Both Gatsby and Tender received mixed reviews on their first appearance. Ruth Snyder, in the New York Evening World, concluded that Gatsby convinces us that ‘Mr. Fitzgerald is not one of the great American writers of to-day’, but in the Saturday Review of Literature, William Rose Benét praised Gatsby’s ‘thoroughly matured craftsmanship’ and its ‘concision and precision and mastery of material’. In the St Paul Dispatch, James Gray called Tender ‘a big, sprawling, undisciplined, badly coordinated book’ while in the New York Evening Journal, Gilbert Seldes saw Tender as the great novel promised by the control Fitzgerald had demonstrated in Gatsby. His ‘triumph’ in Tender was that, ‘without a trace of symbolism or allegory, he makes this special story universally interesting’ (FR 196, 220, 221, 289, 293).
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