on December 26, 2000
I bought this volume of stories simply to get a copy of Fitzgerald's "May Day" which I'd read in one of my college texts and then could not find for years. I have always felt that "May Day" would make a superb film--and the screenwriter could lift most of the dialogue right out of the story. It is that good and simple and dramatic. Actually every one of the stories in this collection is first rate. Here is Fitzgerald, only in his 20's, writing of American aspirations before, during and after World War I. And no one wrote about this subject better than he did. The characters are rich and complex, all of them dissatisfied with the bones that life has thrown them, all of them desiring what others have. The reader sees their foibles and loves them anyway. These are not perfect people. They are real people in a time of trouble--fighting, most of them, simply to stay afloat in a world changing faster than anyone would have thought possible. I cannot recommend these brilliant stories highly enough. There is also a brief life and appreciation of Fitzgerald in this lovely Scribner edition.
on February 16, 1997
F. Scott Fitzgerald was as much a master of the short story as he was the novel, and some of these tales attain the classical status achieved by The Great Gatsby. From the O.Henry-like fable of "The Ice Palace" to such masterpieces as "May Day" and the title story, Fitzgerald moves easily from mere entertainment to highbrow artistry, often creating a blend of the two as in the outlandish fantasy "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz". In "The Rich Boy," Fitzgerald creates a character every bit as believable as Nick Carraway and every bit as heartbreaking as Gatsby. This is also the story that gave rise to the famous Fitzgerald maxim that the rich "are very different than you and me."
This collection comes highly recommended to anyone interested in American Classics and short-story masterpieces.
on October 25, 1998
In the boom economy of today, with a bust probably around the corner, Fitzgerald's stories of American dreams, aspirations to riches and ultimate human frailty have a renewed relevance and poignancy. This collection is worth getting if only for 'The Ice Palace' and 'Babylon Revisited'. Also great reading is 'The Rich Boy', 'The Freshest Boy', and 'Crazy Sunday'. Other stories in this collection are 'May Day', 'The Diamond Big as the Ritz', 'Winter Dreams', 'Absolution', and 'The Long Way Out'.
on April 5, 1999
I've just started on this book and already the stories I've read so far I have to rate as among the best short stories I have ever read. "Winter Dreams" was just exquisitely gorgeous, "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz" is a fantasy of astonishing invention, and "May Day" really opened my eyes to the unlimited terrain the short format offers. Fitzgerald is a genius--his ability to evoke imagery and illusion is absolutely breathtaking!
on April 22, 1998
Buy this book for "Absolution" alone. (incidentally, it was originally intended as a childhood scene for THE GREAT GATSBY, but was cut and turned into a short story). "Absolution" is easily one the greatest short stories I've ever read. "The Rich Boy" is another masterpiece, and the title story is wonderful, too.