Ten­der is the Night

Friday - - Great Reads - by F Scott Fitzger­ald (1934)

Fitzger­ald is famed for his icon­o­clas­tic The Great Gatsby. But his fourth and fi­nal fin­ished novel Ten­der is the Night does more than hold a can­dle to Gatsby’s bril­liance. The evoca­tive, ele­giac tale traces the crum­bling mar­riage of the Driv­ers (Dick a young psy­cho­an­a­lyst and Ni­cole a wealthy heiress and his ex­pa­tient) in the back­drop of Switzer­land and the fash­ion­able French Rivera in 1925. Paint­ing a haunt­ing por­trait of the post-war 1920s glam­our, the tran­sience of love and the de­bil­i­tat­ing qual­ity of a he­do­nis­tic life­style, there are plenty of daz­zling par­ties cam­ou­flag­ing the pro­tag­o­nists’ hol­low lives. Re­flect­ing Fitzger­ald’s real-life volatile mar­riage to wife Zelda, this mod­ernist mus­tread is suf­fused with the yearn­ing for sim­pler love and in­no­cent times.

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