"When I saw that Amazon Prime was unveiling its original pilot for Z, a biographical series based on Therese Anne Fowler's novel about Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, I raised a wary eyebrow. . . But I was wrong, oh me of little faith. . . [I]t's an enveloping period piece, perfectly cast, and I would like to see the pilot green-lighted into a series so that we can see this romance go up like a rocket with one loud champagne pop and strew debris across mansion lawns and luxury hotel lobbies in its transcontinental path." —Vanity Fair
I wish I could tell everyone who thinks we're ruined, Look closer…and you'll see something extraordinary, mystifying, something real and true. We have never been what we seemed.
When beautiful, reckless Southern belle Zelda Sayre meets F. Scott Fitzgerald at a country club dance in 1918, she is seventeen years old and he is a young army lieutenant stationed in Alabama. Before long, the "ungettable" Zelda has fallen for him despite his unsuitability: Scott isn't wealthy or prominent or even a Southerner, and keeps insisting, absurdly, that his writing will bring him both fortune and fame. Her father is deeply unimpressed. But after Scott sells his first novel, This Side of Paradise, to Scribner's, Zelda optimistically boards a train north, to marry him in the vestry of St. Patrick's Cathedral and take the rest as it comes.
What comes, here at the dawn of the Jazz Age, is unimagined attention and success and celebrity that will make Scott and Zelda legends in their own time. Everyone wants to meet the dashing young author of the scandalous novel—and his witty, perhaps even more scandalous wife. Zelda bobs her hair, adopts daring new fashions, and revels in this wild new world. Each place they go becomes a playground: New York City, Long Island, Hollywood, Paris, and the French Riviera—where they join the endless party of the glamorous, sometimes doomed Lost Generation that includes Ernest Hemingway, Sara and Gerald Murphy, and Gertrude Stein.
Everything seems new and possible. Troubles, at first, seem to fade like morning mist. But not even Jay Gatsby's parties go on forever. Who is Zelda, other than the wife of a famous—sometimes infamous—husband? How can she forge her own identity while fighting her demons and Scott's, too? With brilliant insight and imagination, Therese Anne Fowler brings us Zelda's irresistible story as she herself might have told it.
©2013 Therese Anne Fowler (P)2013 Macmillan
Zelda and Scott lived.in a society newly created - the Jazz Age. It is hard for us now to understand how fast and furious the Victorian Age dissolved and its mores were shoved aside. They knew everyone in the literary world worth knowing and we get to have a glimpse of them. In addition, this is the story of a marriage, and some interesting facts about concepts of mental health at thar time. I would like to add that I thought the narrator was outstanding. Will look for her reading other books.
In a year when there is much focus on Scot Fitzgerald and his Gatsby, this alternate view of him from Zelda's perspective enriches the discussion of his legacy. More than that, it provides a delightful experience on its on.
Zelda Fitzgerald is a fascinating person, one who should not be relegated to just a footnote to the life of her husband. Theirs is a tragic story, but an amazing tale of two talented, though less than stable, individuals who shared a love of life and of each other, but who neither had the strength to provide the emotional support the other desperately needed.
The narrator does an excellent portrayal of a south Alabama accent, evoking the time and place without falling into the common trap of overdoing it. Only one slip up in the pronunciation of the name of Zelda's high school, Lanier, named for poet Sidney Lanier and still in existence. Still, overall the performance is excellent, portraying Zelda as both a young and a mature woman, and making her believable in both.
12 step program please. I am addicted to Audible! I love trashy sexy books, award winning novels and everything between. Bring it!
Without giving details away, I really liked this new telling of Zelda. Instead of being cast as yet again, the crazed selfish enigmatic muse that brings Fitzgerald down- she is in this story a smart, sassy, creative woman WAY ahead of her time. I really enjoyed this audio and have recommended it to many friends. It is very interesting, well written and perfectly narrated.
I liked Zelda and F.Scott's budding romance. It was sweet and charged with lots of chemistry. They were so drawn to each other and as their relationship grew you could see how they fused and how easily they could inflict each other equally with pain or happiness.
no tag line, i think "Z" would do.
Worth the download. And man, Hemmingway is a total douchebag!
Added Audible to my 2 hour commute, consuming books at rapid pace, and rating books based on keeping me engaged and making time fly!
Not a student of the jazz age or even early 20th century literature, I was fascinated by the colorful lives of the many individuals in Zelda's circle, most especially her own and F. Scott. An entertaining blend of history, literature, and the trappings of mental illness, the narration captured the superficial but creative and captivating mind of Zelda Fitzgerald. Makes me want to return to the Great Gatsby and other short stories. Maybe even introduce myself to Ernest Hemingway. Who knew of the intersection between these famous figures?
I am not sure how much of the blame to assign to the author, and how much to Scott for this story being so depressing, and at times even infuriating. Long before it ended I wished that Zelda had done as her father bid, and married a nice rich Southern boy, and remained in a town where she was loved and in all her daring and eccentricity still supported and possibly understood.
Although I am familiar with Scott's works, this was my introduction to the Fitzgeralds, and I would not wish to meet them again. I am strongly considering returning the book. I doubt I will read anything written by the author again. It was too fluffy at times, skimming what might be considered common knowledge, and focusing on the gaps as she fills them in with her own imagination, like a lumpy cake with too much icing. It was uneven in my perception due to this, I felt as though I had to Google my way through the book, filling in details.
Ultimately the book was Scott's story, you might hate him after this. What a despicable person in Fowler's hands, and I don't want to waste more time investigating, seeking any clues to the contrary. He and Hemingway made me sick, the doctors made me angry, and Z just made me sad, both the woman and the novel. I regret the purchase.
* * *
Jenna Lamia's narration was fine, although a bit uneven. She starts strong, her pacing and voice thoughtful and evocative, but later on she loses her focus and speeds up, seeming to forget that she's portraying a first person who is Southern and genteel and from an earlier time. It pulled me out of the story a few times. Still, she's one of the best Southern voices I've ever heard in narration, it never felt forced or fake, and this from a Southerner who takes that upper case "S" seriously.
The narrator and the author... but that's it.
It made Zelda's Fitzgerald's life boring....
The narrator's voice was so rich and layered and brought to life this novel in ways I certainly wouldn't have been able to myself. This is a MUST in audio format.
I have too many! I'm heartbroken it is over and my time with Zelda is finished. I may re-listen to this book. It is so rich and beautifully done, it's like a decadent chocolate for your ears and imagination. I would say my most enjoyed moments were of their love affair in the beginning when everything is promising and fresh.
It was beyond amazing. She WAS Zelda. I enjoyed her narration so much I want to seek out her other work, but I'm afraid I might miss Zelda and get confused.
I wouldn't change it.
I hate to hype a book because I hate to give other readers expectations, but I can't gush about this book enough. It may be one of my all time favorites now. The writing was just breathtaking and gorgeous. You could lose focus of the narrative and over arcing storyline and just get lost in the imagery and sentence structures. I can see myself buying the print version and taking a highlighter to it. For a book about literary masters, it feels a masterpiece in and of itself. I deeply enjoyed my time with this book and every time the narrator announced a new chapter a little voice in my head would go "no!" it felt like a countdown against a ticking bomb, I didn't want it to end.
tells a perfect story of a not so perfect woman. and all the shit she endured because of a greedy husband. and tells a short story of a greedy husband that put the drink before his wife and daughter.
What an insightful story! Ms. Fowler really enlightened me with her well-researched interpretation of Zelda & F. Scott's journey.
The narration was absolutely exquisite. Ms. Lamia has such a range of character voices, and switched so fluidly between Southern, Yankee, & French accents! Bravo!
Great story depressing as all get out... but great! There are times of all emotions in this work... depiction is perfect!
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