bus to work, this structure of the book really worked for me. At first, as I read the book, I took it as just another well-written period piece. But the more involved I became with the Dick and Nicole, the more I began to see this book not just as a good work of fiction, but as a great one. It's the tale of a complicated time and place where good things can easily go sour. I would recommend this book to all lovers of great fiction! And, for this reason, I'm placing it on my all-time greats bookshelf.

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