En route book review #2

I’ve had my copy of The Diamond as Big as the Ritz and Other Stories, by F Scott Fitzgerald, for maybe ten years now – why I’ve never got round to reading it I do not know; it’s a really slim volume and I like Fitzgerald (I really should get me a copy of The Great Gatsby at some point). So it was a perfect candidate for this trip.

It’s a collection of stories about, typically, 1920s society – and they’re good. Amusing and sharp, if not exactly profound, tales, until you get to the last, The Bowl. This one sticks out simply for its different – better – quality. It was written several years after all the others and perhaps it’s just a reflection of developing style or different focus, but The Bowl has a genuinely rounded protagonist rather than a set of rather shallow characters created merely to be satirised and, while there is a narrative, the main thrust of the story is character development. And I’ll always take interesting interior character development over a pulsating plotline. This is probably just as well, since the action takes place around an American college football team and my knowledge of American football is limited entirely to what I’ve picked up from Robbie Hudson‘s blog; which, while excellent, has reasons for its existence other than to furnish me with the ins and outs of Yankee sports. That said, I found even the descriptions of the plays absorbing, and I had precious little idea what Fitzgerald was on about.

Worth reading for The Bowl alone, although the other four inclusions have their moments (particularly the eponymous yarn). But it only cost me *flips over book* £1.25 so I’m sure I can re-buy it if I feel its loss too keenly.

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