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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald
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A life lived backwards, with events happening in reverse order forms the strange and unexpected framework of one of F Scott Fitzgerald's rare short stories.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was published in Collier's in 1927 and the idea came to Fitzgerald apparently from a quote of Mark Twain's in which he regretted that the best part of life came at the beginning and the worst at the end. Fitzgerald's concept of using this notion and turning the normal sequence of life on its head resulted in this delightful, thought provoking fantasy tale. The story was later incorporated in a Fitzgerald anthology, Tales of the Jazz Age.

The story opens with a young, high society couple who are shocked beyond belief when they discover that their much awaited first born child resembles an elderly gent of seventy, complete with a white beard and whiskers, sitting up and querulously demanding to know, “Are you my father?” Their young son is born to live out a peculiar destiny. And so begins a grotesque journey through life, with the child, Benjamin “growing down” instead of up.

Set in the Baltimore of the 1860s the story is also a satire of contemporary American society of the time. Though Fitzgerald maintains a cool and light tone throughout the story, it is in fact, deeply reflective and a very interesting take on the human condition.

For contemporary readers who are familiar with the problems of aging and “second childhood” Benjamin Button's difficulties with dealing with the demands of his chronological age vs his mental age are extremely interesting. As we find more and more older people succumbing to Alzheimer's disease and dementia, requiring the kind of care that an infant does, the story is strangely prophetic of the condition of geriatric care in our century. The plot is not exactly new to literature, with several stories and novels being written on a similar theme by many other writers. However, Fitzgerald's take on growing old and how we humans deal with it is what sets The Curious Case of Benjamin Button apart.

The style is extremely readable, the premise is intriguing and refreshingly different and appeals to readers of all ages. The story was adapted into a film in 2008 and continues to fascinate Fitzgerald fans the world over.

A life lived backwards, with events happening in reverse order forms the strange and unexpected framework of one of F Scott Fitzgerald's rare short stories.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was published in Collier's in 1927 and the idea came to Fitzgerald apparently from a quote of Mark Twain's in which he regretted that the best part of life came at the beginning and the worst at the end. Fitzgerald's concept of using this notion and turning the normal sequence of life on its head resulted in this delightful, thought provoking fantasy tale. The story was later incorporated in a Fitzgerald anthology, Tales of the Jazz Age.

The story opens with a young, high society couple who are shocked beyond belief when they discover that their much awaited first born child resembles an elderly gent of seventy, complete with a white beard and whiskers, sitting up and querulously demanding to know, “Are you my father?” Their young son is born to live out a peculiar destiny. And so begins a grotesque journey through life, with the child, Benjamin “growing down” instead of up.

Set in the Baltimore of the 1860s the story is also a satire of contemporary American society of the time. Though Fitzgerald maintains a cool and light tone throughout the story, it is in fact, deeply reflective and a very interesting take on the human condition.

For contemporary readers who are familiar with the problems of aging and “second childhood” Benjamin Button's difficulties with dealing with the demands of his chronological age vs his mental age are extremely interesting. As we find more and more older people succumbing to Alzheimer's disease and dementia, requiring the kind of care that an infant does, the story is strangely prophetic of the condition of geriatric care in our century. The plot is not exactly new to literature, with several stories and novels being written on a similar theme by many other writers. However, Fitzgerald's take on growing old and how we humans deal with it is what sets The Curious Case of Benjamin Button apart.

The style is extremely readable, the premise is intriguing and refreshingly different and appeals to readers of all ages. The story was adapted into a film in 2008 and continues to fascinate Fitzgerald fans the world over.


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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 10 reviews)

Reviewer: - March 3, 2016
Subject: nice story
good story to follow. Not too long.
Reviewer: - December 14, 2015
Subject: Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Sweet story nicely narrated! It's short, maybe about an hour give or take. Loved it!
Reviewer: - January 4, 2015
Subject: Brilliant story
Brilliant story and beautifully read. Thank you!
Reviewer: - December 13, 2013
Subject: Great story
What an amazing story, read beautifully.
October 22, 2013
I enjoyed this reading. Excellent story.
September 19, 2013
Very good story--enjoyed it and the reader made it even more enjoyable.
July 27, 2013
Brilliant story .. I just love it.
March 20, 2013
Love the reading.
Reviewer: - March 12, 2013
Excellent reading. I was surprised how short this book really is. Very good.
Reviewer: - January 9, 2013
Subject: Top banana
Love this narrator. Top banana.


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