Review by Choice Review
This new Last Tycoon, issued as part of the Cambridge edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald's works and expertly edited, is freshly minted in many ways, some suggested by the revised title. Until now, readers and literary scholars have known Fitzgerald's last novel (far from finished at his death in 1940) only in the posthumous version published by Edmund Wilson and Scribner. Wilson aimed to produce a readable novel, as complete as a competent editor-writer-critic-friend could manage out of presumably finished episodes and evidence from documents, conversations, and conjecture. Now the Bruccoli version adds new, valuable, and important information regarding Fitzgerald's artistry, his knowledge of the film industry, and the accomplishment represented by what still must be regarded as work in progress. It includes the history of the author's composition, facsimiles, and a full explanation of the editorial methods employed by Bruccoli. It contains notes that will prove helpful to undergraduate students in aiding comprehension. This book, essential for the support of detailed study of Fitzgerald and the American novel, may well replace the older Wilson version. All levels. A. E. Jones Jr.; emeritus, Drew University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Literary detective Bruccoli has produced a remarkable feat of scholarship in this welcome critical edition of the novel Fitzgerald began during his final year (1940) while working in Hollywood as a screenwriter. Generally considered a roman a clef, the story charts the power struggle of self-made, overworked producer Monroe Stahr (modeled on MGM producer Irving Thalberg) with rival executive Pat Brady (a stand-in for MGM head Louis B. Mayer). It is also the story of Stahr's love affair with young widow Kathleen Moore and is (partly at least) narrated by Cecelia, Brady's cynical daughter who is hopelessly in love with Stahr. After Fitzgerald's death in December, his conflicting drafts for the novel were reworked by Edmund Wilson, who spliced episodes, moved around scenes and altered words and punctuation. Bruccoli, Fitzgerald biographer and editor of Cambridge's critical edition of The Great Gatsby , has restored Fitzgerald's original version and has also restored the narrative's ostensible working title, one that implies that Hollywood is the last American frontier where immigrants and their progeny remake themselves. Equally significant are other entries in this volume: Bruccoli's informative introduction; letters by Fitzgerald, Wilson and Maxwell Perkins; facsimiles of Fitzgerald's notes and drafts; and textual commentary, including helpful explanations of the novel's numerous topical references. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review
Based loosely on the life of movie mogul Irving Thalberg, this novel was left unfinished in rough form at the time of Fitzgerald's death. Soon after, a flawed version was hastily released under the makeshift title The Last Tycoon , which has been the only available edition. Now, however, in this second installment in Cambridge's series of critical editions of Fitzgerald's works (Classic Returns, LJ 9/15/91), renowned Fitzgerald scholar Bruccoli has reassembled the 17 existing--out of 31 planned--episodes, according to Fitzgerald's intentions. The volume also includes an introduction by Bruccoli providing insight into the book's inception and history plus extensive information on the text, including facsimiles of the original manuscript pages, and a list of Fitzgerald's intended corrections and working notes. Though there are snatches of brilliance throughout, the text is not polished to the fine luster readers expect of an author of this caliber, but, coupled with Scott's notes, it provides a significant glimpse into the creative faculties of one of literature's preeminent minds. The Cambridge edition of The Love of the Last Tycoon is a superlative literary Christmas present. Essential for all serious literature collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.