More Fitzgerald! I think that, on a whole, I liked this collection better than Flappers and Philosophers (though it's hard to beat that title, isn't it?) just because there are more stories here that I want to read again. Like his first short story collection, most of these had been published in magazines previously, and they're a pretty eclectic mix. Which is such fun, because you never know what you're going to get when you begin a story. Will it be gaudy? Funny? Melancholy? Wacky? They run quite a gamut.
Once again, here's a little of what I thought about each story:
"The Jelly-Bean" was okay, and a nice way to ease into the collection.
"The Camel's Back" made me laugh aloud. A recommendation for this story from Dale at Mirror w/ Clouds is what led me to try Fitzgerald's short stories in the first place.
"May Day" has that depressing desperation that always feels to me like the crux of the Lost Generation.
"Porcelain and Pink" was sweet and funny and makes me smile just remembering it.
"The Diamond as Big as the Ritz" was weird and over-the-top and amusing.
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" was great. I liked it better than the Brad Pitt movie that's based on it -- the movie went on too long, but the story is just right.
"Tarquin of Cheapside" was, um... odd. Why Fitzgerald decided that Shakespeare stole a woman's virtue and then wrote "The Rape of Lucrece" as a result is beyond me.
"O Russet Witch!" was also odd, but also enjoyable in a wistful way.
"The Lees of Happiness" was my favorite. And it made me cry. Fitzgerald has never made me cry before. It's tragic, but not hopeless.
"Mr. Icky" was downright wacky.
"Jemina" was kind of lame, but slapstickishly funny here and there.
On a while, I enjoyed this collection a lot and would like to reread most of the stories some time. I'll buy a copy should I come across it in the used book store or the library book sale.
Particularly Good Bits:
It is youth's felicity as well as its insufficiency that it can never live in the present, but must always be measuring up the day against its own radiantly imagined future -- flowers and gold, girls and stars, they are only prefigurations and prophecies of that incomparable, unattainable young dream. (from "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz")
"It was a dream," said John quietly. "everybody's youth is a dream, a form of chemical madness." (from "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz")
Down long and sinuous lanes twisted the hunted and the harriers, always in and out of the moon in a perpetual queen's move over a checker-board of glints and patches. (from "Tarquin of Cheapside")
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG for mild innuendo, occasional mild bad language, and alcohol consumption.
This is my sixth book read and reviewed for The Classics Club, and my fourth for the I Love Library Books challenge.