81st out of 99 books — 3 voters
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Scott Fitzgerald follows the life of one of America's most enduring authors, from his early years in St Paul and at Princeton to New York in the twenties, the French Riviera, Baltimore, and finally Hollywood. Andrew Turnbull tells the story behind F. Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise, revised and finally published when he was twenty-four, making him instantly famous ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published August 5th 2004 by Vintage Classics
(first published June 1954)
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Aug 19, 2016 Alan rated it really liked it · review of another edition
Turnbull is a good basic biography of novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) and it was only the 2nd ever published in 1962 (following Arthur Mizener's The Far Side of Paradise: A Biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald from 1951). Both of them and others since have been superseded by Matthew J. Bruccoli's Some Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald (orig. 1981, 2nd edition paperback 2002) which is considered the standard work to date and is still in print. The Mizener and Turnbull ar ...more
Scott Fitzgerald, by Andrew Turnbull was well-researched, thoughtful, and quickly paced. After getting about a hundred pages into it, I realized that I already had a pretty good understanding of Fitzgerald's life. I expected a huge ego and unbridled ambition. I expected embarrassing tales of public drunkenness and excess. I expected a sad end to a meteoric beginning. And I got all of these.
There were some surprises though. It came as a surprise to me just how unhinged Zelda became. Some of the s ...more
This biography comes from a unique perspective due to the fact that Andrew Turnbull actually knew Fitzgerald from when Fitzgerald rented a house on his family's land during his childhood. That gives us a unique perspective and some charming anecdotes about Fitzgerald's doting on the children in what was otherwise a low point of his life. I'm not sure whether he differs in his assessment than other more contemporary biographers, but Fitzgerald sounds like a wreck from the beginning to me. The per ...more
Andrew Turnbull actually knew and interacted with Fitzgerald and his family from the time he was eleven years old when Fitzgerald rented a house from Turnbull's father. To me, this made his insights on Fitzgerald all the more meaningful in this well-researched and beautifully written biography. Fitzgerald was, as many of his protagonists, a tragic figure. I am strongly reminded of Millay's oft-quoted poem, "My candle burns at both ends; it will not last the night; but ah, my foes, and oh, my fri ...more
This biography didn't really talk about his work as an author but more of what he did growing up. It was very detailed and a great story to read but I was more interested in the books he wrote. It wasn't a terrible book, I did enjoy parts of it and finding out interesting facts about Fitzgerald, but I probably won't recommend this book to anyone. If you're looking for the drawn out full story of Fitzgerald, this is the one for you. (Didn't mean to make it sound like that was a bad thing.)
The Letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Andrew Turnbull, Editor. HB-B, @ 1963. Read from 7/92 to 3/93, off and on. Interesting, makes me want to read F. Scott and many others. Not an easy book to get through (605 pages). Not always clear becausse you only get one side...his letters to people...not their answers. Okay.
I really enjoyed this biography. The author Andrew Turnbull had the experience of personally knowing Fitzgerald so the biography has some personal anecdotes that make the man very real. It's not a flowery book or slanted. It was a long read, but I thought it was very good.