“This is historical fiction at its best, imaginatively filling the gaps and bringing us intimately into a portrait of marriage.”

– Times Literary Supplement

“R. Clifton Spargo’s 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.”

– The Spectator

“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.

The New Yorker

“Spargo’s voice is entirely his own and is capable of articulating certain ranges of experience only rarely now available to us. His work seems to me marked for permanence.”

– Harold Bloom

“Spargo’s novel certainly succeeds in providing a timely reminder that the love between Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, even in destructive decline, was a force to be reckoned with beyond the experience of many — maybe most — human beings.”

– The Wall Street Journal

“In Spargo’s hands, the Fitzgeralds emerge as fully human as they trade back and forth a valueless currency of hopes, promises and vows of loyalty. It’s the one version of the story that resists the temptation to glamorize Scott and Zelda out of their humanity.”

– The Washington Post

“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.”

– The Boston Globe

“Spargo’s book is richly imagined, and paints a delightfully detailed portrait of Cuba of 1939. It’s a positively delicious travelogue.”

– The Chicago Tribune

“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 Perrotta, author of Election and Little Children

“While reading both Spargo’s novel and Hemingway’s Garden of Eden, I felt (guiltily) privy to the private conversations and consternations of a couple inside their locked hotel room. Spargo’s portrayal of a couple in crisis . . . offers two people not so much against each other as against the world.”

– Bookslut

“If you’re looking for a Great Gatsby retelling with more substance than Baz Luhrmann’s latest, <em>Beautiful Fools </em> is it.”

– Miami New Times

“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, surrounded by the poignancy of last words, last things, 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 writes with animation and fervor, a style conducive to the heat generated by his subjects.”



The Latest Review of Beautiful Fools Featured in The Gazette

R. Clifton Spargo featured in the Gazette of Montgomery County, MD

“Meet the Muses”: R. Clifton Spargo’s latest piece in Glo highlights history’s most inspiring muses

R. Clifton Spargo in The Atlantic – on a favorite passage from Gatsby and the back story behind the title Beautiful Fools

“The work of a genuine literary talent”: Beautiful Fools Reviewed in The Spectator

“Fitzgeraldian Wistfulness” Beautiful Fools and The New Yorker

R. Clifton Spargo interviewed on “The Real Mrs. Fitzgerald” in London’s Sunday Times:

Beautiful Fools reviewed in The Washington Post:

Beautiful Fools reviewed in The Boston Globe:

R. Clifton’s story “Relationship Advice from the Real Gatsby” featured on MSN:

“Scenes From a Marriage: 12 Things You Didn’t Know About F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald”

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The Great Gatsby in Cuba? Author R. Clifton Spargo Imagines F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald’s Final Fling. Beautiful Fools reviewed in The Miami New Times:

Read the latest review ofBeautiful Fools in the Wall Street Journal:

R. Clifton Spargo in Glo. “Should You Take Relationship Advice From Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald?”

Beautiful Fools featured in The Chicago Tribune Printer’s Row Preview:

Beautiful Fools Featured on Glo

Beautiful Fools in Harper’s Bazaar

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Entertainment Weekly calls Beautiful Fools “Lyrical and Acute”.

‘Call me Zelda’ – Writers Take on Troubled Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Muse:

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Front Page News on Huffington Post

R. Clifton Spargo writes about why you should re-read Gatsby.

Beautiful Fools featured in British Vogue

Was Zelda More Intriguing than Gatsby?Beautiful Fools featured in:

Beautiful Fools featured in:

The Reluctant Irishman: F. Scott Fitzgerald and Me:

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A Day for Beautiful and Not so Beautiful Fools:

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