The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Today, F. Scott Fitzgerald is known for his novels, but in his lifetime, his fame stemmed from his prolific achievement as one of America's most gifted story writers. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," a witty and fantastical satire about aging, is one of his most memorable stories.

In 1860 Benjamin Button is born an old man and mysteriously begins aging backward. At the beginning of his life he is withered and worn, but as he continues to grow younger he embraces life -- he goes to war, runs a business, falls in love, has children, goes to college and prep school, and, as his mind begins to devolve, he attends kindergarten and eventually returns to the care of his nurse.

This strange and haunting story embodies the sharp social insight that has made Fitzgerald one of the great voices in the history of American literature.

For the last while I've been wanting to get into classics, but the sheer number of books I already have to read combined with the fact that I don't really know where to start has left me a bit confuzzled. With the release of the Great Gatsby movie as a bit of a prompt, I've finally started to ease my way in to reading classics starting with some of the shorter, easier-to-read ones. And so I read The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (in one sitting! Although given the length of the book, err, short story, I guess that's not really something to brag about)

'm just gonna start off by saying that this was well-worth the half hour it took to read. I was a bit surprised that it was so short, though. For some reason I've always been under the impression that it was more of a novel, and to be honest, I wish it was. The plot, other than it being about a person who ages backwards (although I think that most people already knew that) is nothing incredibly shocking or unusual. Instead what made me enjoy this story is the different perspective it gives. Since Benjamin ages backwards, the normal stages of life are treated differently because he doesn't really fit it. I think the parts that I liked the most were how other people didn't understand how to treat Benjamin or socialize with him.

The other great thing about this book was that it introduced me to F. Scott Fitzgerald's writing style, which I loved! It seems very practical and straightforward, which makes reading a book that is really kind of silly even more interesting. I'm definitely looking forward to reading the Great Gatsby after reading this short story.

The thing to keep in mind while reading this book is that since it is so short there really isn't a ton of time to get to know the characters or get attached. There's not a ton of substance/meaning, at least not that I got out of the book. To me, it was just something to enjoy for half an hour and then set aside and move on, but it was worth the read for sure.

The Good: Writing style, perspective
The Bad: very short = hard get to know the characters/not very thought-provoking
The Verdict: 7/10



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