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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 2, 2006
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
If you are a fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald, this book is an absolute must-have! While I own just about everything that is written by or about Fitzgerald, this is perhaps my favorite book to peruse. It is compiled just like a personal scrapbook and is replete with photos of the Fitzgeralds as well as articles (by and about Fitzgerald)written in the 20s and 30s. Much of this content you will not find elsewhere, at least not in such abundance. Bruccoli, America's leading Fitzgerald scholar (as well as Fitz's own daughter, Scotty) did a spectacular job of putting this together. The scrapbook format gives the book an intimate nature and the set up is extremely attractive. Best of all, at just around $20, it is an absolute steal for the price! If you love Fitzgerald, don't go without this collection! It would make a splendid addition to any high school classroom that teaches Fitzgerald or any personal library that celebrates true literary classics.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
"The Romantic Egoist" was a provisional title for F. Scott Fitzgerald's first novel, ultimately published as "This Side of Paradise". For this book an "s" was appended, thereby adding Zelda to Scott and making a very apt title for this collection of photographs, letters, newspaper notices, book reviews, and ephemera from the lives of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, the First Couple of the Jazz Age/Roaring Twenties. Most of the contents of THE ROMANTIC EGOISTS come from seven scrapbooks and five photograph albums of the Fitzgerald family. They are arranged chronologically, from the "Welcome, Little Stranger" page of Scott's baby book (1896) to a newspaper article announcing Zelda's death in a hospital fire (1948).

The Fitzgeralds' daughter, Scottie, had a major role in the compilation and preparation of this book, which originally was published in 1974. It was re-issued in this paperback edition in 2003.

For those who already are familiar with the lives of Scott and Zelda and their place in American cultural history, this is an interesting, perhaps even fascinating, book. But it does not make for a particularly good introduction to the Fitzgeralds. (For that, I recommend "Scott Fitzgerald", by Andrew Turnbull.) Like most family scrapbooks or photo albums (have they now gone the way of the rotary dial telephone?), it is a hodgepodge, with only a faint narrative story-line. Moreover, the layout is too chaotic and the quality of many of the reproductions ranges from middling to poor.

But, again, there is plenty to attract and reward the attention of the Fitzgerald enthusiast. For example, a week before he and Zelda were married Scott wrote a friend: "Next time you're in New York I want you to meet Zelda because she's very beautiful and very wise and very brave as you can imagine--but she's a perfect baby and a more irresponsible pair than we'll be will be hard to imagine." A self-fulfilling prophesy?

One of the co-editors, Matthew J. Bruccoli, a prominent Fitzgerald authority, contributes an epilogue of sorts for this 2003 edition, in which he discusses the astonishing "Fitzgerald revival", which he claims is "unequaled in American literature in terms of critical, scholarly, and popular response." As a measure of that revival, consider that after Fitzgerald died in 1940, the librarian at Princeton declined to purchase Fitzgerald's papers for $3,750, "remarking that Princeton had no obligation to squander funds to support the indigent widow of a Midwestern hack who was lucky enough to have attended Princeton, unfortunately for Princeton." Ten years later, Fitzgerald's daughter Scottie nonetheless donated the Fitzgerald archive to Princeton. It is now "the most actively used manuscript collection in the library."

Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald personify something marvelously and tragically American. This book helps show why that is the case.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
My girlfriend, a fellow Fitz enthusiast, bought me this for my birthday and it ranks among the best gifts I've ever received. This is an amazing and exhaustively comprehensive scrapbook of the lives of the Fitzgeralds. If you're a fan and come away from this without wanting to get your hands on every single thing those two touched...there's something very, very wrong with you. ;) Beautiful book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
I am a huge fan of both F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald so it was great to get this glimpse into their personal lives. Because their daughter was involved with this book, that gives it even more authenticity and it's like we're being given permission by Scottie herself to look at her family's scrapbooks. A very surreal experience!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This large-format album approximates the Fitzgerald personal scrapbook, mirroring the dazzling couple as they rush to stardom and fade into memory. Until seeing this closely, I had thought biographers had done their best. Not so. Scott and Zelda left more than a literary legacy here for others to hope and dream upon. It not only tracks their public life but Scott's private musings on his art, life and his literary score in the marketplace. His private and personal demands on his artistry, his private thoughts and hopes, his advice to his surviving daughter in a few letters are on exhibit. Whether in seclusion at the height of his fame or in seclusion, forgotten and underused in Hollywood, his focus on the details, running not from the past but to an uncertain almost unattainable perfection are displayed for posterity in this book. To me, this book and Budd Schulberg's "The Disenchanted," which sketches in the unknown Hollywood Fitzgerald with sympathy and understanding, more completely renders this literary inspiration.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon November 7, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
If like me you can't get enough of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, their tumultuous and tragic story, and a snapshot of what I consider one of the most fascinating times in history for culture and the arts, the early twentieth century up to World War II, this book is a must-have.

It's mostly pictures, clippings, Zelda's art, wires and correspondence, and other personal memorabilia, but a wonderful companion after you read some of his work, or any of their biographies.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
As entertaining as this book will be for fans of the Fitzgeralds, for readers less familiar with them it may not be so interesting. Both Scott and Zelda were meticulous scrapbookers before they met in 1917. From then on, and for the next 20 years or so, they maintained collaborative volumes chronicling the details of their very celebrated and accomplished lives. Nowadays the places, people and things they depict are receding further and further into America's literary and pop culture, but the huge quantity of photos, book reviews, letters, poems, collages, announcements and so many other bits of ephemera they saved form a unique depiction of the Jazz Age. Now they would be saving Instagrams and Twitter posts on their iPhones, and Zelda would be addicted to Pinterest.

What is most admirable about "The Romantic Egoists" is that The Fitzgeralds were so honest with themselves. The negative reviews of their writing--and Zelda was a writer, too--appear alongside the glowing ones. A truly vicious article which appeared in the New York Post at the time of Scott's 40th birthday in 1936, when he was at his lowest ebb, is dutifully pasted down just as if it were a plaudit or puff piece. Scott's financial ledgers, which he began keeping early in his career, are meticulous. They dispel the myth that he was a hopeless drunk who never had more than a nickel in the bank. There are chapter headings with summaries including year-by-year entries highlighting the main events in the Fitzgeralds' lives, but apart from them the story is told in Scott's and Zelda's words only.

The first printing of this book was a hardcover edition, published in 1974 in a larger format. This paperback edition is a little smaller, but all the same information is here that was in the original. It can be difficult to read, though, so I have been using a page magnifier and sitting in natural light. Seriously. It's worth it, because although many people view Scott and Zelda as tragic figures, they did not see themselves that way. There is a lot of whimsy in the book, and it displays the tremendous pride they took in their accomplishments, as well as the joy they took in their daughter Scottie, their only child, born in 1921. She provides the setting for this book. (Scottie died in 1986, and is buried alongside her parents in Rockville, MD.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
There are way more personal photographs and letters than I had expected. This book packed with information for people who are wondering anything about Scott and Zelda. I was very pleased with this purchase. Everything is in there!
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent scrapbook autobiography that covers the lives of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and includes personal mementoes,family scrapbook entries, and a variety of newspaper articles about them during their lives and after. From it, you can glean some insight into their interests and lifestyle, their relationship, and their interactions with their friends who represented and defined the literary and artistic set of the early part of the 20th century.
Put into perspective, the Fitzgeralds never made it to old age. Scott died of a heart attack in 1940, somewhat tired and broken and attempting to rebuild a once brilliant career as a writer. Zelda had long been separated from Scott before his death and was institutionalized. She died in a 1948 fire that consumed the facility she was living at. When you look at the period during which these ex-pats cavorted around Europe with their child in tow, it makes you realize that the period that defined the Fitzgeralds and for what they are primarily remembered is only part of the story.
This book works as a cumulative view of Scott and Zelda taken from the personal side. While the facts are out there today on the Internet, this book takes it to another level.
This is as an excellent book for any Fitzgerald fan or anyone taken with the literary scene of the period.
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on September 15, 2014
Format: Paperback
Very beautiful portrait of both F. Scott and Zelda separately and together. Filled with newspaper clippings and reviews and lots of photographs. Forward and edited in part by their daughter, Scottie. If you are even somewhat interested in the Fitzgeralds, this book is a terrific find for its price.
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