Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Book Review: Tender is the Night

Title: Tender is the Night
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Format: Audible, Kindle
Reading Dates: 1 Feb 2014 - 4 Apr 2014
Rating: **1/2

I hate it when I don't "get" classics. I read them. I understand the words, but I don't "get" them.

That's the way I felt with Tender is the Night.

The story starts in post-war France with Dick and Nicole Diver playing the Don and Betty roles from Mad Men. Terribly sophisticated, the toast of the town, but with a past. At a certain point there is "an episode" and the story then flashes back for awhile to explain how Dick and Nicole had arrived at that point in time. Without giving away too much of the story, it appears that Dick had rescued Nicole from a traumatic situation.

The present day story then continues as the Diver's marriage crumbles and Dick himself needs rescuing, but it's not to be. Nicole abandons him. (Well, so much for not giving away too much of the story.)

As I read this story I kept going back to the episode at the end of the first of the three parts. I don't understand how this incident caused Nicole to relapse. It seemed so random. The same thing is true of Dick's self-destruction in the last third of the book. What was that all about? You were so perfect, you two! Get over yourselves.

My verdict: I think I need more sympathy for people, but I really didn't like this book much at all.


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