thirty-two.

Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1934)

“‘ When one writes on psychiatry, one should have actual clinical contacts. Jung writes, Beuler writes, Freud writes, Forel writes, Adler writes – also they are in constant contact with mental disorder.’ 
‘Dick has me,’ laughed Nicole. ‘I should think that’d be enough mental disorder for one man.'”

Dick Diver is an American psychiatrist working in Switzerland where he meets a charming young rich American patient, Nicole Warner. Baby, Nicole’s sister, suggests that a doctor should marry Nicole so she would always have help. Dick then decides to marry Nicole, and they go to the French riviera to live. They live splendidly, with drunken parties and amazing friends. One of the people they meet, is Rosemary, a young American actress, who falls in love with Dick at the first sight. And Dick is not able to resist her, and he has to choose.

Fitzgerald is a master of writing about the rich and famous and intrigues. And this book has everything from love affairs to duels and the cover-up of a murder. I really enjoy reading about the Jazz Age and the glamourous lifestyle. The plot is also intriguing, and it is interesting to see how the characters change. My favourite scene was the break-up in the midst of Tour de France. Hilarious and sad at the same time. And what was the unspeakable thing Mrs McKisco witnessed in the bathroom?

A perfect book for lazy summer afternoons! 

eighty-two.

the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1926)

“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.
‘Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had'”

Nick’s neighbour is the infamous Jay Gatsby. Every weekend his house on Long Island fills up with people and they party all day and all night. There are plenty of rumours about Mr Gatsby. Is he an illegal bootlegger smuggling booze from Canada? And where did he get all his money and rubies from? Nick admires his neighbour and they turn into great friends, but Mr Gatsby has an agenda for befriending Nick. Gatsby wants to reconnect with his great love, Daisy, who is a relative of Nick’s.

“And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.”

This is considered one of the great American novels. And it really is. Read it, weep and smile.