Sep 25, 2013

Short Stories 26-32: More late Fitzgerald stories

I finally finished the cluster of stories published after Fitzgerald's death.  Some of these were not his best and others showed that he was coming back.  I wrote in more detail over at Fitzgerald Musings and will link to the stories over there.

The stories I really enjoyed included:
Lo, The Poor Peacock
Dearly Beloved
On Your Own

I don't think I hated any of them but the others did not rise to the top.
The Woman from Twenty-One
Last Kiss
On An Ocean Wave

In Lo, The Poor Peacock, the daughter character reminded me of Audrey which may have swung the story to my favor.


Dearly Beloved is very poetic, but very short

For short stories, the next cluster I will be tackling are from 1920-22.

Sep 9, 2013

Short Stories 24 & 25: "Death of My Father and "My Generation" by FS Fitzgerald

I have written an much more detailed post on these short stories over on the Fitzgerald Musing Blog.  You can check it out here.

I really enjoyed "My Generation".  It is this kind of essay that I enjoy from him.  He has an insight and a way of getting to the heart of a topic.  It makes me sad that he died so young and that we were not able to see how he would have seen the world as he aged.  It think it would have been interesting on how he would have dealt with aging and how society treats you.  Also how he saw the younger generations. What would he have thought of the hippies and free love?  Oh well.

"The Death of my Father" was good, but ultimately an unfinished piece.  I find it interesting more in the context of the lack of talk from him regarding his family.  He seems to keep that part out of his fiction, where everything else seems to be free game for his stories.  I wish there was more.  I am sure the death of his sisters (even if he never knew them) had to play a role in his young life.  I mean his mother had to be a wreck and I am sure that effected how he was raised.

So, shifting gears...  My plan is to finish all the works of Fitzgerald.  I am so slow on getting through these, and I don't want to kid myself that I can race right through them, although if I had a month or two of isolation I am sure it would be done.  I have created some clusters of stories that I will be tackling.  I broke them down by year published and then on cluster of Scott and Zelda works (which I will read last).  Right now I am finishing the post 1940 published work.  I think this will be the most difficult as they were not published during his life for various reasons, like being unfinished or not very good.  They can range from a any period in his life, so there is not a lot of continuity to them.  The ones I have left are:
After 1940
The Woman From Twenty One
The Kingdom in the Dark
On an Ocean Wave
Last Kiss
Dearly Beloved
Lo, the Poor Peacock
On Your Own
I have about 100 left- Wow that seems high, but that' s what the numbers say.

Sep 6, 2013

Book 12: The Real Midnight in Paris by Paul Brody

No denying I am a F Scott Fitzgerald enthusiast, which eventually leads me to the "Lost Generation" and the expats that lived and created in Paris in the '20s, which of course was wonderfully portrayed in Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris".  This book was obviously created in the wake of that movie.

The Real Midnight in Paris: A History of the Expatriate Writers in Paris that made up the Lost Generation, by Paul Brody

It is a good little book, but I had hoped for more.  Really, it is a primer book on some of the players of that time, but if you are hoping for more of a feel of how things were at that time and place this is not the book.  However, if you are unfamiliar with the "Lost Generation" it is a good place to start. 

Personally, I am unfamiliar with a lot of the artists and writers that were sprinkled in "Midnight in Paris" and was hoping to get a bit of information on who they were when I pick this book.  I did not get that.

Currently Reading Life after Life by Kate Atkinson

Sep 3, 2013

Book 11- Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

So for book 11 I finished a kids book.  Yep, I am by no means a kid, but hey, it was laying around and I picked it up and it was good.

I purchased the book for my kids to read.  They loved "The Invention of Hugo Cabret," so I thought they would enjoy this one as well.  So far my son is still a bit young to read this on his own, and my daughter is a tad intimidated by the sheer size of the book, and that the main character is a twelve year old boy.  She would rather read about girls at this age.

If you are not familiar with his earlier book, "The Invention of Hugo Cabret", you need to know that Wonderstruck is written in the same half written word and half pictorial storytelling, which makes the 400+ book much quicker to read.

Wonderstruck is a story that takes place in both 1977 and 1927 with characters who are deaf, and have a connection to the Natural History Museum.  Personally, I wished the girl portion of the story was written versus being mostly picture based, like with my daughter I would prefer to follow the girl.

It is a good book and one I would recommend for kids, but I think his first book is better.