As with previous Fitzgerald books, I generally go in knowing it will be a densely lyrical read that I will either find graciously charming or horrendously dull. In the case of this book, I'm afraid it may be the latter.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

This story follows Anthony Patch, a man living his life as lazily as possible. Waiting impatiently for his grandfather to die off and bequeath him his estate, Anthony spends his time socializing with friends. When he meets Gloria Gilbert, the cousin of one of his friends, he finds himself fancying her. On Gloria's part, she has spent much of her life flitting about and finds herself tolerating Anthony. After their fairly reckless marriage, the two find themselves swept up in the world of socializing, dancing, drinking, and general excess.

Being that this was one of Fitzgerald's earlier novels, it lacks some of the glitz and glam associated with his later works (ex. Gatsby) and instead writes of the time before the Roaring Twenties. A good chunk of this book focuses on Anthony's involvement in WWI, something that I haven't seen really touched on in the other Fitzgerald books I've read (maybe with the exception of This Side of Paradise). I thought that was a really interesting component to the plot and it gave a reprieve to the monotony of social life.

Plot-wise, there isn't a lot going on. I would say that this is a majorly character-driven novel, although I wasn't particular fans of either of the main characters. I found Anthony irritating and Gloria seemed to be a sort of proto-MPDG character - although to be fair, the same can be said for many of Fitzgerald's other female leads. The book is supposed to follow the rise and fall of the couple and I suppose it did, although, I would argue that I'm not sure they ever really had a rise, though there was definitely a fall.

In terms of writing, it was kind of all over the place. It's been a hot minute since I read one of his books but I remember them being particularly wordy. This book was certainly no exception. I remember, on more than one occasion, reading a sentence thinking, "Wow, this could have been said so much more easily with far fewer words." But that's kinda what you expect from a classic - especially Fitzgerald.

Overall, an okay read but definitely not my favourite from Fitzgerald.