Review “Tender Is The Night” by F.Scott Fitzgerald [CC]


How am I supposed to say the words “Dick
Diver” in this review without laughing? Hello everyone and, as you can see by the
title of this video I’m going to be talking about Tender is the night by F.Scott Fitzgerald. Anyone who knows me well will know that The Great Gatsby is
one of my all-time favourite books. It’s literally in my top three. I’ve read that book
so many times and I wanted to delve into F.Scott Fitzgerald’s other books because
his writing is so beautiful and this book was the one that received the most
mixed and negative reviews when it was first published and that was the reason
why Fitzgerald never finished another book.
This is the last novel that he ever wrote to completion. It was also
published nine years after he wrote The Great Gatsby which probably plays into a
bit why the critics maybe didn’t like it as much because the Great Gatsby is a
masterpiece, let’s be honest. This video is going to be split into non-spoiler
and spoiler sections and I will state when the spoilers are coming, so if you
haven’t read it and want to read it you can pause the video, save it, whatever and
then come back when you’re finished reading the book. Dick and Nicole Diver
are a wealthy American couple on holiday in the French Riviera. They meet an 18
year old upcoming film star called Rosemary Hoyt. Dick and Rosemary have a
bit of a fling and Nicole knows about it. So their marriage is affected by that
and, as a reader, you start to see the cracks emerge in what is a fragile
marriage. This edition of this book, which is the Alma classics, is split into three
books because that was how it was published at the time. The first part is
more about Dick and Rosemary meeting and the kind of affair that they have
and how that comes to be. Book two is a flashback to how Dick met Nicole and the
process of them getting together. It also then flips back to present day. And then
Book three, again, is in present day. I’m sorry I’m being cryptic.
If I tell you more of the details about the latter two books in this edition
then it’ll just ruin the story for you. I’m still not fully sure whether I
enjoyed this or not and when I feel that way with a book, it tends to get a three
out of five stars for me which this one did. Again, I can only really talk about
that in the spoilery section. Fitzgerald just writes so elegantly and so
beautifully. I am just in love with the way he strings words together.
Fitzgerald, if you didn’t know, was obsessed with the Jazz Age and the whole
idea of the American dream. So it’s kind of oddly fitting that he ended up dying
from alcoholism. A weird way to end this section but that’s it for the non
spoilers. Bye Non-spoilery people, bye. I didn’t really like the flashback
of how Dick met Nicole and the whole backstory of his life and what led him
to that moment because there was just so momentum in the section where Dick and
Rosemary meet, that to then switch all the way back to before Dick had met
his current wife, it just felt like it brought the story to a complete
standstill. Also it was incredibly long-winded which really put me off
reading it. It became more of a chore reading that section than the enjoyment
that the start of it gave me. It was interesting how Nicole was actually a
mental patient at the place where Dick worked and seeing how their relationship
went from a professional one to a romantic one. But it was just so
long-winded it didn’t need to be that long at all. Rosemary Hoyt, to me, was
the most interesting character out of everyone you’re introduced to in this
book and she’s hardly in it. The blurb makes out that Rosemary is the sole
reason why their marriage falls apart. But really it goes that far back to
before they met. She was just more kind of the tipping
point than anything. You get so much of her narrative and what she’s feeling
about this man that she’s met on the beach and how she knows it’s wrong but
at the same time she’s young and she wants it anyway. But like I said, she’s
hardly in the book. She’s there at the start then you have the whole backstory
of how Dick and Nicole get together: They meet again, about five years after that
first event, in a very brief passing where they do the sexy and then return
to their normal lives and then she appears right at the end of the book
again. So she just wasn’t involved as much as I expected her to be and would
have liked. What really shocked me was Nicole’s affair with Tommy. They’re just
as bad as each other! You can’t get mad at your husband for having an affair with
an 18 year old, and then go and do the same. But this marriage, it seems, was
always a mess because after Nicole got better, Dick still saw her as ill and was
kind of always expecting that she may go off the rails again. Everything that he
did career-wise was essentially paid for by Nicole and her family because they
had so much money. He sets up a clinic in Switzerland, I believe, and the funding
for that comes from Nicole’s parents. So, as a man in the 1920s, that’s probably
gonna have a bit of an effect on your ego isn’t it? The ending just felt like
the right ending for this book. I was really satisfied with it.
By this point, Nicole already knew about Dick and Rosemary and now Dick knows
about Nicole and Tommy. So Tommy, Nicole and Dick sit down and have an adult
conversation. It’s not often that you see that when an affair happens in a
marriage. They sat down like adults and just talked about it. It was all very
blunt and very brutal, but it was just so honest. Tommy sits there and goes: “She doesn’t love you anymore. She loves
me.” Nicole’s like: “yeah that’s true.” Going back to what I said earlier, the
most prevalent line in this conversation that Tommy actually says is: “you
treat her always like a patient because she was once sick” which is so true. What
made me really feel for Nicole, and was the only time that I really cared about her
at all as a character in this book, was when she says: “you don’t care for me
anymore. It’s just habit. Things were never the same after Rosemary” which
shows how much of a routine you get into when you’re married and how it’s easier
to stay in the marriage and pretend to have those same ideals and care the same
way for a person just because it’s convenient more than anything. And also
what would happen to all that funding and money that he’s got for his clinics,
and all of that, if he did break up with her? We never really learn what happens
because they all go their separate ways. In the last chapter we find out that
Nicole is married, she’s happy. Whereas Dick has been moving around a
lot from place to place and the last line of the book is: “in any case he is
almost certainly in that section of the country, in one town or another.” I just
love that ending because it’s so ambiguous. But a good kind of ambiguous.
It’s nice that we don’t know what happens. But at least we know that they
solved their issues in a mature and adult way and neither of them are really
bitter about it because they don’t talk anywhere as near as they did when they
were married obviously. But they do still talk occasionally and that’s kind of
nice. And the fact that you never really know what happens after just felt like
the right ending for this book and I just really loved that last line as well.
Let me know what you thought about the characters. If you’ve read this book who was
your favourite? who was your least favourite? And I will be back for another
video soon. Bye!

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