F. Scott Fitzgerald supposedly based Tender is the Night on his relationship with his wife, Zelda Fitzgerald. I was not impressed by the shallow characters in this story or by Fitzgerald’s morals in abusing his wife’s trust and privacy by fictionalising her life for his own gain.
I very rarely DNF novels, particularly when I’m reading a book for The Classics Club but I was bored with this story long before the main character, Dick Diver became infatuated with a pretty but insubstantial young film star in Book One.
When the author described Dick’s wife Nicole’s abuse at the hands of her father and her subsequent mental health issues at the beginning of Book Two, I decided I’d had enough.
I’ve struggled to appreciate Jazz Age stories previously but I found this book to be particularly irritating. The characters lived trivial, meaningless lives and I just couldn’t see past my dislike of them to find anything of value or beauty in this book. Plus, I couldn’t forgive F. Scott Fitzgerald for exploiting his wife’s tragedy to further his own career. I think I’m done with him and his books.
Tender is the Night was book thirty seven in my Classics Club challenge to read 50 classics before my challenge end date of August 26, 2023.