Thursday, February 5, 2009

Book Review: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Tales of the Jazz Age

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Coyote Canyon Press Classics) (Paperback)
108 pages
This actually contains several four of Fitzgerald's short stories and takes practically no time to read. It's refreshing to read about a by-gone era sometimes and the language is understandable which isn't always the case with classics.
The first story is The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which of course was made into a motion picture and starring Brad Pitt.
The story starts out telling us about Benjamin's father, who is a prominent citizen and is waiting for the birth of his first child. When Benjamin is born, he is an old man and the hospital is more than ready to get rid of him. Things get quite comical as his father is forced to buy him a going home outfit, but can't shop in the newborn section. The story progresses with Benjamin's father insisting on treating him like a child which makes for several hilarious moments. One is of Benjamin getting along rather nicely with his grandfather while smoking cigars. Benjamin later serves in the military and goes to college. As time goes by, Benjamin begins to get younger and eventually marries a lovely and popular woman, but he tires of her rather quickly when she ages and he only gets younger. They end up parting ways and Benjamin returns to his "childhood" home. When he is very young looking, he finally gets to go to grade school. The story begins to fade as he becomes very babyish and doesn't remember things. I'll leave the actual ending for you to read as this was a very enjoyable story. I was reading this in the car while waiting to pick up my son from school and was actually laughing out loud. I read some of the funny parts to my six year old daughter who just had to giggle too.
Bernice Bobs Her Hair
Bernice is a pretty though un-popular and boring girl who is staying with her popular cousin. She goes to social events with her cousin, where young men begrudgingly dance with her. After a while, she becomes concerned and asks her cousin for help. She helps her with her clothing and advises her on appropriate conversation. Bernice begins to tease others with the thought that she just may bob her hair and would anyone like to be present at the barber shop when she does so. This goes along for a while and Bernice's cousin begins to get a bit jealous of the attention that Bernice is getting. While talking with others, the cousin says that Bernice actually has no intention of getting her hair bobbed. This pushes Bernice to either do just that or admit to not being serious about the deed. Everyone follows Bernice to the barber shop to see her get her hair bobbed. Unfortunately, the new do is unflattering, but Bernice is now committed to it. She feels it is time to go home and while her cousin apologizes for pushing her to get the bob, Bernice is not satisfied, so after packing her things, she does one last thing before leaving her cousin's house. I'll let you read the story to find out.
The Jelly-Bean
This is the story of a ne-er do well who has a lot to learn about the world.
Dalyrimple Goes Wrong
The story of a military hero who returns home to celebrations but soon realizes that the glory fades. He must find a job and make a living. He is un-satisfied with the job and turns to a life of crime for excitement. The ending is kind of a surprise as Dalyrimple's aspirations become political.
In conclusion, this was a nice short read that I recommend to pretty much anyone and there are several belly laughs to be had, which is always nice.

No comments:

Post a Comment