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The Pat Hobby Stories

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  603 ratings  ·  71 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 Book Company (first published 1940)
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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldTender Is the Night by F. Scott FitzgeraldTales of the Jazz Age by F. Scott FitzgeraldThe Love of the Last Tycoon by F. Scott FitzgeraldFlappers and Philosophers by F. Scott Fitzgerald
All About Fitzgerald!!
13th out of 52 books — 6 voters
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Richard Brautigan
79th out of 92 books — 1 voter


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,112)
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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
JP Mac
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
Sandralee
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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F.R.
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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Beatrix
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
John
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
David
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
Joel Fishbane
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
Meriam Kharbat
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 ?
Ben
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.
David
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.
Jason G
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.
Melanie
Feb 10, 2013 Melanie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those wanting a quick and funny read
Hil-ar-i-ous. Pat Hobby is a self-involved jackass who will do anything to get ahead. He steps on toes, steals ideas, and epitomizes chauvinism, but (shockingly to him) every concocted scheme comes back around and bites him in the back. Never one to learn from his mistakes, Mr. Hobby's absurd behavior had me laughing and shaking my head in disbelief throughout the 17 short stories.

Since the stories were written in the late 1930s when Scott Fitzgerald was down on his luck just before he died, the
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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
Kenton Crowther
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
Nikki Lengkeek
I really enjoyed the Pat Hobby Stories. In the format of the book which is what I have read, they were at times a bit formulaic. they were however written as a serial for Esquire magazine so I don't mind this so much. Fitzgerald's insights into Hollywood I think still remain quite true. At times the self-satire is very close to the bone and the stories make an excellent source for those interested in writer's views about writing. In one story, "they don't want authors, only writers like me". He ...more
Jade McDonough
I could use one word to write this review: Ugh.
But I won't be lazy and I'll elaborate on that.

First and foremost, if you're going to make a character completely unlikable, at least make him entertaining. Pat Hobby is neither likable or entertaining. In the slightest. If you read other reviews, this is a brilliant "satire" of Hollywood. Really it's a series of stories churned out by an alcoholic looking for enough money to buy his next bottle. Which, not so ironically or cleverly, is pretty much
...more
Josh Ades
Rarely has a prologue had such an impact on a collection of stories. Echoing throughout my entire reading session like a baby on an international flight, the prologue saves The Pat Hobby Stories from merely being amusing. The most interesting aspect of the collection is to consider the order of publication of each story, how stories effected and changed each other, and how Fitzgerald inserts himself into Pat Hobby (or not?). I always enjoy reading about movie studios back when talent was paid to ...more
Russell
For the purposes of treating the work objectively, it is important to divorce the author from his subject. Pat Hobby is NOT Scott Fitzgerald any more than Amory Blaine or Nick Carraway. Once you leap over that fence though, you can be treated to a set of stories that is more coherent than any other bound collection of his, and forms a better (if less philosophical) product than The Last Tycoon. We have that novel in fragments, whereas the Pat Hobby Stories are the last examples of "polished" pro ...more
Karen
These stories give an inside view to what it was like working in Hollywood in the 40's, which Fitzgerald did for a short time. The stories were originally serialized in a magazine, so each one covers some of the same material when read together, like a little background on the character. It is like a sit-com, where every time Pat has an opportunity to make it big, he gets "foiled again" by the movie industry. Not Fitzgerald's best work as they are plot driven with not much time for the beautiful ...more
Jim
Not my cup of tea, they're about a former sought-after writer in Hollywood who is down on his luck at the age of 49 and would do anything on the lots to make car payments, pay the rent, and buy some food. Written in the style of movies of the 30's, the stories are actually part of Fitzgerald's life story for in an introduction, many of the letters he sent the publisher are concerned with asking for payment to be sent by wire. The stories are filled with short phrases like those Groucho used. Pro ...more
Rachael
Interesting perspective on working in Hollywood. Well written but it was hard to feel any sympathy for the characters.
Emily
It's hard to love the Pat Hobby Stories when Patt Hobby is so thoroughly unlikeable.

Pat is lazy, entitled, lazy, a drunk, lazy, greedy, lazy, unoriginal, and also lazy. I didn't care about him in the slightest. He does, however, provide an interesting lens through which to view Hollywood and the changing role of writing and the writer from the 1920s onward.

Fitzgerald's writing doesn't disappoint; it's just Pat Hobby himself who is disappointing. Oddly enough, though, I found myself somewhat fond
...more
Martin
I got a chance to read this book before I read his work in school. It was referred to me by someone I know who said it was funny. I read it and liked it very much. I'm a student and I'm glad I got a chance to read this book before reading the Great Gatsby in school. The Great Gatsby is a good book too but they force it upon us and it's more like punishment than enjoyment. He's also got a great way of writing. It's easier to understand and not as tiresome as some older books like A Tale of Two Ci ...more
carl  theaker


In the late 1930s when Fitzgerald was writing the Pat Hobby
stories he went to a bookstore for inspiration and while there
looked about for any of his own books. Having been a writing super
star less than 10 years before, he was dismayed that there were
none. He laughed at having to special order his own works.

This is the tone of the Hobby stories, one of a hanging on
Hollywood writer whose peaks were long ago, and while now
trudging along in life, he can also take a look and find
amusement in his pr
...more
Karen
I have to admit that I did not enjoy The Pat Hobby Stories; yet, I could not put the book down. I had to see it through to the end.

Pat Hobby is a far from sympathetic character, but I found myself feeling sorry for him by the end of almost every story. While I know that Pat Hobby was Fitzgerald's alter ego and his mouthpiece for his feelings about writing for Hollywood, the stories still come across as brilliant pieces of satire.

This Fitzgerald book I do not feel that I will need to read again
...more
Louis
These are funny. Fitzgerald, I think shortly before his death, while living in Los Angeles, was working on movies during the week and short stories on the weekends. The Atlantic published the stories. Pat Hobby is a writer who is not a very good writer. I think the joke Fitzgerald uses is that when Pat is asked to rewrite a script he changes the word "red" to "crimson" in the script. Funny stories. Very dated, though, not unlike some of John O'Hara's stuff from the 20s, 30s. Short, ironic, gruff ...more
Steven Pattison
The misadventures of Pat Hobby, a washed-up screenwriter down on his luck who can't seem to catch a break and will do whatever he has to, to get work (and a drink)

The fact that F Scott Fitzgerlad wrote these stories while himself was near the end of his carreer/life was slightly washed- up living in Hollywood as a scriptwriter was not lost on me regardless this was a fun tread often times downright hilarious and better written than just about anything else in hollywood past & present.
Rich
Not worth my effort. Read some of the other reviews. I wish I had first.
Brigitte
Tragic. So very, very tragic. Fitzgerald captures the desolate hopelessness of Hollywood perfectly and with a beautiful simplicity that is the hallmark of his best work. Wish he'd lived long enough to write more about this town, filled with the washed up dreamers found in many of his stories. As unhappy as he was here in L.A., it just might have been the perfect place for him. I see Pat Hobbies everywhere I look. At times, even in the mirror. I'm guessing so did he.



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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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