Since its publication in 1925, The Great Gatsby has become one of the world's best-loved books, delighting audiences across the world. Careless People tells the true story behind F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece, exploring in newly rich detail the relation of Fitzgerald's classic to the chaotic world he in which he lived. Fitzgerald set his novel in 1922, and Careless People carefully reconstructs the crucial months during which Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald returned to New York in the autumn of 1922 - the parties, the drunken weekends at Great Neck, Long Island, the drives back into the city to the jazz clubs and speakeasies, the casual intersection of high society and organized crime, and the growth of celebrity culture of which the Fitzgeralds themselves were the epitome. And for the first time it returns to the story of Gatsby: the high-profile murder that provided a crucial inspiration for Fitzgerald's tale.
With wit and insight, Sarah Churchwell traces the genesis of a masterpiece, discovering where fiction comes from and how it takes shape in the mind of a genius. Blending biography and history with lost and forgotten newspaper accounts, letters, and newly discovered archival material, Careless People is the biography of a book, telling the extraordinary tale of how F. Scott Fitzgerald created a classic and in the process discovered modern America.
"Prodigious research and fierce affection illumine every remarkable page." (Kirkus Starred Review)
"[Churchwell] evokes the Jazz Age in all its ephemeral glamour and recklessness in her latest book….She excels at providing rich period details." (Publishers Weekly)
"Churchwell brings…a lively curiosity, a gift for making connections, and an infectious passion for Fitzgerald and his greatest novel…A suggestive, almost musical evocation of the spirit of the time." (London Review of Books)
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For serious Gatsby fans
half as long
There was so much detail, I couldn't finish it. I'd read Gatsby immediately before this. I liked it, but didn't adore it (too much hype over all these years? expectations too high?). I appreciated the value of such an in depth analysis, but for more casual reading/listening, that I find Audible books so nice for, it was just too much. I'd love to know who did it, but not enough to listen to every possible piece of background for so many parts of the book.
Fascinating study of the Fitzgeralds and Jazz Age