Book Review: West of Sunset by Stewart O’Nan

Much has been written about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s good times — the Gatsby years, the parties — but the aftermath is less examined. Stewart O’Nan’s latest novel, West of Sunset, imagines Fitzgerald’s last stages in life. Centered around his late-’30s Hollywood years, the writer see-saws between struggle and vindication while trying maintain some semblance of family.

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Who Hates Gatsby?

By Gatsby, I mean the Great One. You know, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Gatsby. The Great Gatsby. So here we are. I read The Great Gatsby junior year in school. I even had the good fortune of an English teacher who chose to show us the 1974 movie version. My opinion of the book was not particularly high, mostly because it was AP English exam year, I had to write about a dozen essays about the book, and then the movie kind of killed it for me. Everyone was very sweaty, overly shiny with money and clothes, and the partying and excess was sickening. I later described the experience as eating too much cake frosting. Read More Who Hates Gatsby?

Classic Woman-centric Movie Review: The Last Time I Saw Paris

Well, Persephoneers, it’s an F. Scott Fitzgerald weekend: Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gastby premieres this Friday, and I’m rather excited to see it, but I’m going to wait until some of the furor dies down. Meanwhile, I’ve got a movie pick that all of you might like, The Last Time I Saw Paris, which was released in 1954 and is based on Fitzgerald’s short story “Babylon Revisited.” It stars Van Johnson, Elizabeth Taylor, and Donna Reed. Read More Classic Woman-centric Movie Review: The Last Time I Saw Paris

Rereading The Classics: My Top 5

When I was young, under ten, my mom would try to get me to read certain classic books she had enjoyed as a child – Little Women, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, and others. Hopelessly contrary kid that I was (and still am, to a certain degree), I groaned and rolled my eyes and went back to reading my R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike books. Or Babysitter’s Club and Sweet Valley High. I wanted satisfying, modern shlock, Mom! Geez.

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The Daily Goodie: 1/28

Happy Friday once again, my dears. Today’s Goodie is for all you bookish nerds out there. I’ve just been made aware of Book-A-Minute, a years-old website that provides short, slighly snarky summaries of classic books. I’m aware that y’all hate clicking through to external websites, but believe me that this is worth the click. Here’s probably my favorite summary, which will hopefully entice you to click through for more. Read More The Daily Goodie: 1/28