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Beautiful Fools: The Last Affair of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald Paperback – Apr 29 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Paperback, Apr 29 2014
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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Books (April 29 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1468308807
  • ISBN-13: 978-1468308808
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #866,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


“If you’re looking for a Great Gatsby retelling with more substance than Baz Luhrmann’s latest, Beautiful Fools is it.”—Miami New Times 

"Beautiful Fools [is] F. Scott’s story as well as Zelda’s, and a Fitzgeraldian wistfulness prevails. This approach to the Fitzgeralds’ story is the most successful of the bunch…With its contained arc and energetic plotting, Beautiful Fools takes the focus off more familiar episodes in the couple’s history."—New Yorker.Com

“…In Spargo’s hands, the Fitzgeralds emerge as fully human, if crazed and ruined characters. . . .as they trade back and forth a valueless currency of hopes, promises and vows of loyalty. This is as far from the fantasy of DiCaprio’s “Gatsby” as an asylum in Baltimore is from the Riviera, but it’s the one version of the story that resists the temptation to glamorize Scott and Zelda out of their humanity.”—Washington Post

"Beautiful Fools is the work of a genuine literary talent...Spargo’s characters transcend reality and become rich and fictional, and the novel, in the form’s paradoxical brilliance (at its best, as often here) speaks truth through invention. Spargo’s Fitzgeralds come alive."—The Spectator

"Spargo's book is richly imagined, and paints a delightfully detailed portrait of Cuba of 1939. It's a positively delicious travelogue."—Chicago Tribune

"Beautiful Fools skillfully evokes Cuba at the end of the 1930s, redolent of the music and scents and tastes of the tropics. Beyond the customary tourist haunts, adventure and danger seem to lurk in every bar and cafe, along every road and deserted beachfront…Writing in third person, and alternating between Scott’s and Zelda’s perspectives, Spargo describes the imperfect communion of two troubled souls who can’t quite let go of their past or each other."—Boston Globe

Praise for the work of R. Clifton Spargo:

"Here is a writer possessing the greatest talent: that of fully inhabiting the lives of others. Spargo conjures up these two as no one has done before. Scott and Zelda become, in Spargo's remarkable novel, not people of history but of literature, and reminders of what we fight for, what we fail to win, and the beauty that abides between. A marvel of a book." --Andrew Sean Greer, author of The Story of a Marriage

"In a voice both intimate and expansive, tender and shrewd, R. Clifton Spargo manages to do the near impossible: craft a story worthy of his iconic subjects." --Holly Goddard Jones, author of The Next Time You See Me

"Spargo's voice is entirely his own and is capable of articulating certain ranges of experience only rarely now available to us.  At once we are in contemporary America and also in a timeless space of personal loss…His work seems to me marked for permanence." --Harold Bloom

"It takes a brave novelist to tackle Scott and Zelda, those mythic ghosts of the Jazz Age. Luckily, Spargo is more than just brave—Beautiful Fools is a vivid and revealing look at two charismatic, self-destructive people, and the love that sustained and ruined them. It's a real feat of historical imagination and novelistic empathy." —Tom Perotta, author of Election and Little Children

"Spargo writes with animation and fervor, a style conducive to the heat generated by his subjects." --Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

R. Clifton Spargo is an Arts Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He is a novelist and critic who writes the HI/LO, a blog on the interplay between high and low culture, for The Huffington Post. Creator of "The Stories We Tell," a testimonial writing workshop sponsored by The Voices and Faces Project, he has published stories, essays and reviews in The Kenyon Review, The Antioch Review, Glimmer Train, SOMA, Raritan, Commonweal, The Yale Review, New City and the Chicago Tribune, among other places. He lives in Iowa City, IA.

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August 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover

Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 34 reviews
Amelia Gremelspacher
4.0 out of 5 stars"..creating your wife and yourself in the image of what you might be, believing in youth as a promise."
May 9, 2013 - Published on Amazon.com
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9 people found this helpful.
The Reader
4.0 out of 5 starsF. Scott and Zelda, a truly remarkable and talented couple, whose lifestyle was their un-doing.
May 18, 2015 - Published on Amazon.com
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2 people found this helpful.
5.0 out of 5 starsmasterful
May 18, 2013 - Published on Amazon.com
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4 people found this helpful.
5.0 out of 5 starsBeautiful Fools is a Beautiful Book
May 14, 2013 - Published on Amazon.com
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7 people found this helpful.
Shawn Sudia-Skehan
2.0 out of 5 starsAlthough I am sure this book was thoroughly researched, ...
September 28, 2014 - Published on Amazon.com
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2 people found this helpful.

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