BN.com Gift Guide

Beautiful Fools: The Last Affair of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald

( 6 )

Overview

In this evocative and meticulously detailed novel about the last romance of one of America's greatest literary couples, R. Clifton Spargo crafts an exhilarating portrait of the passionate yet tragically dysfunctional relationship between F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.

In 1939 Scott is living in Hollywood, a virulent alcoholic and deeply in debt. Despite his relationship with gossip columnist Sheila Graham, he remains fiercely loyal to Zelda, his soul mate and muse. In an attempt...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (33) from $1.99   
  • New (14) from $1.99   
  • Used (19) from $1.99   
Beautiful Fools: The Last Affair of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.99
BN.com price

Overview

In this evocative and meticulously detailed novel about the last romance of one of America's greatest literary couples, R. Clifton Spargo crafts an exhilarating portrait of the passionate yet tragically dysfunctional relationship between F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.

In 1939 Scott is living in Hollywood, a virulent alcoholic and deeply in debt. Despite his relationship with gossip columnist Sheila Graham, he remains fiercely loyal to Zelda, his soul mate and muse. In an attempt to fuse together their fractured marriage, Scott arranges a trip to Cuba, where, after a disastrous first night in Havana, the couple runs off to a beach resort outside the city. But even in paradise, Scott and Zelda cannot escape the dangerous intensity of their relationship.

In Beautiful Fools, R. Clifton Spargo gives us a vivid, resplendent, and truly human portrait of the Fitzgeralds, and reveals the heartbreaking patterns and unexpected moments of tenderness that characterize a great romance in decline.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post - Joanna Scutts
In Spargo's hands, the Fitzgeralds emerge as fully human, if crazed and ruined characters…There's no remnant of glamour in this final vacation, only the end of love, as they trade back and forth a valueless currency of hopes, promises and vows of loyalty…[Beautiful Fools] resists the temptation to glamorize Scott and Zelda out of their humanity.
Kirkus Reviews
Yet another addition to the spate of novels about Scott and Zelda, this one concentrating less on the toxic and more on the loving side of their relationship. Spargo has an unconventional take on the Fitzgeralds here. Except for a brief introduction set in 1932, when Zelda is first hospitalized for schizophrenia, the novel takes place in April of 1939, on their extended vacation to Cuba. "Vacation" is, however, a circumlocution, for two personalities as intense and brittle as Scott and Zelda can't ever be said to kick back, relax and temporarily forget about their "normal" lives, for there is no normal. Scott is deep into (and taking a break from) his illicit affair with Sheilah Graham, and Zelda is between hospitalizations, hoping for some kind of therapeutic epiphany with Scott. In Havana, Scott quickly finds a simpatico drinking buddy in the form of the darkly charismatic Matéo Cardoña, though Zelda is less impressed and worried about his influence over Scott. After a tragic knife fight in a bar, Cardoña tries to cover for Scott and Zelda, who have witnessed the event, for he wishes both to protect and to assert greater power over them. Cardoña is less than pleased when the Fitzgeralds take off for a resort away from Havana and develop a friendship with a newly married couple: Spaniard Aurelio, wounded in the Spanish Civil War, and his French wife, Maryvonne. Their friendship quickly develops an almost erotic quality, as Maryvonne is both flirtatious and seductive with Scott, but Zelda begins to come undone when they visit a Cuban fortuneteller who hints that Scott has been unfaithful to Zelda--and Zelda takes the seer at her word, pressing Scott for details. Spargo writes with animation and fervor, a style conducive to the heat generated by his subjects.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781468304923
  • Publisher: Overlook Hardcover
  • Publication date: 5/2/2013
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 795,016
  • Product dimensions: 5.84 (w) x 8.22 (h) x 1.23 (d)

Meet the Author

R. Clifton Spargo is an Arts Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He is a novelist and critic who writes the HI/LO, a blog on the interplay between high and low culture, for The Huffington Post. Creator of "The Stories We Tell," a testimonial writing workshop sponsored by The Voices and Faces Project, he has published stories, essays and reviews in The Kenyon Review, The Antioch Review, Glimmer Train, SOMA, Raritan, Commonweal, The Yale Review, New City and the Chicago Tribune, among other places. He lives in Iowa City, IA.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2013

    Highly Recommended-you must check it out!

    Great book by a great author!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 3, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Beautiful Fools is a poignant, heartwrenching, and tender portra

    Beautiful Fools is a poignant, heartwrenching, and tender portrayal of a couple who desperately try to hang on to a doomed love. Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald had risen to great heights, but the Great Depression and drink and mental illness have taken their toll upon their lives and their marriage. So, in 1939, Fitzgerald leaves his mistress and scrapes up enough money to take Zelda out of the mental institution for a vacation in Cuba. This novel spans those precious dwindling few days. 




    Spargo's portrayal of this famous husband and wife is beautifully rendered depicting Zelda's love for her husband and her attempt to keep any bitterness against him for past faults like not taking her dancing seriously and for writing abouther. Scott on the other hand, struggles to keep his drinking at bay for his wife's sake, his reckless behavior, his lies, his secrets. 




    This character driven story is a beautiful rendition of their lives, of lost love, of dying dreams, of the struggle to let go of the past. The author has given us an indepth look at the secrets and failures of this very fascinating couple.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2013

    R. Clifton Spargo¿s Beautiful Fools is brilliant work...one of t

    R. Clifton Spargo’s Beautiful Fools is brilliant work...one of those novels that I could visualize as I read along and one that I did not want
    to end. Paragraphs that sometimes demanded re-reading because of their intensity and depth. An identification on my part that will not
     soon be shaken because I can still feel Zelda & Scott's desperation and humanity. And chaos. Beautiful and masterful work, really.
    With an intellectual style of writing that challenges the reader to discard the illusion of catharsis grounded in Aristotelian homogeneity,
    Spargo masterfully depicts the non-cohesive and dissonant reality of the Fitzgeralds.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2013

    Beautiful Fools is a compelling fictional novel about real peopl

    Beautiful Fools is a compelling fictional novel about real people - in this case, F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda - and chronicles their trip to Cuba in what proves to be the last time they see each other before his death. For me, the book stirred a range of emotions - from being totally angry at the ridiculous behavior of the fools, to sorrow that they just can't seem to overcome their own demons. In the end, I'm still unsure of whether a "good" marriage can be one where the pair seem more obligated to "love" than freely giving - but certainly this novel has given me a subject that I'll ponder for some time to come. I LOVE a book that makes me question something that I think I already have an answer to. In the midst of so many tales on our bookshelves that overly romanticize tumultuous relationships, Spargo offers a refreshing alternative. Superbly written, thoroughly enjoyed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2013

    Beautiful Fools by R Clifton Spargo paints a vivid portrait of


    Beautiful Fools by R Clifton Spargo paints a vivid portrait of the time, place and characters in this courageous work of historical fiction. I felt as though I was transported to Cuba and into the fascinating psyches of both Scott and Zelda. A lot to take on for both author and reader - fortunately the story is so captivating and exciting, you won't be able to put it down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2013

    I loved this book. Gorgeously written, deeply emotional, a fabul

    I loved this book. Gorgeously written, deeply emotional, a fabulous understanding/imagining of a complicated and fascinating relationship. My comparison would be to "Alabama Song" by Gilles Leroy.

    "Alabama Song" was written from the POV of Zelda, using the facts of her life to create a very probable fiction.

    I think BEAUTIFUL FOOLS does the same. It is a beautiful and sensual fiction story of Scott and Zelda, imagined at a point in their lives when their self-destructive paths could no longer be altered. Spargo seems to have slipped under the skin of both Zelda and Scott and come very close to describing their real joy as well as their pain. The book paints a rare sensibility of both of their futures and the battle they wage for their bodies as well as their souls.

    He does a wonderful job of mixing elements of fact/biography and imagination. Kudos to the author!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)