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Collected Stories 4: Bernice Bobs Her Hair (20th Century Classics)

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What we know of that unique period in American history labeled the Jazz Age has been defined by F. Scott Fitzgerald's piercing fiction. His short stories brilliantly realize an era both exploding with opportunity and seething with decadence. His prose captures the melancholy lacquered over with merriment, the corruption interlaced with the glamour, all refracted through a What we know of that unique period in American history labeled the Jazz Age has been defined by F. Scott Fitzgerald's piercing fiction. His short stories brilliantly realize an era both exploding with opportunity and seething with decadence. His prose captures the melancholy lacquered over with merriment, the corruption interlaced with the glamour, all refracted through a spectrum of human lives. Bernice bobs her hair -- Winter dreams -- "The sensible thing" -- Absolution -- The baby party -- A short trip home -- Magnetism -- The rough crossing.


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What we know of that unique period in American history labeled the Jazz Age has been defined by F. Scott Fitzgerald's piercing fiction. His short stories brilliantly realize an era both exploding with opportunity and seething with decadence. His prose captures the melancholy lacquered over with merriment, the corruption interlaced with the glamour, all refracted through a What we know of that unique period in American history labeled the Jazz Age has been defined by F. Scott Fitzgerald's piercing fiction. His short stories brilliantly realize an era both exploding with opportunity and seething with decadence. His prose captures the melancholy lacquered over with merriment, the corruption interlaced with the glamour, all refracted through a spectrum of human lives. Bernice bobs her hair -- Winter dreams -- "The sensible thing" -- Absolution -- The baby party -- A short trip home -- Magnetism -- The rough crossing.

30 review for Collected Stories 4: Bernice Bobs Her Hair (20th Century Classics)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Picked this up in a Church stall for 20 pence. It has to be the best 20 pence I have spent in a long time. Beautifully written, fantastic images and so often a sharp sting in the tail. I loved the way he cleverly leaves echoes of other stories, other writers and lets you struggle with them. In the title story on the first page this wonderful nudge or jibe at Jane Austen ' it can only frown and lean, ask questions and make satisfactory deductions from its set of po Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Picked this up in a Church stall for 20 pence. It has to be the best 20 pence I have spent in a long time. Beautifully written, fantastic images and so often a sharp sting in the tail. I loved the way he cleverly leaves echoes of other stories, other writers and lets you struggle with them. In the title story on the first page this wonderful nudge or jibe at Jane Austen ' it can only frown and lean, ask questions and make satisfactory deductions from its set of postulates, such as the one which states that every young man with a large income leads the life of a hunted partridge '. There was romance and cruelty, sinister shadowy bullys and haunted frail failures. The title story was a perfect account of shyness being betrayed but coming to a new courage through the betrayal and this is the common journey in most of the stories. Moving from a naive perhaps apathetic or self obsessed state to a fuller reality through some sort of trial but in all the stories there is the sense that Fitzgerald gives that sadly something in that movement is lost. He is stating clearly that greater self knowledge normally involves loss and impoverishment as the counter-weight to any advantages. Excellent stories but sad, wistful ones that always seem to be looking over the shoulder to something moving away back into your history

  2. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. About the cover photo - someone said (don't know who) "give Louise Brooks a string of pearls and watch her turn a studio photo session into a memorable occasion". Fitting that Brooksie should be on the cover as she was the ultimate flapper who would have made scrambled eggs out of Zelda - if only she knew where the kitchen was!! She was the real deal!! Anyway back to the stories. Welcome to the ruthless, cut throat world of young female society - 1920's style. Into this scintillating world comes Bernice About the cover photo - someone said (don't know who) "give Louise Brooks a string of pearls and watch her turn a studio photo session into a memorable occasion". Fitting that Brooksie should be on the cover as she was the ultimate flapper who would have made scrambled eggs out of Zelda - if only she knew where the kitchen was!! She was the real deal!! Anyway back to the stories. Welcome to the ruthless, cut throat world of young female society - 1920's style. Into this scintillating world comes Bernice - at home in Eau Paul she is in the social hub but here she is tongue tied and dull, only commenting on the weather and what sort of car do her dance partners have!! They say eaves droppers never hear good of themselves but the earful that Bernice catches causes her to put herself into cousin Marjorie's steely hands and be reinvented as a witty eccentric - but Marjorie finds she has created a monster!! Marjorie is Fitzgerald's voice as she gives her forthright views on whiney girls who expect everything from marriage but bring nothing themselves except false expectations to their husbands (shades of Edith Wharton) and the very Fitzgeraldian "If I'd been irretrievably ugly I'd never forgive my parents for bringing me into the world". Bernice is caught up in the whirl of breezy chit-chat, returning of an evening "dance tired" and the heavy debate of bobbed hair. After a lot of goading and daring, Bernice, caught up in the giddy moment, has her hair "bobbed" at the local barbers, then realises it was all part of Marjorie's selfish plan to make her look a fool at a dance to be given in her honour. Bernice's revenge is swift and fast and Marjorie will find a need to speedily visit a barber shop herself the next morning. "The Baby Party" is one of my favourite Fitgerald short stories - it's not angsty, it's all about when things get out of control at a baby party. Damon Runyon would have been proud!! Two little children fall out over a teddy bear, their mothers match insult for insult in the drawing room and it ends up with a brawl for the fathers out on the lawn. As someone says "I guess these baby parties are pretty rough affairs"!! These 8 stories span the decade of the twenties - "Winter Dreams" (1922) and "The Sensible Thing" (1924) show how love is lost as youthful ideals are grown out of to "A Short Trip Home" (1926) about "a fellow who used to work the janes in car trains". "Magnetism" - by 1928 F. Scott Fitzgerald was in Hollywood and tearing his hair over the "Lipstick" script. This story reveals his insightfulness into the picture business - the fact that the old timers (actresses hovering around 30) from the Griffith years had a humbleness and straightness about them sadly missing from the rising stars of today (1927)!! "The Rough Crossing" also has to do with a minor celebrity dealing with a persistant fan and a storm at sea which almost threatens to turn the boat into the "Titanic"!! Just love the last paragraph "Who do you suppose were those Adrian-Smiths on board - not me - nor me - there are so many Smiths in the world"!!! Also included is the story "Absolution".

  3. 4 out of 5

    Karin

    A lovely, brief, romp in the roaring 20s. I think Bernice and I would have been friends.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Martin Bainbridge

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cezniea Hymowech

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sonja

  7. 4 out of 5

    Maria

  8. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

  9. 5 out of 5

    Douglas

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elliot Smith

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gracia

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jezlynn

  14. 4 out of 5

    Patty

  15. 5 out of 5

    Patrice

  16. 4 out of 5

    Scott Smith

  17. 5 out of 5

    Christian Connor

  18. 5 out of 5

    Salla

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michael Lloyd-Billington

  20. 5 out of 5

    James Barker

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lesley

  22. 5 out of 5

    Anabela

  23. 5 out of 5

    Imogen

  24. 5 out of 5

    Aasheesh Pittie

  25. 5 out of 5

    Erica

  26. 5 out of 5

    Karyn

  27. 4 out of 5

    Abby

  28. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  30. 4 out of 5

    Julie Akiko

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