Tender Is The Night

Tender Is The Night

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by F S Fitzgerald

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New Penguin Essentials edition of the heartbreaking classic of the roaring twenties, Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald. 'I don't ask you to love me always like this, but I ask you to remember. Somewhere inside me there'll always be the person I am tonight.' American psychoanalyst Dick Diver and his wife Nicole live in a villa on the French Riviera,

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New Penguin Essentials edition of the heartbreaking classic of the roaring twenties, Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald. 'I don't ask you to love me always like this, but I ask you to remember. Somewhere inside me there'll always be the person I am tonight.' American psychoanalyst Dick Diver and his wife Nicole live in a villa on the French Riviera, surrounded by a circle of glamorous friends. When beautiful film star Rosemary Hoyt arrives she is drawn to the couple - Dick contemplates an affair, while Nicole believes she's found a new best friend. But a dark secret lies at the centre of the Divers' marriage. A secret which could destroy Dick and Nicole and those close to them . . .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
You can generally count on Naxos to produce superb audios of classics--but not this time. Trevor White gives a dull performance, though he handles conversation and dialogue better than straight narration and is not bad at accents. His emphases are stilted; he drops his voice at the ends of most sentences; and he reads every word so carefully he throws off the rhythms and phrasing, and thus the tone and meaning. A disappointing reading of Fitzgerald's last, most lyrical, most autobiographical novel. (Aug.)

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Penguin UK
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From Book 1 On the pleasant shore of the French Riviera, about half way between Marseilles and the Italian border, stands a large, proud, rose-colored hotel. Deferential palms cool its flushed facade, and before it stretches a short dazzling beach. Lately it has become a summer resort of notable and fashionable people; a decade ago it was almost deserted after its English clientele went north in April. Now, many bungalows cluster near it, but when this story, begins only the cupolas of a dozen old villas rotted like water lilies among the massed pines between Gausse's Hôtel des Étrangers and Cannes, five miles away.

The hotel and its bright tan prayer rug of a beach were one. In the early morning the distant image of Cannes, the pink and cream of old fortifications, the purple Alp that bounded Italy, were cast across the water and lay quavering in the ripples and rings sent up by sea-plants through the clear shallows. Before eight a man came down to the beach in a blue bathrobe and with much preliminary application to his person of the chilly water, and much grunting and loud breathing, floundered a minute in the sea. When he had gone, beach and bay were quiet for an hour. Merchantmen crawled westward on the horizon; bus boys shouted in the hotel court; the dew dried upon the pines. In another hour the horns of motors began to blow down from the winding road along the low range of the Maures, which separates the littoral from true Provencal France.

A mile from the sea, where pines give way to dusty poplars, is an isolated railroad stop, whence one June morning in 1925 a victoria brought a woman and her daughter down to Gausse's Hotel. The mother's face was of a fading prettiness that would soon be patted with broken veins; her expression was both tranquil and aware in a pleasant way. However, one's eye moved on quickly to her daughter, who had magic in her pink palms and her cheeks lit to a lovely flame, like the thrilling flush of children after their cold baths in the evening. Her fine forehead sloped gently up to where her hair, bordering it like an armorial shield, burst into lovelocks and waves and curlicues of ash blonde and gold. Her eyes were bright, big, clear, wet, and shining, the color of her cheeks was real, breaking close to the surface from the strong young pump of her heart. Her body hovered delicately on the last edge of childhood -- she was almost eighteen, nearly complete, but the dew was still on her.

As sea and sky appeared below them in a thin, hot line the mother said:

"Something tells me we're not going to like this place."

"I want to go home anyhow," the girl answered.

They both spoke cheerfully but were obviously without direction and bored by the fact -- moreover, just any direction would not do. They wanted high excitement, not from the necessity of stimulating jaded nerves but with the avidity of prize-winning schoolchildren who deserved their vacations.

"We'll stay three days and then go home. I'll wire right away for steamer tickets."

At the hotel the girl made the reservation in idiomatic but rather flat French, like something remembered. When they were installed on the ground floor she walked into the glare of the French windows and out a few steps onto the stone veranda that ran the length of the hotel. When she walked she carried herself like a ballet-dancer, not slumped down on her hips but held up in the small of her back. Out there the hot light clipped close her shadow and she retreated -- it was too bright to see. Fifty yards away the Mediterranean yielded up its pigments, moment by moment, to the brutal sunshine: below the balustrade a faded Buick cooked on the hotel drive.

Indeed, of all the region only the beach stirred with activity. Three British nannies sat knitting the slow pattern of Victorian England, the pattern of the forties, the sixties, and the eighties, into sweaters and socks, to the tune of gossip as formalized as incantation; closer to the sea a dozen persons kept house under striped umbrellas, while their dozen children pursued unintimidated fish through the shallows or lay naked and glistening with cocoanut oil out in the sun.

As Rosemary came onto the beach a boy of twelve ran past her and dashed into the sea with exultant cries. Feeling the impactive scrutiny of strange faces, she took off her bathrobe and followed. She floated face down for a few yards and finding it shallow staggered to her feet and plodded forward, dragging slim legs like weights against the resistance of the water. When it was about breast high, she glanced back toward shore: a bald man in a monocle and a pair of tights, his tufted chest thrown out, his brash navel sucked in, was regarding her attentively. As Rosemary returned the gaze the man dislodged the monocle, which went into hiding amid the facetious whiskers of his chest, and poured himself a glass of something from a bottle in his hand.

Rosemary laid her face on the water and swam a choppy little four-beat crawl out to the raft. The water reached up for her, pulled her down tenderly out of the heat, seeped in her hair and ran into the corners of her body. She turned round and round in it, embracing it, wallowing in it. Reaching the raft she was out of breath, but a tanned woman with very white teeth looked down at her, and Rosemary, suddenly conscious of the raw whiteness of her own body, turned on her back and drifted toward shore. The hairy man holding the bottle spoke to her as she came out.

"I say -- they have sharks out behind the raft." He was of indeterminate nationality, but spoke English with a slow Oxford drawl. "Yesterday they devoured two British sailors from the flotte at Golfe Juan."

"Heavens!" exclaimed Rosemary.

"They come in for the refuse from the flotte."

Glazing his eyes to indicate that he had only spoken in order to warn her, he minced off two steps and poured himself another drink.

Not unpleasantly self-conscious, since there had been a slight sway of attention toward her during this conversation, Rosemary looked for a place to sit. Obviously each family possessed the strip of sand immediately in front of its umbrella; besides there was much visiting and talking back and forth -- the atmosphere of a community upon which it would be presumptuous to intrude. Farther up, where the beach was strewn with pebbles and dead sea-weed, sat a group with flesh as white as her own. They lay under small hand-parasols instead of beach umbrellas and were obviously less indigenous to the place. Between the dark people and the light, Rosemary found room and spread out her peignoir on the sand.

Lying so, she first heard their voices and felt their feet skirt her body and their shapes pass between the sun and herself. The breath of an inquisitive dog blew warm and nervous on her neck; she could feel her skin broiling a little in the heat and hear the small exhausted wa-waa of the expiring waves. Presently her ear distinguished individual voices and she became aware that some one referred to scornfully as "that North guy" had kidnapped a waiter from a cafe in Cannes last night in order to saw him in two. The sponsor of the story was a white-haired woman in full evening dress, obviously a relic of the previous evening, for a tiara still clung to her head and a discouraged orchid expired from her shoulder. Rosemary, forming a vague antipathy to her and her companions, turned away.

Nearest her, on the other side, a young woman lay under a roof of umbrellas making out a list of things from a book open on the sand. Her bathing suit was pulled off her shoulders and her back, a ruddy, orange brown, set off by a string of creamy pearls, shone in the sun. Her face was hard and lovely and pitiful. Her eyes met Rosemary's but did not see her. Beyond her was a fine man in a jockey cap and red-striped tights; then the woman Rosemary had seen on the raft, and who looked back at her, seeing her; then a man with a long face and a golden, leonine head, with blue tights and no hat, talking very seriously to an unmistakably Latin young man in black tights, both of them picking at little pieces of seaweed in the sand. She thought they were mostly Americans, but something made them unlike the Americans she had known of late.

After a while she realized that the man in the jockey cap was giving a quiet little performance for this group; he moved gravely about with a rake, ostensibly removing gravel and meanwhile developing some esoteric burlesque held in suspension by his grave face. Its faintest ramification had become hilarious, until whatever he said released a burst of laughter. Even those who, like herself, were too far away to hear, sent out antennae of attention until the only person on the beach not caught up in it was the young woman with the string of pearls. Perhaps from modesty of possession she responded to each salvo of amusement by bending closer over her list.

The man of the monocle and bottle spoke suddenly out of the sky above Rosemary.

"You are a ripping swimmer."

She demurred.

"Jolly good. My name is Campion. Here is a lady who says she saw you in Sorrento last week and knows who you are and would so like to meet you."

Glancing around with concealed annoyance Rosemary saw the untanned people were waiting. Reluctantly she got up and went over to them.

"Mrs. Abrams -- Mrs. McKisco -- Mr. McKisco -- Mr. Dumphry --"

"We know who you are," spoke up the woman in evening dress. "You're Rosemary Hoyt and I recognized you in Sorrento and asked the hotel clerk and we all think you're perfectly marvellous and we want to know why you're not back in America making another marvellous moving picture."

They made a superfluous gesture of moving over for her. The woman who had recognized her was not a Jewess, despite her name. She was one of those elderly "good sports" preserved by an imperviousness to experience and a good digestion into another generation.

"We wanted to warn you about getting burned the first day," she continued cheerily, "because your skin is important, but there seems to be so darn much formality on this beach that we didn't know whether you'd mind."

Copyright © 1933, 1934 by Charles Scribner's Sons

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Tender Is the Night 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 70 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Prior to reading Tender Is the Night the only thing I had ever read by Fitzgerald was The Great Gatsby and I wasn't too crazy about that. Taking a chance with this one, I was well rewarded. This book was so sad, but compelling. I felt it was about the choices people make, how so many people do what they feel is the right thing, but it really isn't. I also found the atmospheric details of Americans in Europe during the 1920s to be rich and vivid. I found Rosemary to be an especially interesting character, and wondered what happened to her long after the novel ended. Dick was the saddest character, starting with so much promise and eventually fading away.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wasn't sure what to expect when I first started this book. I'd read The Great Gatsby, and loved Fitzgerald's prose, but wasn't sure what to anticipate with something else. But I was pleasantly surprised. Never failing, Fitzgerald manages to depict and enhance his characters and their interactions with details that most other authors are unable to capture. The story lays out the lives of wealthy American expatriates, focusing on the deterioration of a marriage between Dick and Nicole Diver. With Dick, we see a man once regarded for his genuine charm, care, and gregariousness. Yet entrenched in the superficiality of European life...being a doctor at a sanitarium bombarded with a spectrum of psychiatric patients...married to a woman with frequent nervous breakdowns...and lured on by the whimsical innocence of an American actress, once heartfelt outgoingness turns into bitterness and a tool Dick uses to deride others. Additionally, Nicole's fluctuation of emotion, inability to fit in because of it, and dissatisfaction with Dick's distancing himself, combine to ruin their marriage. This was one of the saddest, yet truest love stories I've read--being almost circumstantial that they ceased to love each other, and nothing of their own doing. I strongly recommend.
Aiowin More than 1 year ago
I was twelve when I read this, I was staying in Italy and was homesick, this book had me hanging on each word, amaing eve a thirteen year old could see that!
SilentClown22 More than 1 year ago
Ernest Hemingway, Fitzgerald's "frienemy", called this book a masterpiece. And he was right. Every word on every page of this book is utterly gorgeous. The plot, the characters, the dialogue, the setting in the Riviera, all of it breathtaking perfection. The first time I read it, I could not put it down for two straight days. It was just that good. Bless you, Mr. Fitzgerald, wherever you are, for giving us this work of art.
Elizabeth_Anderson More than 1 year ago
While Fitzgerald proved his genius with The Great Gatsby, I might not so readily attribute that much to this somewhat autobiographical story about people mostly abroad in Europe. I found it hard to like the characters in the story, and things don’t all resolve substantially at once like in The Great Gatsby. The narrative style is what kept me reading this book to the end. Also, there are enough other characters who pop up in the story to keep things lukewarm interesting. A product I would recommend is Sirens of Morning Light by Benjamin Anderson, a quest for a man in Iowa to regain his identity, which becomes entangled with people who claim to have known him when he discovers he is a scientific experiment. I believe the characters make sense in following through for what seems to be their rights.
Bookworm95AO More than 1 year ago
It's one of those books that is about nothing, yet about everything. A good read, and hard to put down.
basiaaa More than 1 year ago
I don't think I've ever read anything that was written quite like this novel. The language is exquisite, each sentence like a glorious shiny unique gem.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This romance novel is about multiple relationships mingling together. Rosemary first meets Dick Diver and instantly falls in love with him. The one problem is that Dick is married to Nicole. However, does Dick really love Nicole enough to stay with her, or is the beautiful Rosemary the one he loves? This novel is filled with interesting twists and turns on love. F. Scott Fitzgerald had a wonderful plot in this novel. He did an excellent job of showing his readers that money can lead to power, and all of that combined can destroy a wonderful person. This novel was wonderful, but the style in which he used was not my favorite. I have never read any of his other books and could not compare them, but if the style of his others were this horrible, then I would probably dislike them as I did this one. I did not like how he wrote the book in different time periods. He had his first book (the beginning) in present time, the second book (the middle) took place a few years before the first book, and then the third book (the end) took place a few years after the first. It was really hard to follow, but overall the story line was good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked this book. The way everything was so detailed made it easier to visualize everything that was going on. Though you really had to be into it and paying attention or else you were completely lost. I also liked the short chapters, though they were packed with thrills and adventures. The French in the book would have been cool but I don't know any French so I hopped over it and continued reading and it never hindered my understanding of the book. What turned me on to this book was F. Scott's writing style, he is so photogenic in his writing style and telling of the setting make you feel like you are right there when tragedy sticks or when two characters fall in love. Also if you love the French country side or just like reading about it you will like this book. All in all I think if you like analyzing and doing some deep sea reading that you will love Tender is the Night. And tell your friends.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Tender is the Night' is a very good book. I like Fitzgerald's style of writing and I also like how it is set in the 1920's. All of his character's were well-built and upon reading the book I felt as if I personally knew each one. This book is one of my favorites of Fitzgerald's. The only thing that I didn't like about it were the French words because I don't speak French. The rest of the book, however, was very good and an excellent read for fans of Fitzgerald.
Anonymous 11 months ago
This was a compelling story about a complex, toxic couple who can never seem to live each other or without. Not Fitzgerald's best work but still a classic and worth the read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
deviant_obscenity More than 1 year ago
Such a sad story but I couldn't put it down once I started it
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Catherine-E-Chapman More than 1 year ago
Hidden Depths I've been intending to read this book for a long time, having a memory of what was probably a 1980s BBC TV adaptation of it and having seen a play about the life of Zelda Fitzgerald on the Edinburgh Fringe in the '90s. Finally I got around to it... It's impossible for me to comment meaningfully on 'Tender is the Night' without giving away the plot. Obviously it's a very well-written, literary work but about half-way through I had issues with the respect in which the narrative feels very much like masculine self-indulgence, what with Rosemary's abiding obsession with Dick and the incest that we are informed to have been the root of Nicole's mental disturbance being glossed over so glibly. However, my feelings changed later on. I think the truly great human observation that Fitzgerald makes in this book is that when Dick & Rosemary's relationship is finally consummated, the mutual attraction is instantly killed off and the incident spells the beginning of the personal and professional demise of Dick. Furthermore, the facts that the novel ends with Nicole herself straying into an adulterous relationship and a final shift towards a focus on her feelings about her marriage to Dick and her own life and identity, redeemed the story from being one seemingly intended to bolster male egos. It's easy to lose sight of just how long ago 'Tender is the Night' was written because it tackles the question of the viability of monogamy in such a head-on, modern way. So I would recommend it, not only as a literary work of beauty that evokes the long-lost 'Jazz Age' but also and moreover as a book that examines the fundamental and perpetuating question of the nature of romantic love and the value we place upon it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The beginning of this book was very interesting. I found the characters likable. My opinion of the book changed around page two hundred. The book got very dark and sad, on top of that it was no longer told by the same charcter. By the end of the book...and by end i mean the last 20 pages i had come to love it once more. It is the type of book that you have to push yourself to finish. I would recommend it, but be warned; it is a very long book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The rise of one leads to the fall of the other. A little depressing .
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i love to read f.Scott books, thanks for this collection
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