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The Beautiful and Damned Audiobook

The Beautiful and Damned

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Publisher's Summary

F. Scott Fitzgerald's second novel, The Beautiful and Damned, "marks an advance over This Side of Paradise," Edmund Wilson wrote. "The style is more nearly mature and the subject more nearly unified, and there are scenes that are more convincing than any in his previous fiction."

Published in 1922, it chronicles the relationship of Anthony Patch, Harvard-educated aspiring aesthete, and his beautiful wife, Gloria, as they wait to inherit his grandfather's fortune. A devastating satire of the nouveaux rich and New York's nightlife, of reckless ambition and squandered talent, it is also a shattering portrait of a marriage fueled by alcohol and wasted by wealth. The Beautiful and Damned, Fitzgerald wrote to Zelda in 1930, "was all true."

Lyrical, romantic, yet cruelly incisive, it signaled a new stage in Fitzgerald's career. With The Beautiful and Damned, H.L. Mencken commented in The Smart Set, "Fitzgerald ceases to be a wunderkind, and begins to come into his maturity.

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (289 )
5 star
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3.9 (193 )
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4.0 (189 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Emily Brooklyn, NY, USA 01-20-05
    Emily Brooklyn, NY, USA 01-20-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "i loved it"

    I really enjoyed this reading - the narrators' camellion voice captures the various characters tones imaginetively and distinctively. The novel is a tale of love, of history, of woe and immorality. There is no true hero to the story, but nonetheless leaves the listener enamoroured with anthony and gloria's helplessness and deterioration. You hate them for their snobbery, idolize their lavishness, balame them for their fate, and pity them for their eventual destruction.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Metz Berkeley, CA 10-01-08
    Adam Metz Berkeley, CA 10-01-08 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Surprisingly good narration"

    It's tough to capture all of Fitzgerald's nuances, especially in this novel, his second book (the one before Gatsby), but this narrator does it. This book contains some of Fitzgerald's finest conversational dialogue, and you can really feel Fitzgerald's relationship with Zelda, who was only about 22 at the time of writing.

    The beginning also really captures a few elements of Fitzgerald's childhood (better profiled in This Side of Paradise). For any serious scholar of the '20s, this is a must-read, and big fans of Gatsby will not be dissapointed, especially at the intimate explorations of Fitzgerald's relationships, and the birth of post-modern conversation.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-20-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thick description of ennui"

    Fitzgerald's ability to describe the tedium of life is outstanding. This is thick description at it's best. Fitzgerald's novel gives the reader a semiautobiographical account of madness with a style that reveals what most of us would not see in the course of everyday life. He allows me the pleasure of reading with a knowing smile the plight of people struggling to "have fun". He does not miss a thing. The desciption is so good and so thick at times I felt the tedium myself and needed to read something else as a break. You return to the book as a moth to a flame.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jill 11-24-13
    jill 11-24-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a difference a great reader makes"

    I'd tried to listen to this book from a different reader once before - couldn't get through the first few chapters as a result, and I just recall hating the book as a result. So I gave it another try with this new reader. Dufris has some odd voices, but the Anthony Patch character, and his acting through this complex part, really made Fitzgerald's prose sing. I am new to Fitzgerald, recently having read new bios on Zelda, so I've been more keenly interested in his works. Dufris seemed to be in tune with the characters, flow, style that Fitzgerald imbued his piece with. Great book, great performance, worth the time. Entertaining.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caro 10-11-09
    Caro 10-11-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Every bit as good as Gatsby"

    So excellent. I read this book years ago, but didn't think what I now realize: It is every bit as good as the great American novel (and social commentary) we have in Gatsby.

    At first I was unsure of the reader William Dufris because his voices were not the ones I had in my head, especially for Gloria. But eventually I gave myself over to his version and found them brilliant, even down to giving her a midwestern flavor.

    The one thing I did find grating was the shrill little kid screeching "Audible for Kids." Please remove that from the audio. Not to mention that this novel is not "for kids."

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Meyer 04-07-17
    A. Meyer 04-07-17
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    "Interesting story - not a great narrator"
    Where does The Beautiful and Damned rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I don't listen to very much fiction, so it's kind of hard to compare, but I enjoyed it.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Beautiful and Damned?

    I don't want to give away the plot.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He tries to make the characters distinguishable, but uses cartoonish, exaggerated tones and accents. Some do not make sense, like a deep south uneducated accent in a crowd of people that are mostly supposed to have gone to an elite school together. Poor characterization of Gloria, who he makes sound stupid while the text says something about how most men she met were her intellectual inferiors or something to that effect. She is immature, but she is not stupid. She is also carrying a heavy burden in the relationship in the story and the vocal interpretation of her dialogue minimizes that while Fitzgerald draws attention to it. He loses the nuance of Fitzgerald, which is the thing I chose the book for.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish I had listened to the samples for the best narration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Everett Leiter New York, NY 02-08-06
    Everett Leiter New York, NY 02-08-06 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not a favorite of mine"

    This is not the Great Gatsby, which is an engrossing and timeless novel. This one by Fitzgerald did not hold my attention as well, and I found it a bit tedious. This is a story about irresponsible party-goers with alcoholism problems. I plodded through the novel, with many parts quite enjoyable. The reader is excellent. As a New Yorker, I did enjoy the depiction of New York life in the 1910's. It is recognizable as a modern New York City, although obviously much has changed. Much earlier than that (say, Edith Wharton's House of Mirth) and it feels like a different time.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sewnfool 08-18-17
    sewnfool 08-18-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Romantic story"

    About the early part of the 20th century. Not my cup of tea.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew 07-06-17
    Andrew 07-06-17
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    35
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    Story
    "Story is well written, Narration is OUTSTANDING"
    Would you listen to The Beautiful and Damned again? Why?

    I am glad I listened to this book and I would do so again (but I probably wouldn't listen to it a second time for a long time). However, I am now looking for more titles narrated by William Dufris, who did a fantastic job narrating this novel.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story was well written and it was an interesting view early 20th century life of the "leisure class". But what truly made this audiobook great was the OUTSTANDING narration by William Dufris. I have listened to over 1,000 hours of audible books over the years, and William Dufris is unquestionably one of the best.


    Which character – as performed by William Dufris – was your favorite?

    They were all excellent, and William Dufris did an excellent job projecting the mood, tone, and state of sobriety (or lack thereof) of the characters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cinderella 7 Illinois 07-03-17
    Cinderella 7 Illinois 07-03-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Okay"

    Sorry but I just couldn't get into this story. To me it was very confusing.

    William DeFrees (Not sure I spelled that correctly) narrated this audio book, he did a good job reading the story to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Tom
    West Wickham, United Kingdom
    7/20/10
    Overall
    "A depressing but brilliantly written book"

    Scott Fitzgerald's 'the Great Gatsby' must be one of the greatest books of the 20th century, and if you enjoyed it, then this book is for you. The story is set out in the blurb above, so I wont repeat it. Suffice it to say that it is a gripping if grim tale and quite brilliantly written - I kept winding back, as it were, just to hear bits of Fitzgerald's sublime prose again - I wish I could write half as well as that! Stunning stuff.

    The narration by William Dufris is superb just right for the book. He brings it all alive.

    Four stars for me as the story is quite depressing and doom-laden, but you cant stop listening.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Tahiya Qureshi
    1/31/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "<3"
    Would you listen to The Beautiful and the Damned again? Why?

    Fitzgerald writes the prettiest prose I've ever come across, and I love love loved the old timey American accent


    What other book might you compare The Beautiful and the Damned to, and why?

    I saw many similarities to (surprise, surprise!) The Great Gatsby


    Which character – as performed by William Dufris – was your favourite?

    Probably Muriel, she was adorable!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes - every time I had to stop listening I really didn't want to...


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Graeme from Preston
    11/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Decline and Fall of Anthony Patch"

    The characters created are brilliantly realised and although narrated a bit fast, you are drawn in. The life of society people in New York is portrayed in its wit and pseudo profundity. Then it all goes wrong.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Welsh Mafia
    North Cornelly
    7/18/09
    Overall
    "Wharton, Fitzgerald, Yates, Updike??"

    So much in East Coast and contemporary American Literature is owed to F Scott Fitzgerald that it is worth straying beyond the bounds of The Great Gatsby to get his take on Caf? Society and the state of mind of marriage and money and status. A great and underated book that links the chain of great American writers who have placed New York at the centre of literary culture. Essential reading for those in the know.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • RoleyPole
    6/23/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "the beautiful and the damned"

    Well written but too pessimistic for me. I really liked Gatsby but this novel I thought wasn't as good, partly because the characters are not that likeable and the fact that the story was quite anticlimactic/depressing. Also in this novel Fitzgerald's characters go off on long tangents talking about things that I didn't quite follow - perhaps they were too clever for me ;). But really what made this novel difficult was that there really wasn't much hope in it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Roman Clodia
    London
    1/16/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A laidback East Coast reading"
    If you could sum up The Beautiful and the Damned in three words, what would they be?

    Dufris has the ideal voice for this book with his laidback East Coast USA accent. He does a good job of what is an uneven book, and renders moments like Anthony's singing in the bath with a hint of comic flair. I'm never quite sure about male readers 'doing' female voices, but accepted his version of Gloria. A good performance of one of Fitzgerald 's less polished works.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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