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Extended Audio Sample The Beautiful and the Damned Audiobook, by F. Scott Fitzgerald Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.33 out of 53.33 out of 53.33 out of 53.33 out of 53.33 out of 5 3.33 (51 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald Narrator: Don Hagen Publisher: Gildan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2010 ISBN: 9781596596702
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F. Scott Fitzgerald's second novel is a cautionary tale of reckless ambition and squandered talent set amid the glitter of Jazz-Age New York.

The novel tells the story of Anthony Patch (a 1920s socialite and presumptive heir to a tycoon's fortune), the relationship with his wife Gloria, his service in the army, and alcoholism.

At once a morality tale, a meditation on love, money and decadence, and a social document, the novel provides an excellent portrait of the Eastern elite as the Jazz Age begins its ascent, engulfing all classes into what will soon be known as Café Society. As with his other novels, it is a brilliant character study and an early account of the complexities of marriage and intimacy, believed to be largely based on Fitzgerald's relationship and marriage with Zelda Fitzgerald.
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Quotes & Awards

  • “The Jazz Age chronicler’s first great novel.” 

    Times (London)

  • “No one has written more elegiacally about America than F. Scott Fitzgerald.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “If Francis Scott Fitzgerald had not existed, it would have been necessary to invent him.” 

    Sunday Times (London)

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ruthie | 2/1/2014

    " First book I read on the Kindle, not sure if that made it feel longer, but this book was a slow, often dull read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Aunnalea | 1/4/2014

    " I picked this up because I remember liking the Great Gatsby in high school. Ugh. I didn't care about a single one of these characters until the end. I had to force myself to finish reading it, although the last line was mildly redeeming. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brittany Nelson | 12/22/2013

    " I always start this book and never finish it, this time I'm finishing it dammit! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Colleen | 12/18/2013

    " Oh this book - Fitzgerald's writing style is so easy to get into, it fits like a glove - everyone experiences that with Gatsby, the way the book kind of slips on you and every sentence reads well and you feel a part of the time the book captures. This book does that too, and the characters grab your attention just the same - my only problem lies with the story, I guess. I just couldn't enjoy reading about Anythony Patch because his view on life is so awful, and I wanted it to change throughout the whole novel. He is the epitome of those who expect things handed to them, and that is so not me it made me want to scream at times. You get the feeling we are supposed to be half-rooting for him, but often I simply felt sorry for Gloria Gilbert, and exasperated at why Anthony Patch should be the way he is. I think Fitzgerald really tried to say something with this novel - about society, about life, about values - but man, the characters he chose to get that across are not as likeable as I wanted them to be. It made me miss Nick from Gatsby, or even Gatsby himself. There was an aloofness about Gatsby that just wasn't there with Anthony, and surprisingly I think that's what was missing for me. Anthony Patch as a character just aggravated me a lot. Still, I enjoyed this book immensely. My issues with the main character aside I think it's important to note there are two main characters of this novel: anthony and gloria, and gloria is awesome. She's just interesting to read and embodies the time period well. The book did a good job of showing the ups and downs of the first few years of a first marriage, and I think it did so well as to be uncomfortable at times. Sometimes I let the characters' feelings intrude upon me and my own mood, and that just shows how powerful a writer Fitzgerald is. I would recommend this to anyone interested in the time period, or good writing. A book that will make you think and feel, for sure. If you're like me you'll spend a good deal of time just re-reading sentences for their unbelievable craft. Fitzgerald really is great. Overall, definitely a good book. Definitely worth the read :D "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Abby Warren | 12/13/2013

    " And they were...beautiful and damned. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Taylor | 12/13/2013

    " The characters are wild. It was depressing & crazy. But I enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica Jang | 12/7/2013

    " interesting point of view from lazy, spoiled people :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Toby | 12/7/2013

    " I should read this again; I remember being quite fond of it, as I am everything Fitzgerald wrote. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jolene | 11/25/2013

    " My favorite Fitzgerald book - it is a classic display of decadence meeting demise... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matthew Murray | 11/5/2013

    " It's like reading a train wreck and you can't put it down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben Lichti | 9/30/2013

    " Not Fitzgerald's best story but I always love his writing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Salvatore | 5/12/2013

    " Kind of epic as a fall (and rise?). Better than I recalled it to be. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy Bielski | 2/15/2013

    " This is my favorite of Fitzgerald's. GREAT story, great characters, excellent representation of the era. I think this book is severely under-rated. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Natalie | 2/20/2012

    " I started reading this book years ago and just finished it. Not because I didn't like it, I just forgot about it for a while. I love F. Scott Fitzgerald's books and characters. This book is beautiful to read, but his story, as usual, is sad. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wando Wande | 9/18/2011

    " Beautiful prose. Unsympathetic characters. Interesting conversations. Need I say beautiful prose again. It was the writing that kept me going through the book. And I'd read it again for the writing. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Stan | 8/28/2011

    " I didn't enjoy it and eventually gave up about half way through. It was just boring. I should have known when the introduction said it wasn't a good book - they were right! I guess he got better later in his career. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christopher | 8/15/2011

    " Although the book is a little slow in spots, it marks an important check point for one of the 20th centuries' most skilled writers. Also interesting is the amount of prophesy that the book holds for Fitzgerald's own life. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jose-rodrigo Hernandez | 7/8/2011

    " terrible story, characters were spoiled and I hated them close to every step of the way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 5/11/2011

    " I LOVE Fitzgerald's writing style...every word of it seems so beautiful. The story dragged and seemed a bit pointless at times. I got really interested about 100 pages in...and then it slowed down again. Still, worth it for Fitzgerald's style. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Holly | 5/3/2011

    " No likable or redeemable characters at all "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Shelley | 4/23/2011

    " I'm not a fan of pre-War American social commentaries, and I found this one exceptionally tedious. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lindsey | 4/21/2011

    " This might be my favorite book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary | 3/31/2011

    " Fitzgerald is one of the greatest writers to have ever lived, and I love and admire all of his books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 3/24/2011

    " It's not the best Fitzgerald book I've read, but it's pretty damn amazing. It's so raw, so real. You feel sympathy through each character during Anthony's alcoholism and the imperfections between Gloria and Anthony's relationship. The novel has such beautiful diction. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Stephanie | 3/23/2011

    " Could NOT stand Anthony to save my life. The. End. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennell | 3/22/2011

    " I hated all of these people. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelli | 3/21/2011

    " I love Fitzgerald because your'e basically reading smut cleverly disguised as a classic :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cheryl | 3/19/2011

    " This is my favorite of all Fitzgerald books. It is, in my opinion, his best. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nate | 3/14/2011

    " Has some great prose and foreshadowing of his impeccable style... But ultimately was uninspired. The characters were tiresome and unsympathetic, and the jarring book changes did nothing for the flow or development of the characters. "

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About the Author
Author F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940) was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, and educated at Princeton, where he was a leader in theatrical and literary activities. He began writing his first novel, This Side of Paradise, while serving in the army. Its publication in 1920 established him as the spokesman for the Jazz Age. His major novels include The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby, and Tender Is the Night.

About the Narrator

Don Hagen has been behind the microphone since fifth grade. He is a nine-time winner of the Peer Award for narration/voice-over and twice winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award. He has also been heard in radio and television commercials and documentaries. In addition to his freelance voice work, he is a member of the audiobook narration team at the Library of Congress.