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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Jazz Age Stories

3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,653 Ratings  ·  265 Reviews
The inspiration for the major motion picture starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett—plus eighteen other stories by the beloved author of The Great Gatsby

IN THE TITLE STORY, a baby born in 1860 begins life as an old man and proceeds to age backward. F. Scott Fizgerald hinted at this kind of inversion when he called his era “a generation grown up to find all Gods dead, all wa
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1922)
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Apr 07, 2009 Elaine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't like this short story. Maybe I was expecting more because the concept has so much promise. But it was short, sad, and I could not willingly suspend my disbelief regarding how people reacted to Benjamin, from the doctors in the beginning to his very own family throughout. I also found it a little bit difficult to believe how Benjamin reacted in turn, as well. It read more like a synopsis than a story -- Fitzgerald doesn't explore any of Benjamin's relationships; it's more like a play-by- ...more
Mar 11, 2009 Janet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're thinking about reading this because you loved the movie "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", you may be disappointed. There are very few similarities with the story and movie but if you (like me) are a fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald's writing, you will enjoy these stories. "Benjamin Button" is a very minor part of them. This is quite a varied collection. The "Jazz Age" and "Flapper Stories" have their highs and lows yet I appreciated the historical perspective that the stories gave me. T ...more
audiobook read by Grover Gardiner - I'd like to be more positive about these stories, but as the collection progressed, a single, sad thought kept coming to my mind - Fitzgerald really was a one hit wonder. That might be unfair, in that these stories are his early works, but they were published, so they do stand as a part of his body of work. The titled story is pretty good, especially in concept. And the arc of the main character gives an interesting look at what would happen if we really were ...more
Mary Overton
I read the title story, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," being curious myself about how it inspired the 2008 movie of the same name. (A mediocre film based on a great premise - a person aging backward.) The story was first collected in TALES OF THE JAZZ AGE, 1922, with the following note by Fitzgerald:

'This story was inspired by a remark of Mark Twain's to the effect that it was a pity that the best part of life came at the beginning and the worst part at the end. By trying the experiment
Feb 16, 2010 Amber rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Offshore Pirate:
This was ultimately my favorite short story of the book. The story is about Ardita a snobbish young woman who believes she can do whatever she pleases. Ardita is a great character and her attitude towards everyone made me giggle, it was just so entertaining on how she treats everyone. She throws a half eaten lemon at her own uncle, rude and childish but funny as hell. The story actually begins on Ardita’s uncle’s ship, she is suppose to head to shore and meet the man she is t
Oct 06, 2015 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is F. Scott Fitzgerald. Of course, I loved it. I would have given it five stars, but stories like "Tarquin of Cheapside" and "Jemina" make that impossible. Still, it's a good collection of Fitzgerald's Jazz Age stories. Off the top of my head, my favorite stories are "May Day," "Bernice Bobs Her Hair," "The Lees of Happiness," "The Ice Palace," "The Cut-Glass Bowl," "Head and Shoulders," "Off-Shore Pirate," and "Four Fists." I'm sure there are more that I really liked, but again, I'm doing ...more
Melissa Rochelle
Apr 06, 2009 Melissa Rochelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
I never loved The Great Gatsby in high school...I seem to recall thinking Gatsby was a buttface and Daisy was an idiot. Maybe I should read it again, because I really enjoyed this collection of short stories. Yes, there were some I didn't like, but my favorites more than make up for those that I didn't like.

"Bernice Bobs Her Hair"... warrants a second reading, Marjorie deserved what she got in the end! Justice for the unfavored girl!
"Head & Shoulders" ...beautifully bitter ending...great tak
علي الماجد
شاهدت الفلم الذي اداه ببراعة الممثل الرائع براد بت

رغم الخيال الخصب و الفكرة انني لم اصل الى المغزي لها

لا ادري فعلا عن فكرة الفلم تبدو سهلة جدا و غامظة جدا في نفس الوقت

جسد عجوز خارجي لينتهي العكس

خيال جميل لكن لم ارى فكرة
Disclaimer: This review & rating is specifically for the short story The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. If you are looking for a review of the entire book then others perhaps will be more helpful.

I really liked the movie version of this story and it's what drew me to this (as I'm sure most people can attest to as well). Cate Blanchett is other-worldly and I loved the deep narrative of life, love, and in between. However, this story is so far removed from the movie that the only similarity
Mar 13, 2011 Siobhan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, 2011
I had been planning to read The Great Gatsby for years and picked up a copy when I was browsing a soon-to-close local Borders. This book was next to it, so I scooped up a copy of this as well. I'm probably the last person on the planet to fall in love with F. Scott Fitzgerald. What a writer! His sentences are so finely crafted and the stories are jewels to treasure. He so captures the era in which he wrote -- at least as far as I can tell. 0
Thom Swennes
Jun 21, 2012 Thom Swennes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A circle is a line curved to infinity. Often life is described as a circle; one is born, grows up, (hopefully) falls in love, has children, grows old, mourns and then dies; only to repeat this in another dimension. What a truly beautiful thought. Who can find fault with this? It is simple….. Now, change the direction of this circle of life….. That is what F. Scot Fitzgerald did in his amazing story The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Mr. and Mrs. Roger Button have a baby. That doesn’t sound, in ...more
Aug 21, 2013 Kristi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought Fitzgerald’s writing was clever and imaginative and moving and vivid. I also think he’s a very sad, disillusioned, jaded, unhappy man. The only other Fitzgerald book I’ve read was The Great Gatsby, but this mix of short stories confirms what I suspected about him. His world view seems to be that anything that appears to be good is merely a façade over a darker truth, and that the only purpose of a relationship is to get something out of it. Every single woman he portrayed was either an ...more
Katie Herring
As a whole, this collection of short stories is okay. Individually though, some of these stories are phenomenal.

My favorites were:
The Offshore Pirate,
Head and Shoulders,
Bernice Bobs Her Hair,
The Four Fists,
Porcelain and Pink,
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,
And The Lees of Happiness.

I would definitely recommend this collection, but beware, this tale of Benjamin Button is quite different from the movie. The ploy is still the same, though. A man aging backwards.

F. Scott, I am happy to say, is
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
There seems to be a number of versions of this book, all with different selections. The one I read contained the following stories, all of which I had read previously in other publications:

1)The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. This was one of my two favorites. Interesting and funny story about backwards aging.

2)Babylon Revisited. My other favorite. Really captures an era and the sad consequences of self-indulgence.

3)Three Hours Between Planes

4)The Bridal Party

5)The Lost Decade

3.5 stars over
Isaac Sinclair
F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of the greatest American writers to ever live. In The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Jazz Age Stories, the reader dives into multiple short stories that showcase the incredible style of Fitzgerald. Not all the stories are masterpieces, that’s just how it goes. Not even Fitzgerald can constantly produce classic stories, especially in such short volumes. Overall, the stories are very enjoyable. The ever changing stories helped keep me interested and constantly ...more
Apr 13, 2009 Bellezza rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
For once, the film outdid the short story. A bizarre tale, which seems to me to cleverly mock adult expectations for their children specifically and life generally. It varies greatly from the movie; one possiblity could be that the book was about 50 pages long whereas the film added all kinds of bits to add up to almost three hours. The two are quite dissimilar, in fact, and I was disappointed in reading this knowing that F. Scott Fitzgeral was its author.
Apr 30, 2013 Martin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoying this book so far, I forgot how much I used to enjoy Fitzgerald's stories, it has been a long time since I read him. But I really brought the book to read Benjamin Button, I loved the movie but it was a real stretch from the short story.

It was breath taking, there was an emotional connection that made you keep reading until the last page. It's a beautiful story that can make you giggle or cry, but it's worth every last tear.
Rob Best
Feb 18, 2015 Rob Best rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
F. Scott Fitzgerald's brilliant writing is exhibited beautifully in this collection, which ranges from well-known stories to lesser known gems spanning his entire career. Fitzgerald's wonderfully descriptive writing makes every story an easy one to enjoy, and sends the reader back to the roaring 20's in vivid detail. His ability to turn a story is second only to O. Henry, making each narrative interesting right to the last sentence.

Few authors capture the spirit of an era as well as Fitzgerald,
The only story that truly interested me was the Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I read a few of the others but they seemed to end without ever stating a plot. I realize that they are short stories, but they seemed more like UNFINISHED stories to me.
Marina de Paiva
Na verdade eu li a versão na nova coleção da Folha de São Paulo (Grandes nomes da literatura), mas como não tinha essa versão aqui no goodreads, essa bastou. Então, só posso falar que estou muito desapontada. Sei que talvez possa parecer injusto comparar uma produção hollywoodiana dramática com um livro que se assemelha a um conto -pelo tamanho- meio tragicômico.
Os personagens não são carismáticos, são rasos, e a premissa do livro que é incrível, poderia ter sido muito, mas muito melhor aprovei
Emily Dybdahl
This collection of short stories was a mixture of very good and pretty blah. My favorite stories were The Ice Palace, The Cut-Glass Bowl, and The Diamond as Big as the Ritz. The Ice Palace and The Cut-Glass Bowl had just that flavoring of darkness that I like, and The Diamond as Big as the Ritz has almost an H.G. Wells feel to it that appealed to me. Certain stories like Dalyrimple Goes Wrong, The Jelly-Bean, and The Camel's Back reminded me of An American Tragedy in that they revolved around a ...more
Of all the books that are made into movies, this is the only book which I hadn’t heard of before learning about the movie. This movie made a lot of news and God knows where I was when the book was released or made news (turns out I was not even born. The story was published in 1922). Did it make news at all or did it become popular because it was made into a movie?

The curious case of Benjamin Button is about well, Benjamin Button who is born as an old man. He is seventy years old when he is born
Feb 25, 2009 S rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had wanted to read F. Scott Fitzgerald's short stories since I took a class in college on writers of the Jazz Age. I have never been a short story fan but this was very good and short stories are just perfect because you can read one just before bed. I particularly liked the short stories that are the most well known like "Bernice bobs her hair", "A diamond as big as the Ritz" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button".
Having seen the movie and now read the short story, the "Benjamin Button" m
Jan 29, 2013 Elle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Although I haven't read every single story in this collection, I am still adding it because I have read most of them and plan on reading more. I think my favorites so far are "The Ice Palace," "The Cut-Glass Bowl," "Head and Shoulders," "The Jelly Bean," and "Benediction." These are the better written, more serious ones. I liked "The Offshore Pirate," "Bernice Bobs Her Hair," "The Camel's Back," and "Porcelain and Pink," more for their clever plots and funniness. "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz, ...more
Rachel M.
*Note: For a required reading book I use a different set of criteria when rating books, meaning that a 5-star rating for a required reading book is not necessarily comparable to a 5-star rating on a book that I read just for fun. In other words, my "just for fun" books that receive high ratings are truly great, but not for the same reasons that required reading books are. I would recommend my just for fun books to anyone, but I would only recommend my required reading books to certain people wit ...more
Flappers and Philosophers
- "The Offshore Pirate" - 3/5 stars. A nice story with a surprise ending that shows glimpses of Fitzgerald's genius. Ardita was a fun character to read about. Overall, a story worth reading.
- "The Ice Palace" - 3/5 stars. A rather predictable story with a contrast of heat and cold that could have been developed a lot more. Still a good read.
- "Head and Shoulders" - 5/5 stars. I loved this story. Horace and Marcia were the cutest couple I have ever encountered in lite
I enjoyed some of these short stories. I'd read The Great Gatsby, but I didn't really like it. It got tedious, and there didn't seem to be much point. But I liked this a bit better. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is indeed a very famous Fitzgerald story, but a lot of the other ones in this volume from Penguin were interesting too, especially the first few.

I will admit though that these ones got kind of tedious too (especially the later stories in the collection.) They were all very simil
Megan Schoonveld
In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s woman’s rights became a large aspect of everyday life, and women began to believe they could do whatever a man could. Also, American’s believed materialism was the best way to make a happy life. F. Scott Fitzgerald showed this tremendously in his collection of stories called, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Jazz Age Stores. Overall, I really enjoyed the short stories about feminism much more than the stories about materialism. Fitzgerald did a ma ...more
Much less emotional than the recent film, this is above all a smooth satire of society and its attitude to (among other things) age-appropriate behaviour. Benjamin's wife, Hildegard, resents his increasingly youthful physique and conduct - after all, she married him because he was a quinquagenarian - ; he no longer desires her once she hits 40; their son insists on his schoolboy-father calling him uncle; the Yale registrar sends young Benjamin down because he looks too old; the Harvard football ...more
Jul 11, 2013 Kathryn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
I originally bought this at Costco back when the movie version of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button came out, because I was unaware that it had started as a short story written by Fitzgerald. I loved The Great Gatsby when I read it in grad school, and was curious to sample more of his writing. This is really an anthology of many of Fitzgerald's short stories, written throughout his lifetime. It would be far easier to rank and rate individual stories, then it is to rate the collection as a whol ...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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“There are times when you almost tell the harmless old lady next door what you really think of her face—that it ought to be on a night-nurse in a house for the blind; when you’d like to ask the man you’ve been waiting ten minutes for if he isn’t all overheated from racing the postman down the block; when you nearly say to the waiter that if they deducted a cent from the bill for every degree the soup was below tepid the hotel would owe you half a dollar; when—and this is the infallible earmark of true exasperation—a smile affects you as an oil-baron’s undershirt affects a cow’s husband.

But the moment passes. Scars may remain on your dog or your collar or your telephone receiver, but your soul has slid gently back into its place between the lower edge of your heart and the upper edge of your stomach, and all is at peace.”
“She had been kissed once and made love to six times.” 2 likes
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