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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 ...
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.
Posted June 7, 2013
Posted July 26, 2013
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.
Posted July 19, 2013
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 NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 18, 2013
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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.
Posted June 29, 2013
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!