The Beautiful and the Damned

Cover image for


Published: 1922
Language: English
Wordcount: 124,046 / 373 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 54.2
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 22,684 2604

This book has caused an even greater sensation inAmerica than This Side of Paradise. It is a long, searching, and absolutely convincing study of degeneration, that degeneration which ruins so many of the rich, young, idle people. The "smart set" of New York is hurled into the limelight and mercilessly revealed. A witty, pungent, and entirely orginal book. An excellent portrayal of the Eastern elite at the beginning of the Jazz Age.

Show Excerpt

through the dining-room, which, as Anthony took only breakfast at home, was merely a magnificent potentiality, and down a comparatively long hall, one came to the heart and core of the apartment--Anthony's bedroom and bath.

Both of them were immense. Under the ceilings of the former even the great canopied bed seemed of only average size. On the floor an exotic rug of crimson velvet was soft as fleece on his bare feet. His bathroom, in contrast to the rather portentous character of his bedroom, was gay, bright, extremely habitable and even faintly facetious. Framed around the walls were photographs of four celebrated thespian beauties of the day: Julia Sanderson as "The Sunshine Girl," Ina Claire as "The Quaker Girl," Billie Burke as "The Mind-the-Paint Girl," and Hazel Dawn as "The Pink Lady." Between Billie Burke and Hazel Dawn hung a print representing a great stretch of snow presided over by a cold and formidable sun--this, claimed Anthony, symbolized the cold shower.

The bathtub, equipped w


Average Rating of 5 from 4 reviews: *****

A look back to a time when actions had consequences - even for the elite.

Iago Rules

I am kicking myself for not reading this book prior to this. The previous comments about Fitzgerald writing the story at age 26 and that it may mirror his and Zelda's life provide another layer to this story that is truly remarkable.

While the main characters are so self-absored (think Scarlet O'Hara), it's hard not follow this story to its conclusion. Its universal theme makes it easy to compare Anthony and Gloria with today's heiresses, young popstars, and general bad behavior of the idle rich. His writing allows me to see them not from the bottom looking up, but right in the eye with sadness that they may never see life as the true gift it is.


A marvellous book about some truly vile people!

I read somewhere that this book is based on the lives of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald: one must hope this was incorrect.
Anthony and Gloria are two of the most unpleasant characters in literature. This novel charts their demise in a surprisingly human way, taking no pleasure - as lesser authors might - at their downfall, painting a vivid picture of the last great boom period before the last great depression.

Mary Catherine

The story of the ruination of Anthony and Gloria Patch, a privileged, attractive young couple who squander their money playing and partying while waiting for Anthony's wealthy grandfather to die and leave them his fortune.

There is little to like about Anthony or Gloria, but Fitzgerald's prose is so well-written and his pen brings the characters to life. Their downward spiral is compulsively readable and heartbreaking at the same time.

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote this book when he was only 26 years old; his shrewd insight into the world in which he lived is breathtaking.

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