aubschoosesjoy (aubschoosesjoy) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
aubschoosesjoy
aubschoosesjoy
50bookchallenge

#2 The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald

  As I grow up, not only do I slowly discover how I want to live my life--but how I don't want to live my life. I believe that every book I read has some sort of lesson to teach the reader. The Beautiful and Damned taught me that not only should I avoid greed and relying on money to get through life, but that I should chase after my dreams with hard work, and not just expect them to accomplish themselves. (I know I'm sounding very high school English paper here, but seriously, this was one of those book where it took me a full day just to recover from emotional trauma.)

  The story is about Anthony Patch, a young wannabe writer who lives in New York, half off of his prohibitionist-millionaire-grandfather's (Adam Patch) money, and half off of odd writing jobs he does around town. He meet and falls in love with Gloria, a dainty femme-fatale who although seems incredibly fragile, has made a sport of breaking men's hearts. After being disinherited by Adam Patch, the pair find their lives spiraling out of control, leading them unable to support the extravagant lifestyle they once lived. Fitzgerald's novel is supposedly based off of his own  marriage to Zelda, which honestly makes it even more tragic to read. He writes about their married life, his service in the army, and his alcoholism.

  Even though this is only the second Fitzgerald novel I've ever read, I'm sensing a pattern the more I read. I'm enveloped by his prose wholly, I even highlight passages that I want to remember, but I hate every single character in his novels. They are all so torn apart by greed and are apathetic to one another, even the ones they are supposed to love. Their existences seem so hollow. Throughout  it's like watching two trains with incredibly luring whistles crash- as much as I wanted to put the book down, I knew that no one could tell of a broken romance like Fitzgerald could, and hypnotically, I would pick it back up.

  I would really suggest this book, although I'm not sure what type of reader would like it. I loved it mostly because of how beautifully tragic it was- believe me, this book is not a pick-me-up. I think what hit me the hardest was that it was like being on the inside of a failing marriage- and realizing that both characters ended up this way because they gave up on what really mattered to them.

What's Fitzgerald novel should I read next? Contrary to this review, I do really love them :]
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