Monday, March 19, 2012

Book Review- Tales of the Jazz Age

Hello, darling readers!
As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I got a Nook Simple Touch for my birthday and have been reading on it constantly. However, even at a discount, Nook books add up a little too fast for my student budget. So, I have found a plethora of wonderful classics at Project Gutenberg (, a site that collects book editions whose copyrights have expired and puts them out for people to download and read. It's pretty awesome and I'd like to share a review of my first download from the site.
I love F.Scott Fitzgerald- I've read all of his major novels, so when I found Tales of the Jazz Age on Project Gutenberg, I knew I had to read it. While I'm glad I did, it is certainly very different from his full novels. Tales of the Jazz Age involves about a dozen short stories (10-20 pages in length), varying from social commentary, to humor, to drama. The collection is great if you want to read on communutes or for short periods of time because the stories do not take long and are not interconnected. However, when you are used to Fitzgerald's character and plot development in his larger novels, it is a bit of a shift.
Also, I quickly realized why the stories are not recommended reading for high school- they are racist and crude. In context of the 1920s-1930s, the stories do a great job of capturing period life, slang, and opinions. However, when you read them with a modern mind, the language and attitudes are shocking. As I've said prior, I've read Fitzgerald's works; while I am by no means an expert, I can assure you that this collection is the only time I've seen such language and attitudes (the racist part, not the crude part).
Overall, I recommend them to fans of Fitzgerald- if you don't already love his work, I doubt you'll enjoy the complete selection of stories. However, no matter your fondness of the author, do yourself a favor and read "The Camel's Back"- it is hilarious!

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