The Beautiful and Damned, first published by Scribner's in 1922, is F. Scott Fitzgerald's second novel.
It tells the story of Anthony Patch (a 1920s socialite and presumptive heir to a tycoon's fortune), his relationship with his wife Gloria, his service in the army, and alcoholism. The novel provides an excellent portrait of the Eastern elite as the Jazz Age begins its ascent, engulfing all classes into what would soon be known as Café Society. As with all of his other novels, it is a brilliant character study and is also an early account of the complexities of marriage and intimacy that were further explored in Tender Is the Night. The book is believed to be largely based on Fitzgerald's relationship and marriage with Zelda Fitzgerald.
Toward the end of the novel, Fitzgerald references himself via a character who is a novelist:
"You know these new novels make me tired. My God! Everywhere I go some silly girl asks me if I've read 'This Side of Paradise.' Are our girls really like that? If it's true to life, which I don't believe, the next generation is going to the dogs. I'm sick of all this shoddy realism."
A 1922 film adaptation, directed by William A. Seiter, starred Kenneth Harlan as Anthony Patch and Marie Prevost as Gloria. In 2004, the book lent its title to a musical based on the Fitzgeralds' marriage. A modern adaptation of the novel has been made recently by Australian filmmaker Richard Wolstencroft starring Ross Ditcham and Kristen Condon. It is due for release in Australia in 2010 after playing at the F.Scott Fitzgerald conference in Baltimore, October 2009. (wikipedia.org)