Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Copyright 1921, Audio Book 2007

Most people are familiar with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button because of the recent film adaptation starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, but I recently discovered it was first a short story written by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

While browsing the shelves of my local library one evening I discovered an audio book version of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button along with several other short stories by Fitzgerald. I decided I'd like to read/hear the story before seeing the movie.

From what I've read the short story is really nothing like the movie. All that remains the same in the movie is the main character's name and the case of his unusual aging, otherwise the story is completely changed. This review is about the short story, thus the plot is going to be about the short story, not the movie.

The Plot:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is the tale of a man who is born a 70-year old man in the early 1860s and proceeds to grow younger any younger as the years pass, much to the bewilderment and consternation of his family and friends.

My Thoughts:
The story of Benjamin Button is a curious case indeed. The short story is told through a narrative and follows Benjamin's life from birth to death and in between lightly touches upon various milestones (his marriage), events (fighting in the Spanish-American War, admission to Harvard and Yale universities), and other adventures that he encounters along the way. It is an interesting story, but it is also a sad story. Because of the nature of Benjamin's unusual aging process his relationships are never normal and this makes for a sad story.

My Summary:
On a scale of 1-5, 1 being horrible and 5 being excellent I would rate The Curious Case of Benjamin Button a 3.5. It's an interesting story, it's well-written, but the story itself is a little on the depressing side. For those curious about the story I would definitely advise them to read the short story. I haven't decided yet if I still want to watch the movie, but knowing that the screenplay is a totally different story I may not bother. I think the short story was enough.


Carrie said...

I HAVE been curious about the story. But most of what I've heard is about the movie so I was really glad to see that you were reviewing the book! Thanks. I think I would very much like to read the book. I'm still hesitating on the movie.

Sarah M. said...

The Audio Book was about 28-30 minutes long, so I imagine the short story isn't too long of a read.