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Some Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald (REV) Paperback – August 1, 2002
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From Library Journal
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Impeccably researched... both comphrensive and judicious...Bruccoli brings Fitzgerald vividily alive." -- Newsweek
"Indispensable and definitive." -- The Times Literary Supplement
"Indispensable and definitive." -- The Times Literary Supplement
"It is difficult to imagine any work on Fitzgerald and his literary product that will supplant this one." -- The New Yorker
"It is difficult to imagine any work on Fitzgerald and his literary product that will supplant this one."- -- The New Yorker
"This masterpiece contains exactly what we need to know about this dazzling figure." -- Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
The material on Sheila Graham, Scott's lover in Hollywood, was also intriguing. Graham's own book about Scott is a great read, but the author brings out elements to the story which Graham omitted. I was genuinely sad when Scott dies and the narrative concludes. The debauchery, booze and high times of the Flapper era are all here. This is a highly recommended, beautifully tribute to one of the great writers of the past 100 years.
Bruccoli covers every aspect of Fitzgerald's life and includes several bits of correspondence to really give readers a look inside Fitzgerald's thinking. --Perhaps my favorite thing about the book is that it does not sentimentalize the author (which I myself have a habit of doing). Fitzgerald is spelled out here in all his glory, yet, we also get to see his unflattering side...paranoia, arrogance, unharnessed alcoholism, and downright neurosis.
F Scott Fitzgerald was a brilliant man whose life became legend. It is my humble opinion that Bruccoli has written the most thorough and best possible biography. Simply put, the read is fascinating. It might be 600 pages, but you will fly through it. It is "never dry" (like Fitzgerald :)) and always entertaining. For Fitzgerald fanatics like myself, this book is a must, but I am convinced that anyone who takes to "human interest" stories would find themselves engulfed in its pages.
Also recommended: "The Romantic Egoists"...a scrapbook collection put together concerning the lives of the Fitzgeralds. It is packed with pictures and is a wonderful companion to the biography. It was also published by Bruccoli.
The book opens with an interesting literary hook as we follow the last few hours in the life of Fitzgerald on December 21, 1940. He is an unemployed screen writer living in Hollywood at the apartment of his companion Sheilah Graham. On the previous day, he had symptoms of a heart problem. That morning on the 21st, he was working on "The Last Tycoon." He was sitting in a chair, stood up, grasped the mantlepiece, collapsed, and died at age 44.
That book is one of seemingly dozens of short stories on F. Scott, Zelda his wife, and others. The book is not a seamless story but is a chronoligcal collection of short - almost disconnected - stories about his life and works.
It is an excellent reference book to consult as you read the works of Fitzgerald. I found the book on its own too dry with too many facts and it gives no idea of what the writing was like. It was not until I read "This Side of Paradise" did I understand what all the fuss was about with F. Scott Fitzgerald, and it was at that point the present biography came to life. For example, I quote a passage from Chapter 2 of Book I, as Amory sits on the steps of his dorm at Princeton after his first day on campus:
"Now, far down the shadowy line of University Place a white-clad phalanx broke the gloom, and marching figures, white-shirted, white-trousered, swung rhythmically up the street, with linked arms and heads thrown back:
"Going back-going back,
Going back-going back-
Going back-going back,
Going-back-to-Nas-sau-Hall!Read more ›
I would give it five stars except for an extremely irritating tendency Bruccoli has to be dismissive of almost all of Fitzgerald's short stories. Bruccoli is way too arrogant about pronouncing dozens of the stories F. Scott wrote as being "minor," or "disappointing," or even "embarrassing," while reserving his praise for a select few, such as "May Day" and "The Rich Boy." Personally, having read every one of FSF's currently collected short stories (well over 100 in all), I don't rate "May Day" or "The Rich Boy" very highly, but I love lots and lots of the "commercial" ones Bruccoli dismisses. I think he should leave the assessment of which stories are good up to the reader. Bruccoli's literary analysis -- of Fitzgerald's novels -- is outstanding, but the short stories should not be so dismissed (even if Scott himself at times dismissed them and hated having to write them to earn money).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a substantive biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald without undue emphasis on any particular phase of his life. Read morePublished on November 28, 2013 by Ben J Korgen
Bruccolli does an excellent job of blending a scholar's objectivity and a reader's compassion in this fine biography. Read morePublished on November 24, 2013 by Lloyd S. Thomas
Matthew Joseph Bruccoli devoted most of his efforts as critic and historical researcher to study the life and works of the controversial American author. Read morePublished on July 28, 2013 by Alberto Mendez
the book came timely. the book was a old library book. it was in OK shape. it had wear on it. mainly had wear on the cover. Read morePublished on June 1, 2013 by michelle heimgartner
very good ,yes,i would recommend the book ! It is a story
about f.scott fitzgerald . Very interesting indeed !
I've read my fair share of biographies about writers- everyone from Theodore Dreiser to Jean Rhys to the Brontes and Edith Wharton to Hans Christian Anderson- just to name a few. Read morePublished on September 27, 2011 by Laura
Bruccoli definitely knows his stuff. But his writing reminds me of a grad school teacher I had who was too close to his obsession to teach the material in a very interesting way at... Read morePublished on July 12, 2009 by H. Martin
An excellent, thorough, and well written biography. Detailed, but entertaining and easy to read. Broken up into short, easily digestible chapters. Read morePublished on October 12, 2008 by blake.taylor