Written By: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Narrated By: William Dufris

Date: July 2011

Duration: 13 hours 4 minutes


Set in the heady Jazz Age of New York, The Beautiful and Damned chronicles the relationship between Anthony Patch, a Harvard-educated aspiring aesthete, and his beautiful trophy wife, Gloria, as they wait to inherit his grandfather's fortune. Anticipating easy millions, they embrace the glittering, hedonistic lifestyle of the pretentious nouveaux riches but find that they are living a dream that is all too fleeting.
A devastating satire of reckless ambition and squandered talent, Fitzgerald's novel is also a shattering portrait of a marriage wasted by alcohol and wealth. It depicts an America embarked on the greatest spree in its history, a world Fitzgerald embraced even as he attacked its false social values and shallow literary tastes. Lyrical, romantic, yet cruelly incisive, it signaled a new stage in Fitzgerald's career.


  • Nancy L

    ...even if their money is somewhere out of reach. Fitzgerald may have said "it's all true," but he himself would work at anything in his early days---not like Anthony, for whom no job was good enough, or Gloria, who would only have accepted a film career handed her on a platter. Reading (or hearing) about people who had all the advantages turning to drink and descending into (horrors!) a middle-class existence is painful, and Fitzgerald makes it real. It also gets tiresome. Where do they get it? The characters have no empathy for anyone else. Gloria reads magazines all day---some aristocrat! Oh, the ending! Not quite a crib from Bleak House, because the money hasn't vanished, but close enough. William Dufris does a fantastic job at all the voices---women's voices, drunken voices, exhausted-sounding intellectual voices, everything.

  • Anonymous

    Well, I personally liked This Side of Paradise better. The story here was both to convoluted and two dull to make for particularly good listening. Fitzgerald does odd things like a random chapter in the middle narrated by Love, which come off as a little strange and hard to grasp. Perhaps it's better as a book, but as a CD I couldn't really get through it. His other works are better.

  • Anonymous

    I have read most of Fitzgerald's works, and I couldn't make it through the first disc of this one. There were interesting moments, and I tried to give it a chance, but it was slow and pointless, and I couldn't stand the narrator. It was all so self indulgent and tedious.

  • Andrew McIntyre

    Overall, this book is a good read by a 20th Century American literary icon. The psychological and philosophical themes are profound, the story is compelling, and the characters are well developed. The narrator is a fine reader and actor, although I think his female voices sound more like children. The moving of the plot is, perhaps purposely, rather like the overall theme and commentary on the meaning of life--tired, boring, uneventful, moved along with the wind. Some themes seem open ended. Nevertheless, Fitzgerald's outstanding story telling skill keeps one's attention throughout.

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