Short Stories

February 27, 2012 at 11:25 pm (Reviews) (, )

Title: Tales of the Jazz Age

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Publisher: Penguin Classic

Genre: Fiction, Literature, Short Stories

Length: 227 pages

I’m not a short story girl, but I love Fitzgerald, and there are short story writers in the world with whom I’ve been known to fall in love.  ZZ Packer is one of those writers; how can you go wrong with a woman willing to title her collection Drinking Coffee Elsewhere?  A fellow blogger has a review posted here: http://jimbreslin.com/2011/06/29/brownies-a-review/.  So despite my general distaste for short stories at large, Fitzgerald has won me over again with lines like: “[…] I won’t kiss you. It might get to be a habit and I can’t get rid of habits.”

In general, I usually find the short story too short and too long at the same time.  Too short, because I want a full length saga, I love knowing every blessed thing about a character before I part with them.  Too long, because I know they will end soon so, without fail, I anticipate the ending with agony long before the story has even truly begun.  I don’t have this problem as much with Fitzgerald, mainly because I am completely engrossed with his writing and don’t get the chance to lament over the length of his tale.

So many people get bored with Fitzgerald, and I will never fully understand why.  The best one lined quotes come from dear old F.Scott, the kind of quotes that remind you of people you used to know and how they were at their core, quotes that draw out moments long forgotten from the recesses of your memories.  I fell in love with Fitzgerald in high school when it was all about the beauty of symbolism and the art of writing a literary masterpiece, now I cherish his writing for the beauty of the story and the art of showing off the true colors of humanity.

I had a hard time picking a favorite out of this short story collection, but put a gun to my head and make me choose and I think I liked Head and Shoulders best.  Benjamin Button is a brilliant story, but I liked the writing of Head and Shoulders better.

Not limited to Fitzgerald, what’s your favorite short story?

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2 Comments

  1. Tanya Egan Gibson said,

    One of my favorites is “People Like That Are the Only People Here,” by Lorrie Moore. (Warning, because you have a young child. It takes place in a pediatric oncology ward, and even before I had children, I couldn’t read it without crying.) Another favorite is “What We Talk About When We Talk about Love,” by Raymond Carver. Oh, and the stories in Will Allison’s WHAT YOU HAVE LEFT, which was kind of marketed as a novel but is really more like a set of linked short stories.

  2. Nicole said,

    I’d forgotten I read this book – thanks for the trip down memory lane.

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