“the beautiful and damned” by f. scott fitzgerald

If there were ever a scathing indictment of privilege and indolence, it’s F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Beautiful and Damned. Fans of the more-famous and soon-to-be-Baz-Luhrmann film¬†The Great Gatsby¬†will no doubt recognize the precursor of Gatsby‘s Daisy in Damned‘s Gloria, who is as vain and mercurial as her audacious husband Anthony. Their marriage (and indeed much more) disintegrates in a delicious Jazz Age trainwreck that would make a good film if not so easily eclipsed by Fitzgerald’s subsequent novel. The first few chapters drag and feel a bit dated, but as soon as Gloria and Anthony’s love affair starts in earnest, it’s a pleasant descent into frustration and despair.