The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: F Scott Fitzgerald

Of all the books that are made into movies, this is the only book which I hadn’t heard of before learning about the movie. This movie made a lot of news and God knows where I was when the book was released or made news (turns out I was not even born. The story was published in 1922). Did it make news at all or did it become popular because it was made into a movie?

The curious case of Benjamin Button is about well, Benjamin Button who is born as an old man. He is seventy years old when he is born. Wrinkled skin, stooped back, achy joints – all indications that nature has played a cruel joke on him. As he goes on with his life, he realizes that he is actually growing younger, going back in age. The story starts off with a bang and keeps the curiosity raised until the middle of the book. But the ending was a disappointment. What starts off as a promising story ends with a ‘poof’. Still, an enjoyable story. I wonder how they made this into a movie. The story was first published in 1922. The rights are in public domain now, so the story is available free online for everyone to read. Check the links at the end of this post to read this story online. Though the story was published so long ago, the movie was made only in 2008.

There are two other stories in the book – Bernice bobs her hair and The diamond as big as the Ritz. Both the stories are available online for free. The first story is about a girl who is constantly talking about bobbing her hair to get boys’ attention without any intention of getting a bob. I like the characterization in this story. The two protagonist ladies are etched really well and their feelings are relevant even today. The second one is about a man who owns a diamond which is as big as The Ritz. This story is as wacky as Benjamin Button but has a better climax.

There is nothing much really to remember or learn from these stories, apart from the couple of laughs you get while reading them. These are intended to be that anyway – light and entertaining. There is no attempt at prodding one’s intellectual, so take these stories as they are. Get a hearty laugh and move on to another book.

I am dying to know what the public reaction was when these stories were published. It was a different era with totally different mindset and I was wondering how people took these stories. Did they like it or did they dismiss as a heap of rubbish?

Read the stories online:

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Bernice Bobs Her Hair
Tales of the Jazz Age – This book has The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The diamond as big as the Ritz and other stories

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