Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Life in Letters: A New Collection Edited and Annotated by Matthew J. Bruccoli
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on December 8, 1999
This is the sort of book that makes one long for the days prior to-email, when people actually wrote letters to one another and correspondence other than bills and junk mail filled one's mailbox. The book is a valuable supplement to Fitzgerald's many biographies; his letters reveal a remarkable clarity and self-awareness. My heart ached after reading some of them. A must read for all Fitzgerald historians.
I do recommend reading one of Fitzgerald's many biographies prior to reading his letters, as it is a fascinating exercise comparing Fitzgerald's interpretation/rationalization of an event with a third party's.
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on April 16, 2002
F. Scott Fitzgerald scholar Matthew J. Bruccoli offers a discerning sample of Fitzgerald's letters that serve as an informal biography. Fitzgerald suffered many demons. Alcoholism and poor health were the obvious problems. From reading his letters, we learn that protecting his artistic integrity also weighed heavily on him. Money problems forced him to spend time writing lightweight but commercially viable stories for magazines. This took precious time away from his major work of writing serious novels. His afflicted wife, Zelda, was another dilemma. In 1930, Zelda had her first breakdown, and never recovered. Providing for her care and treatment added to his money woes. Although Fitzgerald enjoyed early success in 1920 with "This Side of Paradise," it was short-lived. By 1924, he wrote to Edmund Wilson, "I really worked hard as hell last winter--but it was all trash and it nearly broke my heart." There was critical success in 1925 with "The Great Gatsby," but it was a financial disappointment. Fitzgerald spent the next nine years writing, revising, and agonizing over "Tender Is the Night." Contrary to hope, that book failed to restore his reputation. The letters display deep introspection, opinions on other writers, comments of manners and morals, and daily concerns of money. There are also amusing and chatty letters to his daughter, Scottie. Fitzgerald's letters to Scribner's Maxwell Perkins and his literary agent, Harold Ober, are the most interesting, and reveal much of his concerns and ideas. Letters written to Zelda in the sanitarium are generally tender and loving, but occasionally they are cross and complaining. The book stops with a letter written to Scottie shortly before Fitzgerald's death in December 1940. Recommended reading for F. Scott Fitzgerald fans. ;-)
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on February 17, 1999
If you want to gain insight into the life of F. Scott Fitzgerald then seek no further. This amazing compilation of Fitzgerald's correspondences to family, friends, business associates and acquaintances portrays the man and the writer in a way no biographer could imagine. In his letters can be clearly seen Fitzgerald the literary genius, Fitzgerald the loving husband and father as well as Fitzgerald the sycophant and Fitzgerald the tortured and insecure neurotic.The genesis and the demise of one of the most fascinating men of his time eloquently presented in his own words.
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on April 13, 2014
I had wished for more letters to and from Zelda; less to his editors. Even so, I would buy and relish any words
or script written by the god of clever, quick-witted, sincere, blunt honest, & many times delusional words of my favorite,
F. scott Fitzgerald. What a pitiful life for such a proud peacock.
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on June 2, 2016
One cannot fully appreciate Fitzgerald's literature without knowledge of the person behind the ink, & there is no better way to become acquainted with him than by reading this collection of letters. As I neared the end of the book, I began to feel as sad and inconsolable as if I would be attending his very funeral when I turned the last page. That he was unappreciated and scorned seems impossible. Nevertheless, despite all the tragedy, illness, poverty, and disgrace, he was responding to the siren song of the muse at the time of his death; this was probably the most heroic aspect of a heroic man of letters. His mind was astounding, facile, restless, and amazing, like a flying trapeze artist that swings not from a trapeze bar but from one cloud to another. Of all the quotable phrases in thousands of profound sentences, one in particular stands out: "The love of life is essentially as incommunicable as grief." This book shows why FSF was so well versed in these two extremes of human experience.
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on April 6, 2015
A Life in Letters is an outstanding book. It provides an up-close and personal look into the life and relationships of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Truly reveals the complexities of this brilliant American author. Have just finished it and cannot wait to read it again.
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on February 17, 1999
If you want to gain insight into the life of F. Scott Fitzgerald then seek no further. This amazing compilation of Fitzgerald's correspondences to family, friends, business associates and acquaintances portrays the man and the writer in a way no biographer could imagine. In his letters can be clearly seen Fitzgerald the literary genius, Fitzgerald the loving husband and father as well as Fitzgerald the sycophant and Fitzgerald the tortured and insecure neurotic.The genesis and the demise of one of the most fascinating men of his time eloquently presented in his own words.
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on October 11, 2014
An interesting book but it lacks information on the identity of the correspondants and especially on the letters or responses .
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on May 24, 2015
I love FSF and visit his grave to read with him (in MD)
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