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I’m Going To Read It Again

I just finished reading an outstanding book on one of my real heroes…F. Scott Fitzgerald. Through the years, I’ve read everything I could my hands on about Fitzgerald, along with many of his books. In fact, I’ve had the opportunity to tour Fitzgerald’s old neighborhood on Summit Avenue in St Paul, which, by the way, is the same neighborhood where the  ”Empire Builder”, Great Northern Railway’s James J. Hill lived. I’ve even been to Frost’s drugstore in that neighborhood where F. Scott Fitzgerald used to hang out. These days, Garrison Keillor lives in the same neighborhood, so who knows… there may be something that makes one creative  in their drinking water! “F. Scott Fitzgerald-Fool for Love” was written by one of the nation’s leading literary biographers, Scott Donaldson, & Donaldson did a beautiful job. His engrossing, definitive study explores 2 classic Fitzgerald themes-love & class-& the result is a striking portrayal of one of the 20th century’s greatest writers, whose legacy & influence only continue to grow. “Fool for Love” follows Fitzgerald from his St. Paul, Minnesota birthplace to Princeton & upward into the highest reaches of literary & public success-& ultimately to Fitzgerald’s untimely death in Hollywood at the age of 44, broke & nearly forgotten. I’ve always felt that Fitzgerald got a “bad rap” & I think one must consider the times…it WAS the roaring 20′s & “everyone else was doing it”.How’s that for real Puffman rationalization!  I came away from this book believing that old Scott was a genuinely “nice guy” & tried to do the best he could stumbling through life. It seems that in the last 2 or 3 years of Fitzgerald’s life, like many of us, he finally got his stuff together, made peace with his demons, & got things figured out. At any rate, I would strongly encourage you to to check out this book from the University Of Minnesota Press at www.upress.umn.edu. It’s from the Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage Book Series. I know that I’m going to read “Fool for Love” right away again & then plan on re-reading “The Great Gatsby” for about the 5th or 6th time! It is truly a very beautiful presentation with some new insights on, who I feel, is the greatest writer of all time.

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