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The Best Early Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  352 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Edited and with an Introduction by Bryant Mangum
Foreword by Roxana Robinson

Benediction • Head and Shoulders • Bernice Bobs Her Hair • The Ice Palace • The Offshore Pirate • May Day • The Jelly Bean • The Diamond as Big as the Ritz • Winter Dreams • Absolution

In the euphoric months before and after the publication of This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald, the flapper’s
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 8th 2005 by Modern Library (first published 1924)
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Jan 03, 2010 Beth rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed these short stories. The first story in the collection, "Benediction," was my least favorite - the motivations of the characters were a little too opaque. I'm glad I continued reading, however, since there were a number of great stories in this book. I particularly enjoyed two stories for their humor: "Head and Shoulders" (light and amusing) and "May Day" (dark, but with a very funny - and true - sequence involving two drunk young men). "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" was also very funn ...more
Jan 15, 2015 James rated it liked it
This book was my first experience reading anything non-Gatsby written by Fitzgerald, and the charm of it came from locating the touchstones of Gatsby before it became Gatsby. For example, in the penultimate story of the work, "Winter Dreams," Fitzgerald lifts whole quotations from his own text and recycles them into Gatsby when describing Daisy's house in Chapter 8. The turn of phrase here and there echoes across his work, and although I found the short stories evocative and not compelling, the ...more
I haven't actually read that much Fitzgerald (yet), but a thought that occurred to me--one that I haven't subjected to much analysis but that I'll mention anyway--is that Hemingway and Fitzgerald are sort of a Lennon and McCartney for their era. Paul McCartney can grate on me sometimes. He can be too cutesy--sort of like listening to The Boston Pops. McCartney seems to want to ingratiate. Lennon is darker and has more bite. This is all a bit simplistic of course, but overall McCartney paints pre ...more
Wynne Kontos
Apr 09, 2013 Wynne Kontos rated it really liked it
I recently read F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story (or novella) "May Day," published by Art of the Novella, which makes beautiful graphically designed books. I'm adding this book cover since it doesn't exist as a single title.
I read it alongside "The Bridge of San Luis Rey," which I am about 20 pgs. away from finishing.

"May Day" was unlike other Fitzgerald I'd read. First, the language was very simple to understand. It follows four characters who interact with each other over the period of singl
Nov 03, 2011 jamie rated it really liked it
"The Diamond as Big as a Ritz" and the pirate story were the most memorable stories. the others ones were forgettable. After reading the diamond story, i didn't want to read his other stories because i wanted this one to go on and on. It reminded me of a Roald Dahl's story because of the wonderful imagery and imagination. It's interesting to note that this story only sold for $400 while others which were not nearly as good sold for much more. the story's main theme is how much wealth corrupts - ...more
Mandi Bean
Jul 04, 2012 Mandi Bean rated it really liked it
I love the way Fitzgerald both develops and explores human connections and relationships. I appreciate that his best work seems to driven more by character development than by plot development. While he can sometimes be pretentious and while some language and societal aspects are antiquated, it is his philiosophy on life and how he interprets the opposite sex that are most fascinating.

Most of his female characters within the short stories are decidedly selfish and unlikeable. However, his talent
Jun 21, 2015 Jenny rated it really liked it
Variations on a theme. I need to stop reading Fitzgerald. Thoroughly depressing.
Aug 30, 2008 Jim rated it it was ok
If you've read The Great Gatsby, don't bother reading these stories, as you'll find the same theme in all of them. Fitzgerald was in his twenties when he wrote most of them and they're all concerned with the feelings of inadequacy young people feel when they start becoming seriously interested in the opposite sex - particularly when they feel they've had fewer advantages than others and don't quite measure up. Many of us go through that, but I wonder how many would want to read about it over and ...more
Christine Otis
Dec 20, 2013 Christine Otis rated it really liked it
His stories take me back to a much different place and time when men courted woman with marriage being the ideal. I like the language, the motion of the characters, the spunk of the women; they have something to say and are willing to take risks.

His stories make me look up the time period to have a better understanding of life and the language flappers used.

And the hair, oh the hair, from when it was long, to chop, chop, now it is gone.

Such rebels these girls were...
Michaux Dempster
Aug 04, 2013 Michaux Dempster rated it it was amazing
Deep into this book in the middle of a rainy summer night, and just found the best sentence yet: " is well known among ladies over thirty-five that when the younger set dance in the summer-time it is with the very worst intentions in the world, and if they are not bombarded with stony eyes stray couples will dance weird barbaric interludes in the corners, and the more popular, more dangerous girls will sometimes be kissed in the parked limousines of unsuspecting dowagers."
Sep 25, 2013 Johnmichael rated it it was amazing
I will quote James Gould Cozzens here on F. Scott Fitzgerald gift for writing:
" a talent for saying not merely the right, the apt, the vivid, or moving thing, but the thing which, having all those qualities, so far transcends your reasonable expectation that you see that it couldn't have been done merely by intelligence, or training, or hard trying, and must simply have been born in a sort of triumphant flash outside the ordinary process of thought".
Sarah Fowler
Aug 07, 2012 Sarah Fowler rated it really liked it
I didn't know Fitzgerald wrote such fantastic short stories; I've only ever read The Great Gatsby. I can't believe we didn't study these in my Short Narrative courses in college! He writes such vivid characters and in such phenomenal visual detail. The plots can be thin or unlikely, but it doesn't even matter because the writing is so good.
Lisa James
Jun 07, 2013 Lisa James rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
This collection of short stories provides an excellent look into Fitzgerald's talents prior to the publication of Gatsby, which he's best known for. They range from the slightly fantastical Diamond As Big As the Ritz, to the defiant Bernice Bobs Her Hair.

Looking forward to reading more of his work!
Jul 03, 2007 Cpd rated it liked it
Shelves: whativeread
My mother sent me this book for my 29th Birthday in May, the joke being that he was the great poet of the 20's and I was on my way out -- she also slipped ten $20 bills between the pages of the book, one for each year spent as a twentysomething -- which, really, is the peeerfect gift.
Jan 15, 2010 Kaylyn rated it it was amazing
I really liked these stories. Some of my favorites were The Offshore Pirate, Head and Shoulders, and The Ice Palace. The only time it got a little dry is when I read more than one story in a day. Otherwise, I really enjoyed this particular selection of stories.
Hafeez Lakhani
Jan 08, 2012 Hafeez Lakhani rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
"There go fifty thousand dollars worth of slaves," cried Kismine, "at prewar prices. So few Americans have any respect for property."

"I want to advise you--about raps. Don't answer them! Let them alone--have a padded door!"
Jeff Hobbs
Aug 14, 2015 Jeff Hobbs marked it as to-read
Shelves: quick-read
Already read:

Head and Shoulders--
Bernice Bobs Her Hair--
The Ice Palace--
The Offshore Pirate--
May Day--
The Jelly Bean--
The Diamond as Big as the Ritz--
Winter Dreams--
Jan 02, 2011 Raychel rated it liked it
There were actually quite a few I had to skip, however I really liked one of the short stories (of course the title escapes me.. guess it wasn't that memorable)
Katie Payne
Oct 30, 2011 Katie Payne rated it really liked it
Loved this collection for one story: The Offshore Pirate. Why didn't this story get more attention? It is completely fantastical in its whimsy. Loved it.
Michelle Buckley
Aug 02, 2010 Michelle Buckley rated it liked it
My favorite short stories from this book is The Offshore Pirate. I actually read it back in 2006 and it is the reason I read the rest of the short stories.
Frazer Gowans
Apr 15, 2009 Frazer Gowans rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
Some really great stories here - The Diamond as Big as the Ritz, The Ice House, some not so great but overall a very enjoyable read
Oct 15, 2009 Benjamin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Really enjoying it!
Maria (M.J) Hyland
Maria (M.J) Hyland rated it it was amazing
Feb 06, 2016
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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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