It is 1925, and Richard Diver is the high priest of the good life on the white sands of the French Riviera. The Beautiful People - film stars, socialites, aristocrats - gather eagerly and bitchily around him and his wife Nicole. Beneath the breathtaking glamour, however, is a world of pain, and there is at the core of their lives a brittle hollowness. Beautiful, powerful, and tragic, Tender is the Night is one of the great works of American fiction.
Public Domain (P)2010 Naxos Audiobooks
The narration of this made me absolutely nuts. The reader has a good feel for the story but ruins the book by ending almost every sentence on an up inflection as in a question. The end result was that all of the characters sounded perpetually petulant so by the time things are falling apart you are so annoyed that there is no impact.
Not much can be added about this book. A classical roman about classical people. The idea is pretty simple, but the description is a bit difficult. Too many characters, too many details and events. The narrator is not expressive, women and men talk in the same way. I guess there are books for reading and books for listening, and perhaps this book is not for listening.
Reading, the arts and physical activity clarify, explain, illustrate, and interpret life’s goods and bads.
Okay, here is my impiety. I do not think Tender is the Night is good. In fact, I find it a bore. Whatever the story has that can be allocated as a plot; is wanting. The novel opens telling of a short meeting in Europe of gallivanting American rich people. For the most part the characters that will bring this “story” along are introduced at that European beach resort. There is an idyllic family at the center of the story and the story drags us through their European meanderings. Then slowly, and yes ever so slowly, the husband, after an inexplicable extra marital love affair, has a meltdown; which is a surprising juxtaposition, because the husband is a psychiatrist who marries the wife so that he can be there for her and her supposedly less than substantial wherewithal in confronting the world. I think I just gave the plot more excitement than F. Scott Fitzgerald did?
The story is not quite an introspection rather an observation; of unexpected self-destructive undertakings. What is exciting about Tender, I suspect, is Fitzgerald has developed a new style of writing. Self-analysis. Perhaps we would never have had Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man if Tender did not start the trend. (In Tender, the main character never speaks to us, in The Invisible Man – well that is all there is!) I would suggest going directly to The Invisible Man.
I love F Scott Fitzgerald and this story did not disappoint. The narration was excellent and the ending.... oh ....
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