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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

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Today, F. Scott Fitzgerald is known for his novels, but in his lifetime, his fame stemmed from his prolific achievement as one of America's most gifted story writers. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," a witty and fantastical satire about aging, is one of his most memorable stories.

In 1860 Benjamin Button is born an old man and mysteriously begins aging backward. At the beginning of his life he is withered and worn, but as he continues to grow younger he embraces life -- he goes to war, runs a business, falls in love, has children, goes to college and prep school, and, as his mind begins to devolve, he attends kindergarten and eventually returns to the care of his nurse.

This strange and haunting story embodies the sharp social insight that has made Fitzgerald one of the great voices in the history of American literature.

56 pages, Paperback

First published May 27, 1922

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About the author

F. Scott Fitzgerald

1,880 books22.8k followers
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 unfinished, and wrote dozens of short stories that treat themes of youth, despair, and age. He was married to Zelda Fitzgerald.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,358 reviews
Profile Image for Nayra.Hassan.
1,260 reviews5,356 followers
June 27, 2022
و من قال انني ساغضب لو ان ابنتي ذات 18ربيعا صارت من عمري بمعجزة ما!تفاهمنا سيكون تاما و مشاجرتنا اقل وأقل
و الأجمل بقى لو صرت انا من عمرها..ستنعدم المشاجرات ولتذهب المسؤوليات إلى حيث أُلقت
ا{لقد تجاوزت المزحة حدها و لم تعد مضحكة

عليك ان تتعقل و ان تناديني بعمي امام الزوار☆ا
هكذا أكد الابن روسكو لوالده بنجامين بوتن اعتراضا على شبابه المستمر

افضل ما قرأته عن أثر العمر عليك و على من حولك🕞
..عقليا و اجتماعيا
خيال جامح عفي يدهشك مهما كانت درجة مللك..ببساطة هي قصة طفل ولد في السبعين من عمره و ظل يصغر و يصغر

القصة ذات الخيال الماكر البارع تتعرض لحلم البشر جميعا..⏳
و ماذا لو حصلت على حكمة الشيوخ و جسد و عافية الشباب؟ و هذا ما فاز به بنجامين لفترة قصيرة جدا ثم أثر الكاتب ان يجعل الهرمونات تتغلب على الحكمة في واقعية بليغة. .و لم يعجبني التجاهل المتعمد لعرض مشاعر نساء الاسرة

القصة مختلفة عن الفيلم اختلاف الليل عن النهار⛅ ..و كلاهما عذب بطريقته
الفيلم اكثر رومانسية و حزنا
القصة اسلوبها قد يستغربه كثيرين فهو تلغرافي العبارات

سخرت القصة من المجتمع بطريقة "سويفت في جاليفر " في صفعات قاتلة صادقة عبر ثلاث اجيال من أسرة و رغبتهم الملحة في ان يصبحوا"شبه الأخرين"بعد ان اصاب ابنهم أغرب ظاهرة في الكون
و اثرت بالطبع التعامل بأسلوب"دعها تمر"؟ و لكن هل مرور الأيام للوراء يمر مرور الكرام؟
Profile Image for Ilse.
456 reviews2,944 followers
February 15, 2018
The curious case of Benjamin Button, as a slightly melancholic and in its absurdity somewhat humorous, surreal tale on time and (non) conformism, could in a sense be read as a satirical allegory on ageism avant la lettre. (Or maybe I did so).

“You're just the romantic age," she continued — "fifty. Twenty-five is too wordly-wise; thirty is apt to be pale from overwork; forty is the age of long stories that take a whole cigar to tell; sixty is—oh, sixty is too near seventy; but fifty is the mellow age. I love fifty."

To everything there is a season. But as no man is an island, others might have fixed or preconceived ideas on what might be the appointed or appropriate time for certain life events happening to us and how we should be and behave at specific moments in life, even if the desirable behaviour or bringing about such events is beyond our control and we are helpless and unable to change so we fit into the frame of normality or in the plans of our relatives or larger society. Why be happy when you could be normal? If we have to live on someone else’s terms, societal norms and standards might collide with our identity and condition and cause friction and chasm even with our near and dear when they cannot accept we digress. In presenting Benjamin Button’s case, depicting the insensitive and petty responses of both outsiders as well as Benjamin’s father, wife and son on Benjamin’s various stages of life and development, Fitzgerald caustically shows how deviance meets with shame, irritation, rejection, ridicule, shock and denial. Our loved ones are not always willing nor able to transcend their own frame of reference in perceiving and accepting us as we really are, even if this might make us thoroughly unhappy.

She sniffed again. "The idea," she said, and after a moment: "I should think you'd have enough pride to stop it."
"How can I?" he demanded.
"I'm not going to argue with you," she retorted. "But there's a right way of doing things and a wrong way. If you've made up your mind to be different from everybody else, I don't suppose I can stop you, but I really don't think it's very considerate."
"But, Hildegarde, I can't help it."
"You can too. You're simply stubborn. You think you don't want to be like anyone else. You always have been that way, and you always will be. But just think how it would be if everyone else looked at things as you do — what would the world be like?"

(© Postertext)

Of thoughtful satire and social criticism one can expect it speaks for itself. I wasn’t particularly taken with the story, nor did I find any specifically enlightening insights on age or aging in it, but ostensibly such didn’t seem the purpose of the story. The prose however, on the moments it quits the more outspoken satirical register, flows delicately and lyrically, movingly mellowing nearing the ending while Benjamin reaches the innocent sweetness of infancy, soothing like a lullaby.

“And when the long day was done at five o'clock he would go up-stairs with Nana and be fed oatmeal and nice soft mushy foods with a spoon. There were no troublesome memories in his childish sleep; no token came to him of his brave days at college, of the glittering years when he flustered the hearts of many girls. There were only the white, safe walls of his crib and Nana and a man who came to see him sometimes, and a great big orange ball that Nana pointed at just before his twilight bed hour and called "sun." When the sun went his eyes were sleepy—there were no dreams, no dreams to haunt him.”
Profile Image for Vit Babenco.
1,423 reviews3,376 followers
August 20, 2021
Usually children are born as infants but Benjamin Button was born a septuagenarian…
The cool perspiration redoubled on Mr. Button’s forehead. He closed his eyes, and then, opening them, looked again. There was no mistake – he was gazing at a man of threescore and ten – a baby of threescore and ten, a baby whose feet hung over the sides of the crib in which it was reposing.
The old man looked placidly from one to the other for a moment, and then suddenly spoke in a cracked and ancient voice. “Are you my father?” he demanded.

And right since the day of his birth Benjamin began to live backwards… So The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a genuine story of the unique back-to-front living – from the bitter sadness of the old age to the carefree joys of youth…
…he found, as the new century gathered headway, that his thirst for gaiety grew stronger. Never a party of any kind in the city of Baltimore but he was there, dancing with the prettiest of the young married women, chatting with the most popular of the debutantes, and finding their company charming, while his wife, a dowager of evil omen, sat among the chaperons, now in haughty disapproval, and now following him with solemn, puzzled, and reproachful eyes.

Alas, getting younger with every new day doesn’t mean immortality.
Profile Image for İntellecta.
199 reviews1,535 followers
December 28, 2021
“Der seltsame Fall des Benjamin Button“ is a short story, which can be read very quickly because it only has 66 pages. This story is very captivating and emotional. The novel is based on a mixture of weird tragedy and comedy. The destiny of this odd person in combination with Fitzgerald’s writing style and language could fascinate me simply.
Profile Image for Micah (the distracted librarian).
27 reviews91 followers
November 9, 2020
I found this short story quite sad, honestly. The fading of memories into oblivion reminded me too well of old age and the forgotten nostalgias of vibrant youth. Although I'm fairly young, I find the prospect of aging-associated diseases disheartening. The relaying of an entire life into such a short book had me contemplating those difficult questions we all are familiar with.

This book was actually fun to read, though. The dry, satirical, highbrow humor balances out the depressing aspects which had me laughing throughout. I would recommend this short story to anyone who wants a quick, snapshot reminder of the value of life and it's many quirks.
Profile Image for Terrie  Robinson.
396 reviews581 followers
December 29, 2022
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" by F. Scott Fitzgerald is curious, indeed!

Benjamin Button is born in 1860 at the age of seventy. He's born in the body of an older man with the ability to talk and walk. If that's not curious enough, as he lives his life, he ages backwards rather than forwards. When he dies as an infant, there's no memories of the past, he can't speak or crawl. His life simply fades to black.

Even though Benjamin ages through his life in reverse, his struggles are similar to yours and mine. He goes through life either too old or too young to fit in and craves to be accepted as he is.

His father is embarrassed by him for the way he looks. His son is angry at him for not "acting his age". They beg for him to be normal.

This is Benjamin's normal and I'm curious how different his life could have been if his family had simply shown him compassion and understanding. Merely embraced him and loved him as he was.

Think about this:
We tell ourselves that age is just a number and don't we use that number as an excuse to limit ourselves? Are we ever really content with our current place in life? Certainly, a question for the ages, so to speak.

Call me crazy but I love this satire on aging. It's a short read/listen that's a "deep-thinker" story. One reviewer mentions that if you were to read this story backwards, it would make complete sense. Well, to me it makes perfect sense just the way it's written.

I highly recommend this original and different, creative and thought-provoking read. 5 Ageless Stars!⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Profile Image for Nandakishore Mridula.
1,242 reviews2,255 followers
May 11, 2016
Goodreads is serendipitous! I have been planning to read this for a long time, but somehow kept on putting it off. I suddenly came across Fatty Bolger's review in my feed. It was during my lunch hour, so I Googled for a free version online, found it, and read it.

Surprisingly, I liked the story a lot better than I was expecting to. Unlike the movie, which has a heavy dose of pathos, the story is an out-and-out fantasy based on an outlandish premise: what would happen if one aged in reverse? This is a time machine applicable only to anatomy; the person moves forward in time.

Fitzgerald has explored all the absurd possibilities of such a wild scenario, including two grandfather-grandson interactions at the same biological age level - Benjamin the "infant" and his seventy year-old grandpa, and the "65-year old" Grandpa Benjamin and his five-year-old grandson. The most interesting thing about the story is that Benjamin, in his regressive trip through life, gets to interact with his grandfather, father, son and grandson as peers.

A weird little story, hilarious and melancholic by turns - right up my alley.
Profile Image for Brina.
898 reviews4 followers
April 14, 2017
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald is the short story selection in the group catching up on classics for May 2017. This story was first published in Colliers Magazine in 1922 and describes Fitzgerald's views on aging in satirical form. While ageism has become a timely topic today, Fitzgerald first grappled with the issue nearly one hundred years ago.

Benjamin Button was "born" to Mr and Mrs Roger Button in 1860. In the place of the bundle of joy the Buttons expected, they received a seventy year old man. Prominent members of society, the Buttons fear that they will be the scandal of their town, and attempt to shield their son from all but select relatives. Lucky for the senior Buttons, the Civil War breaks out, turning attention to more serious matters.

A most remarkable thing occur: Benjamin ages backward. He goes from a feeble contemporary of his grandfather to a younger man in the prime of his life and eventually becomes a hero of the Spanish American War and then a football hero at Harvard College. As he reverse ages, Button has a wealth of knowledge and ideas to share with the modernizing world because he already experienced life as an older citizen. Fitzgerald, through Button, reveals that age is but a number or perception, and goes against the common societal beliefs of how to treat both older citizens and children.

Even though I generally do not read satires or usually do not appreciate the wit, I enjoyed Fitzgerald's views on age and aging. Knowledge comes with age yet usually the most senior members of society with the most wisdom to share are treated like mere children. I just completed a contemporary book in which an octogenarian woman faces these same issues. Fitzgerald tackled the question of age nearly one hundred years ago, and, yet, society still does not always appreciate the elderly and children as intelligent individuals.

I probably would not have tackled this story if it was not a selection in one of my groups. Yet it conveniently fits nicely with the novel I have just completed, and even matches its wit. Benjamin Button may not be the most timeless classic, but its message still resonates, and I look forward to the discussions ahead. 3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
July 18, 2020
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a short story written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. First published in Collier's Magazine on May 27, 1922.

It was subsequently anthologized in his book Tales of the Jazz Age, which is occasionally published as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Jazz Age Stories.

In 1860 Baltimore, Benjamin is born with the physical appearance of a 70-year-old man, already capable of speech. His father Roger invites neighborhood boys to play with him and orders him to play with children's toys, but Benjamin obeys only to please his father. At five, Benjamin is sent to kindergarten but is quickly withdrawn after he repeatedly falls asleep during child activities.

عنوانها: «ماجرای مرموز بنجامین باتن»؛ «بنجامین باتن موردی استثنایی»؛ «ماجرای عجیب بنجامین باتن»؛ نویسنده: فرانسیس اسکات فیتس جرالد (فیتزجرالد)؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و ششم ماه فوریه سال 2011میلادی

عنوان: ماجرای مرموز بنجامین باتن؛ نویسنده: فرانسیس اسکات فیتس جرالد (فیتزجرالد)؛ مترجم پدرام عبهر؛ تهران، کوله پشتی، 1389، در 80ص؛ شابک 9786005816006؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان آمریکایی - سده 20م

عنوان: بنجامین باتن موردی استثنایی؛ نویسنده فرانسیس اسکات فیتس جرالد (فیتزجرالد)؛ مترجم مرضیه فولادی؛ تهران، نیک مهر، 1395، در 54ص؛ شابک 9786008287322؛

عنوان: ماجرای عجیب بنجامین باتن و داستانهای دیگر؛ نویسنده: فرانسیس اسکات فیتس جرالد (فیتزجرالد)، و دیگران؛ مترجم فرشید عطایی؛ تهران، آموت، 1389، در 205ص؛ شابک 9786005941777؛

نقل نمونه متن: چشمان آقای باتن انگشت اشاره‌ ی پرستار را دنبال کرد؛ و آنچه که دید این بود. پیچیده در پتویی بزرگ و سفید، پیرمردی که آشکارا حدود هفتاد سال را داشت در یکی از تخت‌های نوزاد، که به سختی در آنجا داده شده بود، نشسته بود. موی کم پشتش تقریبا سفید بود و از چانه‌‌ اش ریش بلند دودی رنگی آویزان بود، که در نسیمی که از پنجره به درون می‌وزید به طرز مضحکی تکان می‌خورد. پیرمرد سرش را بالا آورد و با چشمانی کم‌سو و کم‌رمق که در آن سوالی بغرنج موج می‌زد به آقای باتن نگاه کرد. آقای باتن، که وحشتش به خشم تبدیل شده بود، غرید: «آیا من دیوانه شده‌ ام؟ یا این شوخی مزخرف بیمارستانی است؟»ا. پایان نقل از متن

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 28/04/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Bionic Jean.
1,227 reviews1,062 followers
February 19, 2023
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a strange little fantasy about a baby born in 1860, who appears to be a withered decrepit old man. He goes on to live his life in reverse, doing all the normal things - running a business, marrying and having children, going to war, attending school and college, and ending up in kindergarten and under the care of a nurse. It was written by Scott Fitzgerald in 1922. Clearly it is a social satire.

In his introduction, Fitzgerald says that he came across a similar plot in Samuel Butler's notebooks - but several weeks after the publication of his own story. That led me to wondering what the influences of this story had been.

It reminded me of Martin Amis's "Time's Arrow", or "The Confessions of Max Tivoli", but these are much more modern works. Thematically there are similarities with "The Time Traveller's Wife" and "Slaughterhouse 5", but even "Slaughterhouse 5" dates from 1969. The idea of a person displaced in time is, of course, a staple of SF, but this is Scott Fitzgerald we are talking about here, the author who exemplified the Jazz Age. It is hardly his typical fare. So maybe the roots of this story lie in Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in Arthur's Court" of 1889; another humorous satire. But that is more of a burlesque, and as in the second two examples, the main character does not himself reverse his age.

Fitzgerald thought this was "the funniest story ever written." That is highly debatable. But the message of the story is that age is more than just a number. Not only does it dictate our physical condition, but our personality and character traits as well. Benjamin Button is constantly unhappy and frustrated in his life as he has to pretend he is a chronological age which he does not feel. When he looks old, he wants to sit around and chat with other old men; when young he is happy to sit and play with strips of coloured paper. Somewhere in the middle of course he appears "normal" with the normal interests and tastes of a man of his apparent age.

Age plays a big part in our identity. We all change as we get older, but maybe the message of this story is the popular saying that "You are as young as you feel."
Profile Image for Fernando.
680 reviews1,089 followers
August 24, 2020
Francis Scott Fitzgerald es considerado uno de los máximos exponentes de ese grupo llamado “La generación perdida”, que compartió con otros escritores estadounidenses como John Dos Passos, Erskine Caldwell, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Sherwood Anderson, todos ellos notables y que vivieron en París y en otras ciudades europeas en un período que va desde el final de la Primera Guerra Mundial en 1918, hasta la Gran Depresión en el año 1929, cuando se desplomó la Bolsa norteamericana sembrando un mar de gente pobre y desocupada.
Lógicamente, esto se trasladó automáticamente a la literatura y pasó a formar parte de los argumentos o temáticas de las novelas y cuentos que se escribían en esos años.
Los temas más recurrentes eran el pesimismo y el desconcierto, las injusticias de la guerra, la gran depresión económica (algo que pudo desarrollar extensamente Steinbeck), los posteriores y felices años veinte que van de la mano con la “Era del jazz” (“El Gran Gatsby” de Fitzgerald es el retrato más adecuado para identificar esta época) y muy especialmente, los autores se encargaban de reflejar en sus obras un muy certero reflejo de lo que era la sociedad norteamericana en la mayoría de sus aspectos.
Se ve que Fitzgerald supo captar todos estos elementos tan claramente y con tan sólo leer unas pocas líneas de su Gatsby sentimos que estamos atravesando esos años maravillosos que nunca volvieron a surgir con tanto brillo e intensidad.
Hace muy poco que leí “El gran Gatsby”. No me avergüenzo de ello. La literatura es enorme y a veces sucede que uno está orientado a otros autores hasta que finalmente recala en aquellos que por alguna razón fue dejando de lado. Además, uno no puede nunca decir que lo ha leído todo.
Esa novela me demostró el poder narrativo de Fitzgerald. La suntuosidad de su prosa es contenida para no resultar empalagosa, pero a la vez es bella, sublime y tiene una cadencia constante en todo momento. Incluso hasta en los diálogos.
Toda mi vida pensé que “El curioso caso de Benjamin Button” era una novela, puesto que nunca me detuve a averiguar cuántas páginas tenía y además, me dejé engañar por la película y lamento profundamente que el autor no haya decidido extender más la historia, porque hubiera sido una novela maravillosa.
Si en tan pocas páginas logra absorber con total arrebato el interés del lector, no me hubiera imaginado si elegía el formato de la novela. Este cuento, que es de naturaleza fantástica (el sólo hecho de que una persona nazca anciana y vaya decreciendo con el correr de los años define qué clase de cuento es), sin lugar a dudas descolla por sobre todos los demás por su belleza y porque en pocas páginas ahonda en la vida de Benjamin, este ser humano tan especial, que vive en reversa y que a mitad de su vida comienza a entender que su destino es trágico.
Indudablemente, es uno de los mejores cuentos que he leído en mi vida. Es para mí inolvidable y único.
El tema aquí es que los demás cuentos que componen este volumen me parecieron en general, muy similares. Me refiero puntualmente al caso de “Sueños de invierno”, “Lo sensato”, “El niño rico”, “La última belleza sureña” “El cortejo nupcial” y “regreso a Babilonia”.
Para mí, a todos ellos los une el mismo hilo: la historia personal del personaje principal que trata de abrirse paso en un mundo en donde el dinero lo domina todo (algo similar sucede en “El gran Gatsby) y todo esto se entrelaza con pasiones descarriadas, amores no correspondidos y mujeres fatales e inaccesibles.
Todos ellos recalan en la pérdida de la oportunidades de personajes que no logran volver a ponerse de pie hasta las últimas línea del relato. En estos cuentos las relaciones truncas están a la orden del día, las mujeres y los hombres, giran a través de ella con inseguridad y admiración. Son inalcanzables.
Sólo el último cuento, “La tarde de un autor” expone un relato distinto al que nos encontramos en todos los anteriores: la frustración de un autor ante la falta de inspiración para volver a escribir.
En líneas generales, me encuentro con un libro en el que sólo dos relatos destacan (y se diferencian) de los restantes, que conforman un bloque monolítico, que hasta podrían formar parte de una misma novela, como esas que escribía Dostoievski.
De todas maneras, no voy a quitarle méritos a semejante autor. Su técnica es irreprochable, su narrativa exquisita y su vigencia sigue siendo indiscutida, dado que sólo Fitzgerald pudo rescatar el signo de su tiempo con tanta clarividencia y exactitud.
Profile Image for Duane.
828 reviews404 followers
April 3, 2017
Most everyone knows the premise of this story; a man is born old, already smart and wise, and as he "ages" he becomes younger in body and mind. It makes me think of another saying, "you are who you are", but actually, throughout your life, you are a different person at different times. You look different, you act different, you think different, you are perceived different during the various stages of your life. I've read most of what Fitzgerald wrote and I think this is one of his best stories. It certainly has a different feel to it than the others.
Profile Image for Elizabeth Sagan.
236 reviews2,087 followers
September 20, 2017
Y’all know what this is about. Now take a look at this quote:

I’m not going to argue with you. But there’s a right way of doing things and a wrong way. If you’ve made up your mind to be different from everybody else, I don’t suppose I can stop you, but I really don’t think it’s very considerate. [...] You’re simply stubborn. You think you don’t want to be like anyone else. You always have been that way, and you always will be. But just think how it would be if everyone else looked at things as you do – what would the world be like?

‘Why can’t you just be like everyone else?’
‘I can’t, I was born this way, I can’t change it.’
‘Yes you can. You just have to try. You just have to deciiide to be normal.’

And I was like:


Conclusion: choose your partner wisely.
Profile Image for Misty Marie Harms.
559 reviews332 followers
December 29, 2021
This story makes no sense and I still love it. Benjamin is born an old man. He ages backwards instead of forward. He fights in the war, falls in love, starts elementary school all in that order. The plot makes you think how life would be for you if it happened that way. What if you had kids that aged forward while you still was going backwards? Would your kids end up taking care of baby you instead of old you? Are you born with wisdom of an older generation or do you still have to learn like you did as a child? Excellent read!!
Profile Image for Inder Suri.
29 reviews91 followers
September 13, 2012
I have never read anything like this before.
When you pick up a book and you know that it is more a short-story than a novel, it's obvious you can't expect much from the book. It will either be a short tale telling you something related to a significant subject and maximum it can do is to give you a heartwarming and a satisfying ending.

But this book was something more. It was different. Yes, like many others, I already knew those two words very strongly related to this book i.e, "Aging Backwards". I also knew about the movie extracted from this book starring Brad Pitt and directed by David Fincher. And, even after being a fan of both these personalities,I am glad I haven't watched it yet.
Reading this book was a sheer pleasure. You pick up this thin book and keep it down only after you are done with it. It does not teach you anything nor does it give you any satisfaction. But, It tells you a story, a story which is very anomalous and different. Many a times we have some strange and absurd ideas and all we do is think about it and try to laugh it off. But here Mr F.Scott Fitzgerald presented a similar kind of an idea but in form of a beautiful story. I am really glad I read it and I know this will stay with me for sometime.
And I am going to watch the movie very soon and I know I will like it.

Profile Image for MihaElla .
205 reviews341 followers
July 27, 2021
I owe F. Scott Fitzgerald a good many moments of having laughed till the tears ran down my cheeks, today again I was in that mood, especially in the first half of this short story, as he took me, again, into temptation blindfold. But I shall have to bear the laugh. Now, looking innocent and sober, after having just read The Curious Case of Benjamin Button I feel that the midsummer madness has broken out, and no one knows who will be stricken next. Or, better said, maybe this furnishes me with an excuse to come off my opposition :D
Well, I don’t know exactly how to put it, but is very similar to that awkward feeling when a man tells to be in love with two women at once. Not that I am scandalized (far from me such an envious feeling), but I am immensely interested to understand how such a phenomenon takes place. I guess that to better understand that I should plunge myself into another Richardson’s epistolary novel, The History of Sir Charles Grandison , as most likely he has a very feeling heart, but, good heavens, if I am not mistaken I feel I really have no patience for that now, even if Clarissa with her History has humbled that stubborn spirit of mine :))
Upon my word, I haven’t the least idea of being serious, but this curious tale is hard to tell, although it has a very charming scheme. Going reverse way from old age to most tender age, and experiencing backwards all the life moments, with its trials and temptations, makes my thoughts run like crazy, and somehow set myself up in absolute contradiction with my will, so the side effect is that there is no trusting to myself in whatever I am saying presently :D
In brief, this simple funny story sets forth the others’ expectations from another human being, and what it would mean to give up one’s own prejudices, biases or inclinations, to make everyone happy and easy once more. But that is a very hard case, and, could I but doubt, hard to conquer, because in so many instances, that which is an inducement to others, is none at all to me. Ahh, but I am sensible that I am a little out of season in treating thus ludicrously the subject I am upon, as writing about it would be but a repetition of many of the things that were written already, so I think I will take the writer’s hint, like a little reflecting fool that I am, and conclude that I am a little less vexed with the story that I thought I would be. I just feel that I need to acquaint myself with what is called cool judgment and after-reflection, as I flatter myself, once I take a bit of a distance from this moment :))
Profile Image for Adita ✨The Slumbering Insomniac✨.
134 reviews259 followers
October 14, 2016


❓If you happen to meet your kids and grandkids on your way down to childhood, will they regard you as their peer or their nemesis?

❓Will they embrace you with arms wide open or regard you with vitriolic contempt?

❓Will you still love your wife's wrinked skin and mellow body or will she cease to interest you as you seek the company of prettier, younger women?

❓Would you want to unlearn everything as you age(or un-age) without even a faint memory of ever having accomplished wonderful feats? (No, not anything like Parkinson's or Alzheimer's, in case you're wondering)

❓Would you rather die in your crib after having lived a peculiarly curious life of 70 years and be hailed "the oldman who died a baby"?

I believed all through my childhood that Brad Pitt was The Benjamin Button. I see now what all the exaltation is about. You can ruminate over all these out-of-the-world, outlandish schemes over your coffee break. Oh, if you ever wonder where entropy fits in the equation, you will be a goner. Otherwise, you would have had one of those enlightening, illuminating coffee breaks of a lifetime. Oh, and don't forget your coffee. Drink it before it goes back to being just coffee beans and milk and sugar.
Profile Image for Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede.
1,938 reviews787 followers
September 28, 2016
I’ve seen the movie (twice), and I’ve been looking forward to reading the short story that the movie is based for a while now. The movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button has very little in common with the book. The name is the same, and the core is the same, Benjamin Button is born old and as he grows older he grows younger both in the book and the movie. But in the book, he is raised by his father and not abandon at birth. And all the rest of the book differs also from the movie.

I liked the story, first I couldn’t help at first to compare the story with the movie and feel that the story was lacking everything the movie had, but soon I was sucked into the story and I’m glad it was different since it's more fun reading something that not exactly like the movie.

It’s a bittersweet story and in a way, a cruel story since Benjamin during all his life is met with contempt and misunderstanding. The story is set during the latter half of the 19th century but it could as well be taking place now a day since being different is something that is always going to be met with ignorance.
Profile Image for Wee Lassie.
119 reviews57 followers
May 3, 2023
I love how everyone - from his father to his son - treats Benjamin's aging backwards like it's something he's doing deliberately to be obstinate.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Araz Goran.
816 reviews3,515 followers
January 14, 2018
أصابتني قشعريرة خوف ورهبة وأنا أقرأ قصة بينجامين بتن ، بكل ما فيها من غموض وغرابة وخيال مرعب .. من المؤلم أن يرى الإنسان نفسه يتقدم في العمر، كأنها قضمات الزمن تنهش النفس والبدن ولا حيلة الأنسان في إيقاف مجرى الزمن .. ولكن ماذا لو إنقلب الأمر على نحو معاكس فصارت عجلة الزمن تزحف للوراء والعمر يتأخر بدل أن يتقدم وكل شئ ينحدر من الأعلى نحو الأسفل وتمضي السنوات نحو الماضي في عالم مشابه تماماً لعالمنا، أدركت عند قراءة قصة حياة بينجامين بتن أن الألم قد يكون مضاعفاً على هذا النحو ولا يختلف الأمر إطلاقاً عما يشعر به أيٌ منا في الحالة الطبيعة لتقدم العمر، الحياة نفسها تتسرب من بين أيدينا، فكرة الهلاك والتلاشي أيضاً هي المصير المحتوم مع بينجامين بتن..

قد تكون القصة مربكة نوعاً ما ولكنها حقيقة جداً، هي حياة كلٌ منا لو قرأناها بالشكل الصحيح.. مسكين بينجامين بتن ومساكين نحن معه أيضاً..

بالنسبة لمن شاهد الفيلم فقد يجد إختلافاً في تفاصيل القصة ولكن الفكرة هي نفسها في الفيلم وكلاهما محزن وكئيب جداً.. كانت قراءة القصة ممتعة بالنسبة لي وخاصة أنني لم أكن أعلم أن الفيلم مستوحى من قصة لـ سكوت فيتزجيرالد ..

الكتاب يتألف من 6 قصص مختارة من قبل المترجم، و قصة بينجامين بتن أبرزها وأعمقها بلا شك..
Profile Image for Mia.
332 reviews202 followers
April 30, 2017
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." -Søren Kirkegaard

This wonderful short story blurs a lot of lines. It's definitely a satire about aging and how it affects one's position in society, but it's also unequivocally a bittersweet tragedy. A whimsical odyssey in reverse, a story of falling in and out of love, a rumination on memory, a chronicle of one odd branch of a family tree.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button truly is all of these things, but first and foremost it is the beautifully sad chronicle of a life lived backwards, of seldom being in the right time, of knowing that the years ahead of you don't hold canes and and greying hair, but swaddles and cribs.

Fitzgerald's writing is great here- sparkling and effervescent when it should be, wracked with Benjamin's frustrations and joys in the right spots, all while retaining the nostalgic tone. This story is very much like the faded and yellowing pages of a worn book coming to a close, the cover closed softly and placed upon a high shelf to gather the dust of time.

I'll leave you with this quote, and as always you can read the story here.

The past- the wild charge at the head of his men up San Juan Hill; the first years of his marriage when he worked late into the summer dusk down in the busy city for young Hildegarde whom he loved; the days before that when he sat smoking far into the night in the gloomy old Button house on Monroe Street with his grandfather- all these had faded like unsubstantial dreams from his mind as though they had never been. He did not remember.
Profile Image for Amanda.
106 reviews57 followers
October 29, 2016
Yay! I finally completed my first audiobook. This isn't exactly a great feat seeing as this story is only about 1 hour and 20 minutes, but it was the perfect length for my walk and recent time constraints.

This was such a pleasurable read and worthy of the short amount of time needed to complete. This story is quite different from the movie, but I found it preferable. Even though I am more of a visual learner, the audio version gave me a chance to truly appreciate the writing skills of Fitzgerald and his impressive vocabulary upon hearing it spoken.

Benjamin Button was born in 1860 in Maryland. When he is born, he is a wrinkled and bearded 70 year-old man, approximately 5'8" and fully capable of speaking and walking. His father is ashamed and the family situation is difficult at first. However, as the years pass, Benjamin's body and mind "age" in reverse.

Fitzgerald imbues this story with humor and masterfully examines the concept of aging. At times the story is sad, especially considering Benjamin's early relationship with his father and his relationship with his own son as he descends into adolescence and childhood.

I highly recommend!
Profile Image for Sara Kamjou.
597 reviews294 followers
April 10, 2017
ایده‌ی واقعا جالبی بود. من فیلمش رو چندین سال پیش دیدم و اصلا نمی‌دونستم کتاب داره تا اینکه طاقچه آوردش.
باید بگم جز استثناهایی که فیلم از کتاب بهتره بود. فیلم واقعا پرداخت قوی‌تر و منسجم‌تری داره. همین مقداری هم که با شخصیت توی کتاب ارتباط برقرار کردم به لطف پیش‌زمینه‌ای بود که از فیلمش داشتم وگرنه خیلی دم دستی ارائه شده بود.
در مجموع دیدن فیلمش رو توصیه می‌کنم و با نخوندن کتابش هیچ چیزی رو از دست نمی‌دین.
Profile Image for Yara Yu.
541 reviews441 followers
June 5, 2021
الحالة المحيرة لبيجامين بتن

قصة قصيرة لسكوت فيتزجيرالد وهي من مجموعة قصصية بعنوان حكايات من زمن الجاز
قصة فكرتها عجيبة وغريبة ومحيرة جدا وحتي مرعبة فهي عن حالة بينجامين بتن الذي يولد وهو يحمل ملامح عجوز في الثمانينات ومع مرور السنين يستمر نموه بشكل عكسي حتي يصغر في اللحظة التي يكبر فيها الجميع من حوله
قصة ليست مجرد خيال أو فانتازيا بل لها معاني فلسفية تستحق التأمل فهي عن الحياة والميلاد والموت والقدر وبالرغم من أن القصة تتركز حول أن مهما كانت الحياة تسير للأمام أو العكس فالنهاية الحتمية هي الموت إلا إنها ليست قصة سوداوية بل تدعو للتأمل للتأمل والنظر إلي روعة الحياة التي نعيشها ونكتشفها
روعة قراءة القصة لن يكتمل الا بمشاهدة الفيلم المقتبس فهو من روائع براد بيت
Profile Image for Britany.
966 reviews417 followers
June 2, 2018
For some crazy reason, I had no idea that this was a short story written by F Scott Fitzgerald. I had seen the movie years ago and never read the book (The horror! I know...).

You can easily read this in one sitting at less than 70 pages. I wish that the book was structured so that we got to see Benjamin's whole life and the difficulty he faced as he aged in reverse. Most of the book is spent on the first few years of his life, and then quickly works backwards. This concept is unbelievably interesting and unique considering the time frame when it was written. I appreciated Fitzgerald's writing and imagination for his one.

Would recommend this short book, especially if you can appreciate a good story.
Profile Image for Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen).
422 reviews1,629 followers
June 22, 2017
...did I somehow miss the entire point of this story? Or does it just not have one?

This short-story focuses on Benjamin Button, who in a 'curious' turn of events, is born an elderly man and ages in reverse. As the story takes us through his life, we see how age really determines our circumstances.

But the story rambles around, filled with clumsy logistical issues (what happens to Benjamin's mother? Why is she never mentioned at all? How did she give birth to a 70 year old man without dying??) and characters who drop out of the story without warning. There's very little actual characterization as everyone shuffles around, and even Benjamin seems wooden. His circumstances were truly the only interesting thing about him, and he's never explored any deeper.

All of the side characters react to Benjamin's aging in the weirdest ways. Several characters yell at him and insist his aging is somehow his own fault. Others want him to act his 'age,' even buying him children's toys when he'd rather read.

Overall, there's something profoundly disturbing about a newborn with arthritis and a beard, who can address his father by name-- but that's all I really took away from this.
Profile Image for Ola Al-Najres.
383 reviews1,126 followers
August 28, 2021
عزيزي القارئ، فيما يناسب وقتك ومتعتك معاً، وحرصاً مني على تقديم نصيحة تمنيت لو قُدِمت لي قبل البدء بهذا الكتاب، دع عنك الصفحات الـ ١٢٢ الأولى، وباشر القراءة من الصفحة ١٢٣، فكل ما كُتب قبلها بدون قيمة تُذكر، ولنقتصر في حديثنا وتقييمنا الآن على القصة الأجمل والأمتع، الحالة المحيرة لبنجامين بتن ...

وكانت قد اشتهرت القصة من خلال الفيلم السينمائي الذي حمل اسمها، والذي يصور مأساة السيد بنجامين بتن الذي وُلِد - في سابقة فريدة من نوعها - عجوزاً هرماً يصغر في السِّن مع تتالي الأيام، عوض أن يكون صغير��ً فيكبر ..


والحالة برأيي أعمق من أن يبدأ البطل حياة معكوسة أو عَدّاً تنازلياً لعمره، بل هي حالة الاغتراب المزمن التي عاناها، في أن يكون غريباً وغير مناسب لأي مكان حلّ فيه، ولأي زمن عايشه، وفي ألّا يحظى بقبول أحبته ومن ينتمي إليهم، وفي أن يُحرم من متعة التحلّي بعلاقة اجتماعية طبيعية ...

وبالنظر لأشياء أخرى، كالعمل والنجاح والشهرة ....، نجد منحناها ثابتاً لا يتغير في حالة ابتدأت الحياة من أي الجانبين، حيث يلتزم الصعود ليصل الذروة ليبدأ في الهبوط مرة أخرى، كدليل على أن حياة الإنسان لا تتأثر بها كتأثرها بالعلاقات والروابط مع حيوات الآخرين ..

وفي النهاية، كيفما كانت الحياة، ستعيشها بنعيمها وجحيمها، وستمضي معها حتى النهاية .
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