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On Booze (New Directions Pearls) Paperback – June 28, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0811219266 ISBN-10: 9780811219266 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: New Directions Pearls
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions; 1 edition (June 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780811219266
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811219266
  • ASIN: 0811219267
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #235,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Smart, sophisticated, and evocative.” (The New Yorker)

“His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly’s wings.” (Ernest Hemingway)

“His writing is a kind of subdued magic, controlled and exquisite, the sort of thing you get from good string quartets.” (Raymond Chandler)

About the Author

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1941) was one of the literary titans of the 20th century. A member of the “Lost Generation” of the 1920s, Fitzgerald’s writings best captured what he termed “The Jazz Age,” a period of declining traditional American values, prohibition and speakeasies, and great leaps in modernist trends.

More About the Author

F. Scott Fitzgerald was one of the major American writers of the twentieth century -- a figure whose life and works embodied powerful myths about our national dreams and aspirations. Fitzgerald was talented and perceptive, gifted with a lyrical style and a pitch-perfect ear for language. He lived his life as a romantic, equally capable of great dedication to his craft and reckless squandering of his artistic capital. He left us one sure masterpiece, The Great Gatsby; a near-masterpiece, Tender Is the Night; and a gathering of stories and essays that together capture the essence of the American experience. His writings are insightful and stylistically brilliant; today he is admired both as a social chronicler and a remarkably gifted artist.

Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Peterson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this slim book, New Directions capitalizes on (or is it exploits?) the fact that F. Scott Fitzgerald was one of - perhaps even THE - most notorious alcoholic among American authors. According to a publisher's note at the beginning of the volume, these miscellaneous snippets were all taken from the New Directions edition of "The Crack-Up". The back cover trumpets the volume as "A Collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Best Drinking Stories", and goes on to say that ON BOOZE "runs a gauntlet of drunken debauchery as Fitzgerald experienced it: roaring, rambunctious, and lush . . . with quite a hangover."

I have now read the book (something I suspect the blurb-writer did not do) and I find the snappy New Directions marketing on the back cover to be somewhat misleading. Yes, most of the excerpts relate in some way - some explicitly, others tenuously - to Fitzgerald and alcohol, but the book as a whole is far from being a "drunken debauchery". The best parts of it reflect Fitzgerald's unease with his world - the sorts of things that CAUSED his drinking - rather than the drinking itself or the aftermath. The book is a far cry from "Everyday Drinking" by Kingsley Amis, which truly is a compendium devoted to booze and hangovers.

Two of the pieces are superb. "The Crack-Up" is a retrospective psychological/existential self-assessment from the first part of 1936. It contains some brilliant writing, of the sort that engenders dropped jaws, heart palpitations, and sheer envy. "My Lost City" is a world-weary look back on the New York City of the Jazz Age and Fitzgerald's exuberant youth. Two other pieces - "Show Mr. and Mrs. F.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Trey Allison on April 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love Fitzgerald and I love booze. This should have been the perfect read for me, but instead it was just boring. This work lacks the flair and sexiness of typical Fitzgerald.
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Format: Paperback
I think what makes this collection so disappointing is that it is nothing that is claims to be and so one who sits down to read this is bound to be unsettled at the fact that `On Booze' is probably the furthest thing from what this book actually presents us with. While the blurb on the back promises tales of drunken debauchery and the `roaring, rambunctious and lush' feel of Fitzgerald's previous writings and his experiences while intoxicated, this collection of stories is far too tame and reserved to be described in that way.

Seriously, whoever wrote the blurb on the back of the book should be fired.

All that said, this collection is actually quite good. Sure, it isn't as captivating, insightful or as memorable as some of Fitzgerald's best work, but it really plays to his strengths as an intellectual writer. I was particularly fond of `Show Mr. and Mrs. F. to Number ----------' and I found `My Lost City' and all its deep-seated observations of life and the struggle to connect with your own surroundings to be some of his best work. As a whole, this is a great collection. It is short and a brisk read (I finished it in a day) and it isn't too wordy and weighty so as to become dull despite the lack of action. These are Fitzgerald's thoughts, observations and personal ideas, and they read beautifully.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Augustina on March 8, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My only complaint is the white cover came scuffed with a black mark and was supposed to be a 'new' book.
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