Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Jazz Age Stories (Penguin Classics) Paperback – August 26, 2008
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
From what I have seen of the trailer, the film and story differ greatly. Even though Benjamin marries in the story, I don't think his wife (a minor character) occupies the same niche as the Cate Blanchett character in the film.
Fitzgerald speaks of Benjamin in almost fairy tale tones. Scenes aren't described and years are condensed to paragraphs or even sentences. Rather thaw showing scenes from Benjamin's military activities or success on the football field (when he was over 50 years old), Fitzgerald simply states them as fact. Had he so desired, this could have been a 200+ page novel.
It's full of the same quirks that have caused the movie to be one of the most anticipated this year. Like when he is 20 (and looks 50), Fitzgerald tells us he is often mistaken for his father, and when he is 50 (and looks 20), he is often mistaken for his son. Nearly every aspect of his life is told with such mirror bookends, like how his May-December marriage (his wife was 20 and attracted to a man who looked 50) ended up becoming a December-May romance that caused the townsfolk to wonder what a young man was doing with such an old lady.
The story is tricky, poignant and sad, It was impossible to not see Brad Pitt in the role and impossible to not think about how they are going to show him as 80 years old or (sorry Brad) as a teenager. I don't think reading this spoiled anything about the movie for me. If anything, it only makes me want to see it even more.
Penguin has taken two of his short story collections "Flappers and Philosophers" and Tales of the Jazz Age" combining them in a fat Penguin Classics edition. The stories are those the Princeton man wrote at college and in his early career.
The Peguin edition includes
The Penguin edition has "Benjamin Button" on the cover in order to cash in on the popularity of the film starring Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button occurs in Baltimore where a child is born who is an old man. The fantasy follows his career as he becomes progressively younger. If you can accept the absurdity of the premise you can relax and enjoy a story well written and witty.
The stories are uneven in quality and interest. Among the best ones in this collection are:
The Diamond Big as the Ritz-A wild fantasy set in the American West in which the hero visits a school chum who owns a mountain made of solid diamonds who is cruel and keeps prisoners of those unwary to explore into his vast territory.
Bernice Bobs Her Hair is a short O Henry type tale in which Bernice has her hair cut and gets back at a relative who has criticized her appearance.
The Ice Palace is the story of a southern belle with a northern boyfriend. She experiences hatred for the northern way of life symoblized by her being momentarily lost in a huge ice palace built for a winter festival.Read more ›
However, do not expect this story to be anything like its movie adaptation. For one, this story takes less time to read then watching the movie. Again, the message that each story presents is completely different.
In the original story, Benjamin is born a fully grown, mentally developed 70-year-old and dies an infant, both physically and mentally.
This is the fundamental split between the two versions of the story. The movie depicts an infant with the features and physical ailments of an old man who has the mind of an infant. The Benjamin of the silver screen grows young physically, but old mentally.
But, I am not here to review the movie, so back to the original story. Aside from being a journey through life backwards, the short story tells of how bonds that are meant to be sacred and holy (such as family, parenthood, and marriage) are shattered when abnormalities are thrown in. From his birth, Benjamin is resented for his condition, and the ridicule never lets up. His wife believes him selfish and unwilling to change a condition he cannot control. His own son will not let him address him as such, but rather wants Benjamin to be the son to improve his standing socially.
It is an interesting exploration into the inner workings of human relationships and the beauty of F Scott Fitzgerald's style keeps evan the most critical and unimaginative reader inticed. Do not go through life without reading this story.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lots of stories in a small and very light book, easy to carry and read whenever you have time. Very much recommended.Published on June 23, 2013 by Iryna
I am only on page seven and can't go on until I leave feedback . The book could be horrible for all I know.Published on March 24, 2013 by Kayla
The Curious Case . . . and Other Jazz Age Stories is a delightful collection of short and not so short stories. Read morePublished on February 21, 2013 by EverReader
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. Read morePublished on November 13, 2012 by Black Plum
Great reading as I began to understand the plot, I am sure that you would love the story and not be able to put down this book until you finish!Published on October 25, 2012 by Dw1942
This is an example where, for whatever reason, the Kindle version cost more than a hardcopy. This is an outrage. Read morePublished on June 4, 2010 by T. Woerner