The French Riveria. A movie star. A couple in love who host the most marvelous parties. What could be better?
Fitzgerald anticipated that this novel would be his supreme achievement. I don't necessarily know how I feel about that, but I definitely enjoyed reading it. Watching Dick Diver steadily decline into alcoholism, with multiple affairs transpiring on both sides of a marriage, it would be easy to get bummed out by the tragedy. But the beauty of the language, the humanity of the characters, and the vividness of the setting, all come together to create something that has a certain spark of magic to it.
Much like Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises", this novel involves expatriates in Europe being social and exceptional. Their affluence and privilege is palpable to the reader. Yet, as not-relatable as that may be, there was something about these characters, DIck the ambitious psychiatrist, Rosemary the blossoming movie star, that made me want to care about them. In all, the novel was an enjoyable escape into a slice of reality other than that which I am accustomed to. Though the ending is by no means uplifting, the drama, and the powerhouse-level prose of Fitzgerald, are truly sights to behold.