Finally finishing “the Jazz Age”…


I finally finished reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s collection of short stories Tales of the Jazz Age.  Here is a quick rundown of each of the stories about which I haven’t already posted:

“May Day” –  For those who think Fitzgerald’s stories are too depressing and his characters too shallow, this isn’t the story that will change their mind.  I can’t get the phrase “I’m a li’l stewed, Edith” out of my head.

“A Diamond As Big As the Ritz” – I read this story prior to blogging.  It’s one of my favorites from this collection and it’s the one, in my opinion, from which a movie should have been made.

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” – This was the story actually made into a movie – an incredibly long movie for a short story.  I also read this before blogging.  It was an interesting story but I found it too gimmicky.  It wasn’t the only story in this collection I found to be this way.  Sometimes the gimmicks worked, sometimes they didn’t.

“‘O Russett Witch'” –  This story holds the record for longest length of time it’s taken me to read a short story.  It seems to go on and on.  Is Caroline a witch or isn’t she?  I don’t know.  It did contain some beautiful writing, though, such as this paragraph:

The years between thirty-five and sixty-five revolve before the passive mind as one unexplained, confusing merry-go-round. True, they are a merry-go-round of ill-gaited and wind-broken horses, painted first in pastel colors, then in dull grays and browns, but perplexing and intolerably dizzy the thing is, as never were the merry-go-rounds of childhood or adolescence; as never, surely, were the certain-coursed, dynamic roller-coasters of youth. 

“Mr. Icky: The Quintessence of Quaintness in One Act” – A short story that is an odd and sometimes humorous play.

“Jemina, The Mountain Girl” – An incredibly funny story that reminds me of something Kurt Vonnegut would write.  Some from my adopted state, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, might find offense in this story.  I just find it funny.

All in all, Fitzgerald has more of a sense of humor than his Lost Generation cohort Ernest Hemingway.

Here are links to my posts about the other stories in the collection:

The Jelly-Bean

The Camel’s Back

Porcelain and Pink

Tarquin of Cheapside

The Lees of Happiness

Also, check out Hamlette the Dame’s great review of this collection over at The Edge of the Precipice!


4 responses to “Finally finishing “the Jazz Age”…

  1. Fitzgerald is one of my least favourite authors. I’ve read The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night (part of it) and I can’t honestly say I’m willing to give him another chance. Usually I have an open mind about authors, or at least try to, but his writing and outlook really turned me off. Perhaps his short stories might be more accessible though. I’ll have to think about it. 😉

    • While he’s one of my favorites, you are not alone in your distaste for Fitzgerald. It seems most people who have read his work either really like it or really don’t. And at least with those I’ve encountered, it’s split pretty evenly between the two. I don’t think there is anything in these stories that would change anyone’s mind. “The Lees of Happiness” is unusual because the characters are not the usual self absorbed characters of his stories. On another note, I just received Chesterton’s “The Man Who Was Thursday” in the mail. Looking forward to reading it in the near future.

    • It was great fun! I think I’m going to try reading “This Side of Paradise” (which I read a long time ago, but don’t remember much) and “Tender is the Night” sometime this year.

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