As booksellers, we often overhear customers lamenting that they've always meant to read “that other Jane Austen novel,” or Graham Greene, or Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but just never found the time. We've tried to remedy that with our Classics I Forgot to Read Book Club by providing motivation and a welcoming space to share your thoughts.

In choosing our ‘classics’ over the past few years, we've tried to select titles that had some visibility among readers, but were not necessarily included in the standard high school English class. We've also sampled a range of genres, from mystery (The Long Goodbye) to comedy (Cold Comfort Farm) to stream-of-consciousness (To the Lighthouse). So, whether our picks are already gathering dust on your bookshelves or this is your first encounter with the literary canon, we encourage you to join us on the last Wednesday evening of every month for conversation about the classics.

Friday, September 4, 2009

October 2009--Tender Is the Night

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

For most readers, The Great Gatsby stands as Fitzgerald's greatest accomplishment. But Tender is the Night, the story of a failed marriage between American expatriates in Europe, has a scope and richness that make it resonate more deeply than Gatsby. The characters are unique and three-dimensional--they are, of course, essentially Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda, and though they treat each other rather better here than they did in real life, they have the same aura of doomed glamor. The writing is lush and lyrical, and if some of the dialogue sounds dated, it's only by contrast to the extraordinary grace of the narration. This might just be the Great American Novel, despite the fact that most of it is set in France.

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