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  • Paradise Lost

  • A Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • By: David S. Brown
  • Narrated by: David Colacci
  • Length: 15 hrs and 29 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Paradise Lost cover art

Paradise Lost

By: David S. Brown
Narrated by: David Colacci
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Summary

Pigeonholed in popular memory as a Jazz Age epicurean, a playboy, and an emblem of the Lost Generation, F. Scott Fitzgerald was at heart a moralist struck by the nation's shifting mood and manners after World War I. In Paradise Lost, David Brown contends that Fitzgerald's deepest allegiances were to a fading antebellum world he associated with his father's Chesapeake Bay roots. Yet as a midwesterner, an Irish Catholic, and a perpetually in-debt author, he felt like an outsider in the haute bourgeoisie haunts of Lake Forest, Princeton, and Hollywood - places that left an indelible mark on his worldview.

In this comprehensive biography, Brown reexamines Fitzgerald's childhood, first loves, and difficult marriage to Zelda Sayre. He looks at Fitzgerald's friendship with Hemingway, the golden years that culminated with Gatsby, and his increasing alcohol abuse and declining fortunes which coincided with Zelda's institutionalization and the nation's economic collapse. In doing so, he reveals Fitzgerald as a writer with an encompassing historical imagination not suggested by his reputation as "the chronicler of the Jazz Age." Fitzgerald wrote powerfully about change in America, Brown shows, because he saw it as the dominant theme in his own family history and life.

©2017 The President and Fellows of Harvard College (P)2017 Tantor

Critic reviews

"Carefully researched and a pleasure to read, Brown's persuasive, original account will entice Fitzgerald fans and cultural historians alike." ( Publishers Weekly, Starred Review)

What listeners say about Paradise Lost

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A long book for a short but eventful life

If you’re American and already a fan of his books then you’ll probably really enjoy this. I’m not either of those things and so I bought this to learn about the man but I struggled with it. I’m afraid that it was too long for me to care enough to get to the end.

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Amazing biography of an amazing person

I have listened to this many times and it is just perfect. Beautifully told story of fascinating and tragic life. If only Scott Fitzgerald could see how beloved he is today.

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A cut above

This rises above the usual recycling of the tired old stories A very nice reading

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