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As the tragic story unfolds; Gatsby's destructive dreams and passions are revealed; leading to disturbing consequences. A brilliant evocation of 1920s high society; The Great Gatsby peels away the layers of this glamorous world to display the coldness and cruelty at its heart.'There was music from my neighbour's house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.'Everybody who is anybody is seen at the glittering parties held in millionaire Jay Gatsby's mansion in West Egg; east of New York. The riotous throng congregates in his sumptuous garden; coolly debating Gatsby's origins and mysterious past. None of the frivolous socialites understands him and among various rumours is the conviction that 'he killed a man'. A detached onlooker; Gatsby is oblivious to the speculation he creates; but always seems to be watching and waiting; though no one knows what for.Biographical noteF. Scott Fitzgerald was born in 1896 in St Paul; Minnesota; and went to Princeton University; which he left in 1917 to join the army. He was said to have epitomized the Jazz Age; which he himself defined as 'a generation grown up to find all Gods dead; all wars fought; all faiths in man shaken'. In 1920 he married Zelda Sayre. Their traumatic marriage and her subsequent breakdowns became the leading influence on his writing. Among his publications were five novels; This Side of Paradise; The Great Gatsby; The Beautiful and the Damned; Tender is the Night and The Last Tycoon (his last and unfinished work); six volumes of short stories and The Crack Up; a selection of autobiographical pieces. Fitzgerald died suddenly in 1940. After his death The New York Times said of him that 'He was better than he knew; for in fact and in the literary sense he invented a 'generation'. . . he might have interpreted and even guided them; as in their midle years they saw a different and nobler freedom threatened with destruction.'
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F. Scott Fitzgerald's last completed novel; ''Tender is the Night'' is edited by Arnold Goldman with an introduction and notes by Richard Godden in ''Penguin Modern Classics''. Between the First World War and the Wall Street Crash the French Riviera was...