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Babylon Revisited and Other Stories

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  3,832 ratings  ·  151 reviews
Written between 1920 and 1937, when F. Scott Fitzgerald was at the height of his creative powers, these ten lyric tales represent some of the author's finest fiction. In them, Fitzgerald creates vivid, timeless characters -- a dissatisfied southern belle seeking adventure in the north; the tragic hero of the title story who lost more than money in the stock market; giddy a ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 24th 1996 by Scribner (first published 1931)
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Substance Abuse & Addiction
103rd out of 469 books — 1,081 voters
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Included Stories as Titles
4th out of 83 books — 12 voters


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Community Reviews

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Wildplumb
Ten stories that are masterfully created, but I will focus solely on one: Babylon Revisited.
No word is wasted or unnecessary in this greatest of F. Scott Fitzgerald's stories. Perhaps only Gatsby gets us to the finish line in such an eloquent and timely manner.

In this story, the main character, expatriate Charlie, returns to Paris (His home during the 20's boom) after the depression (story is written in 1931). The city has changed, and so has he; broker, soberer, depressed, a widow (which some
...more
Lizzie
Really this is practically five stars. I loved it. It's my favorite (American) story that I've read so far this summer.

I don't know what it's missing -- really, it's such an immensely straightforward story, that it doesn't actually have a whole lot happening below its surface. I guess that's it. I like the feeling of the unknown, just a little bit, when I read something. The feeling of, how did they get there?

Apparently, the story is truer to life than I realized when I finished it. Fitzgerald w
...more
Sam Quixote
"Babylon Revisited" contains three short stories by F Scott Fitzgerald - "The Cut-Glass Bowl", "The Lost Decade" and the title story. If you've got "Flappers and Philosophers", his book of collected short stories, then you'll have already read this book.

"Babylon Revisited" is probably the best of the bunch, a story of an alcoholic father trying to regain custody of his young daughter, trying to prove to his sister in law and her husband that he is sober and is up to the task. As the story goes o
...more
Samantha
i can't find my exact copy of what i purchased from half priced books, so i'll just claim i'm reading the same one that jamie read. this book is so old. it smells like 1955, and the pages are a sickly yellow-brown. i cannot wait. for the stories of course.

of course.

despite smelling great the whole time, the book wore me down halfway through. if nothing else, this is a timeline for fitzgerald's own life, and the amout of autobiography one can extract from each story is immense. going in chronolog
...more
Maria Ella
"I am the exception that proves no rules, the limits of your control, the condiment in the dish of life."


The book is pretty straight-forward and simple, arching the idea of Alcohol abuse as the central theme of the three following short stories: Babylon Revisited, Cut-glass Bowl, and The Lost Decade. The first short story is inspired by the author's true story of gaining custody of her daughter over the latter's aunt. After reading the collections did I know that Fitzgerald suffered this kind o
...more
Naoms
The writing is A plus and filled with the usual genius, but not even my beloved F. Scott Fitzgerald can make me love short stories. I always feel bereft, wanting more. Needing to know more about characters, story, details, etc. Just too short. I need fullsize novels, but I am glad I read this, I have some new favorite quotes.

Like...
Nothing affects them," he thought. "Stocks rise and fall, people loaf or work, but they go on forever.

and...

"I spoiled this city for myself. I didn't realize it, but
...more
Jenny
I love F. Scott Fitzgerald, and it makes me sad that I've already read all his novels, but I'm happy that he wrote so many short stories for me to enjoy. I like this collection because the first story, "The Ice Palace," was written in 1920, pre-Gatsby, and the last one, "The Long Way Out," was 1937, when Zelda was already in the sanitarium, and Scott already lived in California. His writing is drastically different as is his subject matter. The book is a great cross section of a great writer's c ...more
Mandi
“The Ice Palace” was an interesting play on the cultural differences that once existed between the north and the south. Being in the DR in the Peace Corps while reading this, it made me think of how easily the story could be told between someone from the DR and an American.

“May Day” was interesting to me because I have interest in understanding more about Socialism and how people felt about it in the US during that time, plus it gave Fitzgerald’s constant interest in writing about the rich a po
...more
Joe
A very revealing set of three stories with strong autobiographical elements, written towards the end of F Scott Fitzgerald's career. The title story is longest of the three, and spends some time is scene-setting, but makes up for this lengthy prologue in its cutting conclusion. The other two stories, both shorter, are more pointed - the Cut-Glass Bowl a wandering into the consequences of materialism in the 1920s, and the Lost Decade an entertaining step back, asking what might America (and Ameri ...more
Benny Beauch
Goddamn, this is a good one. Every story in this collection is worth a read. His prose is just so thick and delicious, like fatty french food. He is great at showing the downsides of being rich, the things that it takes away from you as a person, but he is also so good at showing how seductive it is. He creates some incredible, complicated, characters that are just so fully human, you can't decide if you like them or not because they have so much good and so much bad in them at once. I'm thinkin ...more
Lizzie
Aug 10, 2014 Lizzie marked it as to-read-off-my-shelf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, used-book
Found a 1960 school-bound edition (stamped by Framingham High School, sorry Massachusetts) at Babbo's Books today. Actually, I cannot claim to have found it; the owner's mom Louise dug it up for me when I was looking for Gatsby. Well if you insist! We talked about how much we love the title story, and she said her most favorite was "The Rich Boy." Well, I will read it.
Tricia
I always pull Fitzgerald or Hemingway off my bookshelf when I'm in between library books. Re-visiting the classics as an adult that I originally read as a teen is like discovering an entirely new story. We change, and evolve, our perspective is different. The depth of character that Fitzgerald can produce in just a small amount of pages has always impressed me, and, like Hemingway, his beautifully worded descriptions of time and place are what draw me in. I am a woman of detail, after all!
Melanie
Full disclosure: this is not technically something I've read, but I read Babylon Revisited for an English class and wanted to review it, and this is all Goodreads has, so close enough.

Babylon Revisited surprised me as a reader. It surprised me because I am not normally a person who gets emotional over relatively mundane and trivial occurrences in stories. If I'm going to be depressed or upset or feel personally invested in a character, it's going to be someone dealing with outrageously horrendou
...more
Kevin
The stories collected here move chronologically from his early years to his later. As he gets closer to his death, the stories get shorter, more depressing, and less interesting. The first half of the book is full of writing that actually puts Great Gatsby to shame. Stories like May Day and A Diamond As Big as the Ritz are among some of the best works i've ever read. If only all the stories had been this good.
Elizabeth
I loved this book, it was wonderfully funny, gorgeous use of language, absolutely drenched in the period, so insightful of the human condition. I read it after I had seen the Woody Allen film, Midnight in Paris. It is a book of short stories and to my shame I have never read any of Scott Fitzgerald's full length novels, but this experience has made me determine to.
Lauren
I've read more than half of F. Scott's body of work, and this collection is true to my overall feel of his work. There are moments when I am indifferent or downright loathe his scenes, yet overall I find myself in love and can't pull myself away. The only story I didn't care much for was "Diamond as Big as the Ritz," but my reasons for disliking it aren't a very sound judgement of his talents. The inhumanity of the story left a bad taste in my mouth, which I know was it's aim, and in doing so ma ...more
Josh
Much as I love 'Gatsby', Fitzgerald's short stories (even the ones he wrote in a desperate cash grab) are his best works. He is an underrated master of short fiction.
Shana
Every sentence is pure quality. Definitely worth reading, even if it's over a few years, one story at a time.
Suep
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David
Gets a five for the title story alone, my favorite thing Fitzgerald ever wrote.
Heather
I like F Scott Fitzgerald quite a bit more than my high school self. Who knew?
Rachel
"The Diamond as Big as the Ritz" was a fascinating, almost sci-fi commentary on the corruption of wealth. The rest of the stories seemed like chapters Fitzgerald wrote for his novels, but then decided they were too crappy, so he sold them to magazines for bar money. More commentary of the corruption of wealth, but in much less interesting ways. That said, I did really enjoy "Babylon Revisited" (the story itself, not the collection). It seemed like an addition to Gatsby--kind of a what would have ...more
Neal
Dear loyal goodreads followers,
Two things brought me back to F. Scott. I watched the Great Gatsby (the one with Leonardo DiCaprio) and I read a short story of F. Scott's in a compilation called Babylon, Revisited. The Great Gatsby, while a mediocre movie, drew me in with the compelling character of Gatsby, still a puzzling contradiction after so many years. Babylon, Revisited, taking place in Paris, reminded me of Richard Ford in it's contrite narration of former vice and glory replaced by more
...more
Phanee
Rating: N/A

I am going to be completely honest here: this book is a bit of a cheat, but nonetheless, I am including it in my 100 Books In A Year Challenge, as it is a book and I did read it. But, because of the fact that it is so short (and because it features 3 short stories), I am making this a mini-review, as I can't say anything about it without spoiling it for anyone who wants to read it.


Having read The Great Gatsby a few months ago and really enjoyed F. Scott Fitzgerald's style of writing,
...more
Adam
I don't think I'll ever find another writer whose prose can be so lyrical and beautiful that I often marvel with both awe and jealousy as I read it. Fitzgerald is a brilliant writer (both Gatsby and Tender is the Night rank amongst my very favorites) and it shows even in his lesser works as even in stories that are poorly plotted or feature cardboard characters, there is still something in the writing that makes them worth reading.

There are ten stories in this collection, and of them, I found on
...more
Rowland Bismark
The Inescapability of the Past

Even though Charlie’s wilder days have long since passed, he’ll never be able to truly escape them. Although he actively tries to avoid reminders of the Paris he used to know, they nevertheless follow him everywhere. When he goes to lunch with Honoria, for example, he can find only one restaurant that doesn’t remind him of drunken meals that lasted for hours. When he walks through Montmartre, old haunts surround him. Even the things that have changed remind him of h
...more
Stefanie
I have to say, I was a tad disappointed in this. After rekindling my love for Fitzgerald last week, I was really looking forward to reading short stories. It seemed like the perfect thing! I loved The Great Gatsby and I love short stories- what could go wrong?

Unfortunately none of these had the impact that Gatsby had. I think the characters in Fitzgerald's stories are too subtle for a short story. In short fiction, you have to get in, establish a character, and get their story told in only abou
...more
Danielle
The same themes as The Great Gatsby were repeated throughout the short stories in this collection, but it didn't feel formulaic to me, so I don't fault Fitzgerald for it. Although, it was too depressing to read quickly. I could only handle one story every few days. Anyway, it seems weird to review a whole collection of stories as one book, so here ya go:
The Ice Palace: Ooh, loved the feeling evoked by this one. Instantly threw you into the hot, languid world of the South in the early '20s. Loved
...more
Suzlizjohnson


THE ICE PALACE - a young woman from the south is engaged to a man named Mr. Bellamy from the north...
MAY DAY - 1919 A young man's tale of woe as told to a friend he has tracked down at the Biltmore Hotel culminates in a request for money. What follows could well be expected.
DIAMOND AS BIG AS THE RITZ - a young man is exagerating his family wealth, only to find out the diamond is really as "big as a mountain" ...
* WINTER DREAMS - The young golf caddy learns that in reaching the heights of societ
...more
Alan
though that says 'Short Stories', it should be 'Short Story' as this has one story in it. Given me by a mate who got it free from some newspaper.

It has three stories in actually! And all three are pretty brilliant, a star lost for the last one 'The Lost Decade' due to underdevelopment(I felt). The title one was great, a fromer drunk, and widower in Paris tries to get his daughter back from the custody of his sister in law and husband. It has marvellous dialogue sequences with the daughter which
...more
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The most perfect short story ever written 1 14 Jan 02, 2012 11:49AM  
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Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American writer of novels and short stories, whose works have been seen as evocative of the Jazz Age, a term he himself allegedly coined. He is regarded as one of the greatest twentieth century writers. Fitzgerald was of the self-styled "Lost Generation," Americans born in the 1890s who came of age during World War I. He finished four novels, left a fifth unfini ...more
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The Great Gatsby Tender Is the Night This Side of Paradise The Curious Case of Benjamin Button The Beautiful and Damned

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“It isn't given to us to know those rare moments when people are wide open and the lightest touch can wither or heal. A moment too late and we can never reach them any more in this world. They will not be cured by our most efficacious drugs or slain with our sharpest swords.” 65 likes
“He did not understand all he had heard, but from his clandestine glimpse into the privacy of these two, with all the world that his short experience could conceive of at their feet, he had gathered that life for everybody was a struggle, sometimes magnificent from a distance, but always difficult and surprisingly simple and a little sad.” 31 likes
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