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The Pat Hobby Stories

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  899 Ratings  ·  103 Reviews
A fascinating study in self-satire that brings to life the Hollywood years of F. Scott Fitzgerald
The setting: Hollywood: the character: Pat Hobby, a down-and-out screenwriter trying to break back into show business, but having better luck getting into bars. Written between 1939 and 1940, when F. Scott Fitzgerald was working for Universal Studios, the seventeen Pat Hobby
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Paperback, 192 pages
Published December 6th 1995 by Scribner (first published August 9th 1940)
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Jeff
Apr 18, 2016 Jeff rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Who would have thought that F. Scott Fitzgerald had a sense of humor?

Certainly not those high schoolers that were spoon fed The Great Gatsby and forced to write 500 word essays about “the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock (that’s a metaphor not a euphemism. Heh.)” or the “eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg” or readers of Tender Is the Night.

When Fitzgerald wrote the Pat Hobby stories, he had hit rock bottom and was looking at his once glowing literary reputation through the rear-view mirror. He
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Bettie☯


Description: Alfred Molina reads F. Scott Fitzgerald's brilliant stories of late 1930s Hollywood, directed by Martin Jarvis.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b013q20y

Episode 1/3: Pat Hobby's Secret: Since the advent of the talkies, hack screen writer Pat Hobby has fallen on hard times and hard liquor. Now, desperately in need of a studio writing job, he pursues a drunken movie director and obtains some secret information about a crucial film script idea. Producer Banizon is prepared to buy the id
...more
Jenny
Sep 01, 2016 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel weird giving an F. Scott Fitzgerlad book three stars, but I just "liked it." In style and composition, these stories remind me of Education of Hyman Kaplan. They don't make up a novel or even have a story arc. They're separate stories about the same character, but each of them can be read on its own, and each of them is complete. They don't flow together at all, which could be an editorial issue, but I don't think it is. These stories are clearly written at the end of Fitzgerald's career. ...more
Fiona
Feb 14, 2017 Fiona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
Easy to read, and a riotous laugh, these short stories by Scott Fitzgerald focus on an in/out work writer at the time of the Golden Age of film baked Pat Hobby. Pat is 49 and by all accounts past it, whether it be with women, with lucky breaks, with friends or with work itself. He manages to get himself both in and out of sticky situations in a spectacularly amusing fashion, whilst always staying suave and professional. Great little treasure trove of stories. I LOVED how some of my favourite cla ...more
Laura
Jan 10, 2016 Laura rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Bettie
From BBC Radio 4 - Afternoon Reading:
Alfred Molina reads F. Scott Fitzgerald's brilliant stories of late 1930s Hollywood, directed by Martin Jarvis. Since the advent of the talkies, hack screen writer Pat Hobby has fallen on hard times and hard liquor.

1/3: Now, desperately in need of a studio writing job, he pursues a drunken movie director and obtains some secret information about a crucial film script idea. Producer Banizon is prepared to buy the idea from Pat, because the knowledge could save
...more
D.R. Haney
Fitzgerald wrote the Pat Hobby stories during the last two years of his life, which were unhappily (save for his mistress, Sheilah Graham) spent in Hollywood. Pat Hobby is a washed-up, alcoholic screenwriter, in some ways a caricature of Fitzgerald himself in his final stage. The stories are uneven, as Fitzgerald knew, but they're sharp and invariably entertaining, as when Hobby, badly in need of cash, tells a pair of dimwitted tourists he can arrange for them to visit Shirley Temple's house. He ...more
J.P. Mac
Feb 04, 2014 J.P. Mac rated it it was amazing
A hilarious collection of short stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald about a once successful Hollywood writer with a big house and a leaky pool, now reduced to living in a cheap Los Angeles apartment and hustling the studios for piece work.

Pat Hobby was big in the 20s, dictating movie scenarios and fond of seeing his name up on screen. But in the late 30s, he's a desperate middle-aged has-been with gambling and drinking addictions to nourish. Hobby will steal ideas, lie, connive, and manipulate for a
...more
Berna Labourdette
Mar 23, 2016 Berna Labourdette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una sorpresa. Siempre pensé que Fitzgerald era sólo "El Gran Gatsby" y tenía un prejuicio sobre su aparente frivolidad, pero luego me encontré con la buenísima: “Cartas a mi hija” y después este libro y puedo decir que estaba equivocada totalmente. En estas historias hay mucho patetismo, muchas bromas sobre el trabajo de guionista en Hollywood que imagino no han envejecido nada y sobre todo, mucha compasión por el protagonista y los demás personajes.
Vigdis
Litt som å lese Donald.
F.R.
Sep 01, 2009 F.R. rated it liked it
Curiously when F. Scott Fitzgerald died, ‘The Pat Hobby Stories’ was the only volume of his work then in print. How things change. As far as I can tell the last version was published a long fourteen years ago and the stories have been pretty much left to languish in obscurity.

This is a shame.

These tales concern an unsuccessful writer in – what is now called – ‘The Golden Age of Hollywood’. Pat Hobby is a hack who was well paid and respected in the silent era, but now struggles to get any work. I
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David
Jul 08, 2014 David rated it really liked it
These are lean stories that lack the lyricism Fitzgerald is known for but that nonetheless explore one of his major themes, failure. Many of these follow a formula--some money falls into Pat's lap and then falls out of it. How much you like the book might depend on how much you like seeing bad things happen to your protagonist, but we get the sense that, being a failure, Pat can endure untold failures unfazed. (Fitzgerald says "Pat was at 'the end of his resources' --though this term is too omin ...more
Sandra
I have a "moth attracted to the flame" thing with Fitzgerald's writing. I have loved his writing since I read the first novel, but the tragic life he lived and his persistent feeling of being a failure so comes through his writing and infects me.

I am convinced that we humans possess a degree of madness and that there are triggers that bring it, if not to the surface of our consciousness, at least nearer.

Fitzgerald nurtured his little demons thoroughly but in spite of the bonds they put around
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John
Nov 22, 2008 John rated it it was amazing
These stories were written near the end of Fitzgerald's too short life. And even though the overall quality of these stories reflect his fading vitality, they still contain flashes of the old Fitzgerald brilliance--bits of dialogue that are perfect, humorous irony that makes you chuckle or at least smile, crisp pacing... (And that's why I can't resist giving the book 5 stars.)

Pat Hobby is an over-the-hill screenwriter who is down on his luck. He kind of reflects Fitzgerald own condition during h
...more
Don
Mar 05, 2017 Don rated it liked it
Alas, books are my weakness. Two nights ago, already with a small stack in my hand at my usual Friday night hangout--the bookstore--I spied a copy of The Pat Hobby Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Thinking that I had read almost all of his works but never his last or unfinished stories, I grabbed it on the way to the register.

Some years back I went through my Fitzgerald stage where I was consumed by his writing. I devoured his four novels and most of his short stories--marveling at his prose. Ye
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Beatrix
Sep 14, 2013 Beatrix rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
The protagonist of F. Scott Fitzgerald's loosely connected short stories is Pat Hobby, a household name in the movie industry. More precisely, Pat Hobby is a 49-year-old alcoholic screenwriter who has seen better days: he hasn't been writing for ages, and nowadays his major accomplishment in his profession is substituting the word „certainly” for „yes” in someone else's script – after which he desperately fights for his right to have his name written on the front page of the screenplay, too. Mos ...more
R.
Nov 25, 2016 R. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, suicide-notes
It takes bravery to take a cold hard look at yourself and your prospects, especially if it's through the dark and empty glass of yesterday's orgiastic bender. But Fitzgerald succeeds in drawing a hilariously grotesque portrait of himself and The Industry in these short stories.

This book would make a wonderful movie - I see Robert Montgomery in a Preston Sturges vehicle. Or George Clooney in a Coen Brothers joint.

Hobby is the down-and-out hero of Our American Dream. Lots of great lines throughou
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Vderevlean
povestiri amuzante despre pad hobby, scenarist falit, alcoolic și dezorganizat, trâind din faima de acum 20 de ani când colabora des cu marii regizori ai hollywoodului. în prezent e mai degrabă vagabond printre studiori, pariind toți banii pe cursele de cai, împrumutând de peste tot bani și mici favoruri. o lume autoironică, dură și nemiloasă - o fațetă previzibilă oarecum.

e un volum simpatic, chiar dacă personajul central pare previzibil de la un capăt la altul. însă merită citită, mai ales că
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Meriam Kharbat
Feb 17, 2013 Meriam Kharbat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an overall ordinary book, except for this:

"
Elanor was terrified. But the same spirit that had inspired 'I'd do anything to get in the movies', kept her standing there_thought she felt invisible fingers reaching forth to drag her back to Boise. She had been intending to run_ hard and fast. The hard-boiled doorman and the tall stranger had crystallized her feelings that Pat was 'rather simple'...
"

Doesn't it remind you of some one ?
David
Sep 20, 2010 David rated it really liked it
These stories were written for quick cash by Fitzgerald at the very end of his life and suffer a little for having a dashed off feel. Still, the picture of a past his prime and knows it Hollywood screenwriter, although comic, has a lot of poignancy given what we know of Fitzgerald's circumstances at the time.
Ben
May 17, 2012 Ben rated it it was ok
Fitzgerald apparently wrote these stories when he was low on cash, based in part on Fitzgerald's own experiences as a down-and-out screenwriter. Written for Esquire magazine, the stories lack artistic depth and quality. They are fun short stories, but, as with many of Fitzgerald's short stories they deeply lack the artistic merit found in his novels.
Jason G
Jun 22, 2010 Jason G rated it it was amazing
Full of arch humor about old Hollywood. Both tragic and funny and slightly surreal like a lot of good stories about the Industry can be. A great uncle to Tolkin/Altman's The Player. The story "Pat Hobby and Orson Welles" is perfect.
Rui Alves de Sousa
Antologia de histórias simples sobre o mundo de um "looser" típico de Hollywood. Ler um conto é ler todos os 17 que compõem o livro. A fórmula é sempre a mesma, apesar de divertida e agradável de se ler.
Sketchbook
Jan 08, 2013 Sketchbook rated it liked it
Scott on the rocks.
Thom
Nov 17, 2016 Thom rated it liked it
Infinitely readable and quite funny but just the 3 stars.
Maria Thomarey
May 12, 2017 Maria Thomarey rated it liked it
3,5
Joel Fishbane
Jul 04, 2014 Joel Fishbane rated it really liked it
A surprisingly engaging collection of 17 short stories, F. Scott Fitzgerald's collection proves an engaging homage to the old adage about brevity and wit. Set entirely in the Hollywood of old, the collection revolves around Pat Hobby, the eternally down-on-his-luck screenwriter, a has been who's always a dime away from bankruptcy and a good idea away from eternal happiness. Not a story in this collection can be more then 2000 words and yet each manages to build the sort of comic-tragic world tha ...more
Kristi Richardson
"Most writers look like writers whether they want to or not. It is hard to say why - for they model their exteriors whimsically on Wall Street brokers, cattle kings or English explorers - but they all turn out looking like writers, as definitely typed as 'The Public' or 'The Profiteers' in the cartoons."

This collection of humorous stories would be 5 star if written by anyone else. F. Scott Fitzgerald has done so much better that I could only give this a 4 star.

Pat Hobby is a 49 year old screen
...more
Kenton Crowther
Jul 01, 2012 Kenton Crowther rated it really liked it
These are the tales of the great F.S. Fitzgerald's alter ego, a jaded screenwriter fighting for scraps in Hollywood and swallowing rebuffs and insults daily. Conscious for example that this new movie phenomenon, Orson Welles, has forced Pat Hobby out.

I read once that Fitzgerald couldn't spell or punctuate. Well, OK, in that case these stories are absolutely billiantly written, and well tidied by his editor (Max Perkins, I hear). By well-written I don't mean that he swings the adjectives around.
...more
Jon
Jul 23, 2011 Jon added it
These stories are a drastic change of pace from Fitzgerald's usual romanticism and hero worship (which has always bothered me--I mean, what's so admirable about Irving Thalberg, a guy who thought what Marx Bros. movies needed was less comedy and more romantic interludes, and who sabotaged Upton Sinclair's campaign for the California Governorship with faked-up newsreels?) Some of these tales of a washed-up screenwriter (who is not merely a stand-in for Fitzgerald, though Fitzgerald had some exper ...more
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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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