Gatsby Girls Reviews

“Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940) was an American author of novels and short stories, whose works are the paradigm writings of the Jazz Age, a term he coined himself. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the “Lost Generation” of the 1920s. He finished four novels: This Side ofParadise, The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby – his most famous – and Tender Is the Night. A fifth, unfinished novel, The Love of the Last Tycoon, was published posthumously. Fitzgerald also wrote many short stories that treat themes of youth and promise along with despair and age. Now eight of those short stories featuring Fitzgerald’s flapper ‘heroines’ drawn from the pages of the legendary magazine “The Saturday Evening Post” have been compiled into a 300 page anthology. In addition to these outstanding examples of Fitzgerald’s short stories, “F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Gatsby Girls” is enhanced for today’s readers with introductory information by Carol Monroe’s editorial notes, as well as two appendices: ‘Post-Pages’ and ‘Illustrators’ (featuring reproductions of original magazine illustration for these featured stories). A prized addition for academic and community library American Literature Studies collections, “F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Gatsby Girls” is very highly recommended reading and will well serve to introduce a new generation of readers to the literary talents of F. Scott Fitzgerald.”—Midwest Book Review

“Loved reading about this new woman, sometimes brash ,contrary, as wiley and vindictive as a man, definitely learning to play the game. Sometimes it backfires, sometimes they are caught in the traditional versus the new values. All the women were interesting. Each was a little bit of Zelda as F. Scott sought to understand her.” -Joan E. Dugan, Amazon

“This book is such fun to read, especially for fans of F. Scott Fitzgerald. This book is a collection of the first 8 short stories Fitzgerald wrote for The Saturday Evening Post in 1920. Not only was this his first national exposure, these stories, and the artwork created by the Post, create the archetype of the ‘flapper’ that has become part of American culture. GATSBY GIRLS is beautifully formatted for digital devices, and includes the original pages of The Post, so you can see the stories in their original context… I loved reading these stories, and the seeming ease with which he creates these lovely characters and situations. Any Fitzgerald fan will really enjoy a chance to delve into these rare gems. Highly recommend!” -TwinsMomMM, Barnes & Noble

Fitzgerald, one of the foremost writers of American fiction, found early success as a short story writer for the most widely read magazine of the early 20th century — the Saturday Evening Post. Fitzgerald’s stories, first published by the Post between 1920 and 1922, brought the Jazz Age and the “flapper” to life and confirmed that America was changing faster than ever before. Women were bobbing their hair, drinking and flirting shamelessly, and Fitzgerald brought these exciting Gatsby Girls to life in the pages of the Post.”
My Two Cents:
Oh, how I sometimes yearn for days that I never actually had a chance to witness! “Gatsby Girls” had me yearning for one of those days. This book is a collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short stories that appeared in the pages of The Saturday Evening Post. Imagine opening your newspaper and being able to read great short stories week after week. Now you’re lucky if your newspaper even has a book section! Oh, the good old days!
I hadn’t read any of Fitzgerald’s short stories so it was nice to get a chance to read them now! His stories are mostly about the flappers. As is mentioned in the note in the beginning of the book, Fitzgerald based many of his female characters on some aspect of his wife, Zelda Fitzgerald. I guess he truly wrote what he knew, eh? I’m absolutely fascinated by Zelda Fitzgerald so I found myself reading the stories with the idea that many of them were based on her in the back of my mind. Some of the stories I had heard of before but hadn’t read (such as Bernice Bobs Her Hair) and others I hadn’t heard of at all.
This is a great collection for those who have read Fitzgerald before or haven’t and are looking for a good jumping in point. I really liked that this collection included the pages of The Saturday Evening Post that the stories actually appeared on. Each story has really interesting illustrations and I also really liked being able to see what the pages of the post looked like (I got a kick out of some of the ads that were on the pages).
Overall, this is a great collection of stories!–A Bookish Affair Review

“This collection of re-issued stories from the Saturday Evening Post is an instant favorite of mine. I really enjoyed the variety this collection offered. Each story is beautiful in its own way. I purchased the Kindle version, and I thought the illustrations were gorgeous.”  -Lauren, Goodreads

“With the much-anticipated film of The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, about to smash the box office, what better time to turn your gimlet eye on the stories and the art that not only preceded it but offers literary and cultural context for the novel that is considered Fitzgerald’s most famous.” Rebecca Rego Barry, Fine Books and Collections.com

“It’s a great addition to my Fitzgerald collection. Very informative, well researched with lots of extras.” Donald Erman, OttowaSun.com

“F. Scott Fitzgerald was one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.  His lyrical phrasing, his rich characters, and his unmistakable voice have placed him in the high echelon of American authors.  Even though we only got to keep him until the young age of 44, he managed in that short time to give us iconic novels (The Great Gatsby, This Side of Paradise, Tender Is the Night, and more) and cranked out around 170 short stories.”  – TopTenz.net

More Reviews and Quotes from the Past

. . . Many of the [short] stories are unequalled in achievement–inspirited with a delicate wit, a shrewd perception of character and a poetic sense of place–and lead us through Fitzgerald’s rich creative chronology, from unforgettable evocations of the enchanting but ruthless social whirl of the young in the 1920s.—Publishers Weekly (1989)

“One pleasure of rereading Fitzgerald’s stories now is to rediscover just how good some of them in fact are, and how brilliant a handful.” — Jay McInerney, The New York Review of Books

Fitzgerald was a better just plain writer than all of us put together. Just words writing.– John O’Hara to John Steinbeck, Selected Letters of John O’Hara (1978) 

As all the high school juniors read The Great Gatsby, and anticipation mounts for Baz Luhrman’s 3D visual spectacle of Gatsby, it is an exciting development that The Saturday Evening Post has brought us this collection of little known short stories written by Fitzgerald in 1920. Among the first things he published, and certainly the biggest national platform he had til that point – these 8 short stories represent Fitzgerald at his most sparkling. I was, quite honestly, blown away by the glittering ease with which he conjured worlds. We all take it for granted now that the Flapper Girl of the ‘20s could flirt and kiss and bob her hair – what few realize is that these very stories CREATED the notion of that girl. The Post’s famed artists (including a Norman Rockwell cover that depicted a key scene from ‘Bernice Bobs Her Hair’) created the look that we now expect. As I read these stories, laid out beautifully for my tablet (thank you!), I could imagine the impact these would have had on countless girls and women, secretly reading the stories after Dad was done with the paper…and realizing that you could leave the farm, you too might have your pick of men, you could be daring and sophisticated…

This book is a delight – both for long-time fans of Fitzgerald (calling all you American Lit majors…) but also for those who aren’t.  It is kind of a lovely thing – fun short stories by an acclaimed American author – that are just a joy to read!

Bonus – the book (esp great in color in the digital version) offers the original illustrations that accompanied the stories, and reproduces the actual pages of the Post in which the stories ran, so you can see the ads for farm equipment, men’s starched shirts and ladies shoes. – BandelierGirlReads.wordpress.com

The ICE PALACE
Another Saturday Evening Post story, “The Ice Palace” was published in May of 1920 and was the first of what is called the “Tarleton Trilogy,” a trio of works set in Tarleton, Georgia.  This story tells the tale of local belle Sally Carrol Happer and her harrowing visit to the cold North to visit her fiancé’s family.  It is one of the most beautifully written of Fitzgerald’s short stories, and it contains autobiographical details from Fitzgerald’s own life, as he himself married a Southern Belle [Zelda].” – TopTenz.net

HEAD AND SHOULDERS

“Turn to this story for some of the wittiest banter of the 1920′s. . . .“Head and Shoulders” tells the story of an unlikely romance between Horace Tarbox, once child-genius now intellectual to the extreme, and Marcia Meadows, a dancer famous for her “shimmy.”  The tables get turned when Horace takes a job as a gymnast to earn extra money while Marcia is pregnant, and she in turn writes a very clever and successful novel.” – TopTenz.net

THE OFFSHORE PIRATE

“The Offshore Pirate” is a fantasy story.  Published in the Saturday Evening Post in 1920s, it tells the story of Ardita Farnan and how she falls in love with the “pirate” that overtakes her uncle’s boat on its way to Florida.  Fitzgerald was especially fond of this story, especially the last line, which he said was one of his best.  Fitzgerald was also quoted as saying that he liked this story better than “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz.” – TopTenz.net

The real Scott is to be found in his notebooks and working papers, where he elaborated so patiently at turning the mess of his life to gold. “To observe one must be unwary,” he wrote, so he took experience straight without a notebook. But he later hoarded it like a miser and pored over it like a monk illuminating a manuscript and produced enduring work. When a writer explores emotions to danger point like Scott, it is worse than philistine to talk about weakness of character. The whole moral test is in the books. The Great Gatsby and Tender Is the Night are all the character reference a writer could want. – Wilfrid Sheed, in “F. Scott Fitzgerald” (1973), from The Good Word & Other Words (1978)

“This is a valuable collection, whether one reads the stories to delight in Fitzgerald’s style, to conjure up a lost era, to learn more about the career of a great American novelist, or simply to gain insight into the human condition.” – Leonard A. Podis, The Cleveland Plain Dealer

With all the hype surrounding the release of yet another Big Screen version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, it’s no surprise that other works of Fitzgerald’s are being re-released. As a fan of the author, this thrills me no end. So when Gatsby Girls came in for review, I grabbed it, hunkered down in my favorite over-sized chair, and started reading. What a delight! Read the Rest of the Review from Feathered Quill Book Review

 

 

 

Comments are closed.