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Jazz Age Stories

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  938 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
"A generation grown up to find all Gods dead, all wars fought, all faiths in man shaken", was how F. Scott Fitzgerald defined his age. Perhaps nowhere in American fiction is this statement better exemplified than in Fitzgerald's first two volumes of short fiction: Flappers and Philosophers and Tales of the Jazz Age. Penguin's new Jazz Age Stories gathers all of these early ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published December 1st 1998 by Penguin Classics
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The Garden Party and Other Stories by Katherine MansfieldThe Waste Land by T.S. EliotThe Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott FitzgeraldThe Velveteen Rabbit by Margery WilliamsBabbitt by Sinclair Lewis
Best of 1922
10th out of 33 books — 39 voters
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldTrapping the Butterfly by Debra ParmleyBrideshead Revisited by Evelyn WaughThe Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha ChristieThe Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
I am '20s, hear me roar!
64th out of 259 books — 126 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,806)
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Kevin Hinman
Dec 29, 2011 Kevin Hinman rated it liked it
Jazz Age Stories is like a sampler platter of F. Scott Fitzgerald for the uninitiated. The Ice Palace, May Day, and The Offshore Pirate are all classic Fitzgerald stories and, along with the completely bizarre Mr. Icky play, the highlights of this collection. The others range from good but slight (Benediction, Dayrimple Goes Wrong) to the just plain awful - The Cut Glass Bowl being the most overblown, melodramatic Fitzgerald I've ever read, and Jemina, the Mountain Girl left me anything but mirt ...more
As much as I wanted to, I could not bring myself to like most of the stories in this book. Fitzgerald has a way with turns of phrases and can set a story better than most, but I cannot get over the fact that all he writes about is, money, alcohol, parties and women. There were a couple of stories that stood out: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (the reason I read the collection) and “O Russet Witch!” It is interesting to note that both of these are in the section of short stories Fitzgerald c ...more
Mike Jozic
A mix of some very good and some kind of strange work from the pen of F. Scott. The latter half of this collection presents some odd selections which seem to hail, primarily, from his earlier years at Princeton. There are two one act plays and a couple of shorts that are more concerned with the phrasing than the plot, and some of them work better than others. While I disliked "Mr. Icky" and didn't appreciate any of its strange humour, the other drama, "Porcelain and Pink", was absolutely great. ...more
Apr 30, 2011 Lani rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, kindle
This is a collection of Fitzgerald's short stories seperated into 3 categories. Flappers, fantasies, and some other stuff.

Having only read The Great Gatsby before, I was drawn to Fitzgerald and his Flapper stories. He practically created the craze, and lived it himself. I'd read a book about Flappers not long ago (Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex Style Celebrity and the Women Who Made America Modern), and that was really what I wanted out of the short stories.

Since what I wanted was Flappers, what
Jan 28, 2010 Olivia rated it liked it
In the past 3 years, I've been drawn to reading more and more of F. Scott Fitzgerald's work.

Like many other teenagers, I read The Great Gatsby in high school and loved it. At the time, I remember my teacher telling us that much of Fitzgerald's other work was not as highly regarded, and that he was driven to produce short stories et al to fund his lifestyle.

I was surprised, then, at how impressed I was with his last, unfinished novel, The Last Tycoon, which I red for a film class in college.

Garrett Cash
The characters are so revolting. Fitzgerald's early world is really just empty and disgusting. It's interesting what a marked change is made when Gatsby was written.
Oct 21, 2011 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, 2011
Uneven collection. A couple of these stories are really bad. I had always heard that Fitzgerald thought of short stories as a way to make money, and poured his art into his novels. Or something like that. That said, some of these are amazing and worth reading. "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz" is a weird, weird story, almost science fiction. "May Day" is catastrophically depressing (especially if you're an illustrator, ha!), but beautifully written. I can't remember what the second-to-last one is ...more
Darius Liddell
Sep 22, 2011 Darius Liddell rated it it was ok
These short stories possess awfully self-absorbed and pretentious characters. Interestingly enough, this was my first encounter with Fitzgerald. Might be my last, though I'm aware that 'Great Gatsby' is supposedly his magnum opus.

The stories are entertaining but of abysmal personnel. "The Four Fists" is decent and moralistic. Towards the end of the collection, I found myself racing to the finish. Never a good sign.

His writing is superb. It's just the content that's dismal. However, we must be r
Charlie Rosenthal
Jul 06, 2011 Charlie Rosenthal rated it liked it
An excellent sampler of Fitzgerald's early work, containing all of Tales of the Jazz Age and Flappers and Philosophers. Quite uneven, with some of Fitzgerald's best work ("A Diamond As Big As The Ritz," "Bernice Bobs Her Hair," etc.) side by side with some really skippable stuff ("Mr. Icky" and "Tarquin of Cheapside" notably). All in all, Jazz Age Stories is not nearly as good as This Side of Paradise or The Great Gatsby, but it is an invaluable look into Fitzgerald's early shorter work, which, ...more
May 02, 2008 Elyse rated it it was amazing
i love f. scott's short stories because each one manages to bring new characters to life, all of whom seem similar at first but become distinct in their own ways. each character is doing fine until a problem rises up like a spike from the ground and it's interesting to watch how fitzgerald uses this as character development. i like how each story has the potential to be depressing but he seems to put an optimistic twist on the most unpleasant of situations. if you like short stories i definitely ...more
Alia S
Oct 07, 2011 Alia S rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2011
"You've been drinking, Gordon."
"Thanks." He inclined his head gravely. "Thanks for the information."


Hard to say if I love Fitzgerald or just the gauzy, boozy, 1920s fantasy-world that he's branded ... either way, a fun book. These are short stories of varied readability, but the four stars are because I laughed out loud at the gag in "The Camel's Back" and the banter of "Porcelain and Pink".

He finds fewer excuses for verse than in "This Side of Paradise",
Mar 25, 2009 Jill rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
I'm not really a fan of short stories in general. Their main attraction for me is that they're a good option when you want something that can be picked up and set down at ready intervals (which was quite hard to do with Tolkein, say). The page constraint limits the richness and depth of the character development and more often than not, the conclusion is often all too pat/glib. Jazz Age Stories was like that in many ways - entertaining, clever but ultimately throwaway tales. Still, it's not a ba ...more
Jan 11, 2009 Priscilla rated it really liked it
I bought this book to read on my last trip. The short short stories are about the right length for my in-flight attention span. Most of the stories have a tidy ending with a twist of irony. My favorites are The Offshore Pirate and Head and Shoulders. I love Fitzgeralds writing style.

Even though I know they were written almost 100 years ago, I was still a little surprised at the classism and racism in the writing.
Aug 29, 2011 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
First bit of work I have read by this author and I understand this was a collection of early bits intended for magazines etc as such I guess I can excuse the patchiness of the material...some of it is very good and the storys embrace genres ranging from gritty realism,fantasy and even farce...fairly enjoyable but I am guseeing not the authors best..certainly a worthwhile taster though.
Jul 07, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: highly-recommend
A must read for anyone who is in love with the Roaring 20s as I am. Some stories are better than others, but the entire work is pure Fitzgerald and there is no one who has captured the Jazz Age better. My favorite was "The Glass Cut Bowl". For some reason, this story still haunts me (probably because I am the owner of a 19th century glass cut bowl). Fitzgerald remains one of my favorite authors.
Sep 15, 2012 Chris rated it liked it
While the stories are clearly products of their times, this collection of short stories by Fitzgerald is worth reading despite the sexism and racism that you will encounter . Some of his sentences are just pure beauty. I'm not always a fan of short stories and I feel like they're often hit or miss, but this collection was definitely a bit more hit than miss for me.
Jan 05, 2014 Mike rated it really liked it
Fitzgerald isn't my favorite author by a long shot. But nobody ever reads his stories, and they're worth your time. He has a wonderful ear for the language of the 1920s.
Joe Pags
Dec 20, 2009 Joe Pags rated it liked it
I read only the introduction by F. Scott's daughter and the story The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons. The film starring Brad Pitt came out last year, and I was astounded that a 2 hour epic feature was drawn from the sparse 20 or so pages. This author's confidence and style was something akin to Steinbeck's for me. Classical, elegant, sure.
Dec 01, 2015 Brittany rated it it was ok
In light of contemporary race issues in America, some of the stories were vaguely tough to stomach with the outdated dialect and disdain for any character not graduated from Yale. The times were obviously different. Fitzgerald is too obsessed with white youth and privilege, but this is no news.
Carla JFCL
Jan 22, 2011 Carla JFCL rated it really liked it
Even though I wasn't that thrilled with The Great Gatsby, I did enjoy this collection of stories. Plenty of biting humor and wit; wicked, understated commentary, and lots of the "feel" of the time period, which is what I found a bit lacking in "Gatsby".
Oct 09, 2009 Zanna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I only read one story from this book. I read The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It was very short and there was no development of the characters. Benjamin lived a sad, lonely life with no one really caring for him. His family didn't even care for him. Not worth reading.
Mar 03, 2008 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone in the universe
Recommended to Melissa by: Mrs. Donovan??
Shelves: read-reviewed
I read these in High School. Let's say 1994. Loved these stories. There is one story in here that I always think about. A man is born in reverse and his life starts out as an old man and he goes back to a baby and then nothing. Is that death??
Devlin Scott
Nov 14, 2011 Devlin Scott rated it liked it
I enjoyed 5 of the offered stories: The Camel's Back, May Day, Porcelain and Pink, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and "O Russet Witch! May Day and "O Russet Witch! proved to be my personal favorites. They were certainly worth reading.
Jun 21, 2011 Aubrey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a curious collection of stories! Some were quite fantastic, others were funny, some were sad. I really enjoyed these for their subject matter and their style. Most memorable are The Camel's Back and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
Courtney Stirrat
Jul 01, 2009 Courtney Stirrat rated it really liked it
Most of these stories are not F. Scott's best work, so I am torn between 3 and 4 stars. However, because three of the stories are so good - "The Jelly Bean," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," and "Hot Blood, Cold Blood," I went with 4 stars
May 23, 2012 Ben rated it it was amazing
A collection of some of Fitzgeral'ds best and most original short stories; some seem forced (he often cranked these out for quick cash), but not as much as his later ones, like the Pat Hobby stories of Basil and Josephine collection.
Abby Warren
These were some of the first stories that he wrote and you can definitely tell the difference between them and the books that he wrote later in life once his life of craziness with Zelda had started to take a toll on him.
Nov 19, 2011 Fiona rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have only started reading books of short stories in the last few years. some of the short stories in Tales of the Jazz Age are really enjoyable, and some of them are a bit average. Overall, I did enjoy it. Easy read.
Aug 08, 2012 Parvathy rated it really liked it
Brings me back to Fitzgerald who I mooned over as a teenager... I find I still like him. Wild, sometimes wicked, sometimes pathos-laden, surprisingly contemporary. I am going to re-read all of him this year.
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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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