Friday, June 20, 2014

Invented Lives: F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald

I apologize. I apologize for my absence and to myself for letting yet another project slip out of my grasp. I'm going to blame it on a poor attention span, because that's a pretty catch-all excuse for members of my generation.

Anyway, since the only books I have been reading lately have been the Lord of the Rings trilogy and I'm only halfway through the last one, I figured I would just post an older review from my Goodreads account. When I am done with the last book I may do a LotR post, but probably not a review. I don't know what it would take to qualify me to critique one of the most iconic series in the history of fantasy, but being eighteen and a bookworm isn't quite it.

I found this biography of the infamous Jazz Age couple comprehensive, well-researched, engaging and, ultimately, heartbreaking. Mellow's biography utilizes perfect selections of letters, diary entries, and wild anecdotes to explore the star couple's relationship from its beginning through its rocky decline. It is personal and gritty, without glamorizing the couple's bad habits and appalling behavior. It can be rough to read for any starry-eyed Fitzgerald enthusiast, but ultimately, I think, necessary.

Like any Fitzgerald biography, it can get fuzzy and skips around as parties and alcoholic binges blur together, but that is possibly more of a commentary on Fitzgerald rather than Mellow. In fact, if you let yourself be carried away by the story and forget about keeping things in order, it offers almost a glimpse into the way the Fitzgeralds' might have documented their own lives-- out of order, chaotic, and with hints of glamour and poise.

Even when it was difficult to tell when events occurred in relation to the stages of F. Scott and Zelda's relationship, Invented Lives was thoroughly entertaining and novel.