We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald Audiobook

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

Regular Price:$27.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

"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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (891 )
5 star
 (419)
4 star
 (319)
3 star
 (103)
2 star
 (43)
1 star
 (7)
Overall
4.2 (799 )
5 star
 (365)
4 star
 (277)
3 star
 (113)
2 star
 (35)
1 star
 (9)
Story
4.4 (798 )
5 star
 (473)
4 star
 (221)
3 star
 (76)
2 star
 (22)
1 star
 (6)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    L.W. 03-30-13
    L.W. 03-30-13

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    641
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    240
    232
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    129
    29
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great! From the first page to the last....."

    First of all the writing is just great. Swept into their youth...confidence and insecurity in that swooshing action. I loved this aspect of their story. Yes it has it's tragedy also. It was so well written you could hardly feel it. These are characters you can appreciate. I could understnad why she/they stayed together. Something about that era was just so bi-polar!
    I hope you will appreciate this book. I was so thrilled with the narration....I haven't heard that voice since "Saving CeeCee Honeycutt". In my opinion she is the Southern voice. Loved it....hope you do too.

    20 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LP Santa Clara, CA, United States 04-01-13
    LP Santa Clara, CA, United States 04-01-13 Member Since 2015

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Attraction to the disillusioning 20's comes alive!"

    Fowler's story told from Zelda Fitzgerald's first-person perspective is captivating but made even more so by Jenna Lamia's reading. I could not stop listening. I was enchanted by Zelda's "southern gentility" (made perfect by Lamia's interpretation of Zelda) and for the first time sympathized with a typically misunderstood character in the drama that is F. Scott Fitzgerald's life. Zelda's "villianized" character in literary history finds a little redemption in Fowler's story that certainly sympathizes with its female protagonist. As a listener, I was helplessly drawn into the glitz and glamour of the "Jazz Age" as Zelda and Scott must have been -- even as I knew what the ending of the 20's would bring. A convincing, throbbing portrayal of the woman and the times. A must-read, a must-listen!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Northport, AL, United States 04-17-13
    Andrew Northport, AL, United States 04-17-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Could have been so much more."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Not to just any friend, but I would recommend it to someone with interest in Paris, Jazz Age, Fitzgerald and/or Southern Lit. I never saw Zelda's charisma until Hemingway arrives. In fact Zelda's character is only relative to the men she meets.


    What was most disappointing about Therese Anne Fowler’s story?

    The Fitzgerald-Hemingway relationship. I realize that it is first person narrative, which is Zelda and she had her sanity issues so you never know how faithful the narrative is, but in the afterward the author seems to exonerate her from this condition. The author's implication that there was more than just friendship between the authors seemed a bit OTT.


    Which character – as performed by Jenna Lamia – was your favorite?

    Zelda first and Hemingway second. Fitzgerald a distant last.


    Could you see Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Zelda- Emma Stone
    Hemingway- James Franco
    Fitz- Ryan Gosling
    Hadley- Mireille Enos


    Any additional comments?

    Most of my comments might seem negative, but I looked forward to listening to this novel every day. The author writes very well. The characterizations needed a little bit more attention in my opinion.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dell FRUITLAND PARK, FL, United States 04-22-13
    Dell FRUITLAND PARK, FL, United States 04-22-13

    I enjoy historical fiction, humor, and biographies. I listen to my Audible books as I drive in my car or on my IPhone.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome Read!!!"
    What made the experience of listening to Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald the most enjoyable?

    The story connects you to Zelda Fitzgerald and leaves you wanting to read more even when it ends. I never re-read books however; I can see myself re-reading this one.


    What does Jenna Lamia bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I just adored the narrator for this book. She nailed all the characters very well. I am now searching for more of her narrations.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annie M. 04-24-13
    Annie M. 04-24-13 Member Since 2009

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1140
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    187
    81
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    209
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Illuminating...and Depressing"
    What made the experience of listening to Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald the most enjoyable?

    This is not a book that I'd characterize as "enjoyable." Athough ti will say, off the bat, it is very well-written, extensively researched, and well narrated.

    I've been an ardent fan of both Fitzgeralds (I listen to Tim Robbins' beautiful narration of THE GREAT GATSBY at least once a year) since high school and have read almost everything each has written, including Scott's writer's notebooks. As a youth, I was entranced by the legendary love between Scott and Zelda. As I grew older and learned more, I became less enchanged with these icons of the Jass Age. "Z" pretty much made sure I'd never again hold these people in any kind of esteem--at least as people (as opposed to artists).

    "Z" was exhaustively researched and it re-defines the common myth that Zelda was a self-centered, impetuous, mentally ill cyclone who took her husband along with her as she plummeted from Jazz Age darling to insitutionalized failure. This is the myth.

    Fowler shows Zelda as the woman she actually was--artistic, beautiful, trend-setting, kind, and absolutely dominated by her pathologically insecure, relentlessly alcoholic husband. "Z" is also a reminder of how lucky I am to be a woman in today's world, as opposed to in Zelda's time, when a flapper could be independent and pursue dreams of her own--until she married, that is.

    I now must confess I had a lot of trouble getting through this book, but not because it was poorly written or badly narrated. It was simply depressing. I'd put it down. And then find myself picking it back up, much like the old maxim about a train wreck you can't turn away from.

    I was grateful to the author for the opilogue that allowed us to see Zelda find some recognition on her own through her paintings. If you are interested, there are several websites that showcase much of her art and one can see for oneself that she was, indeed, a talented woman.

    Scott Fitzgerald comes out of this book as such a sorry human being. Talented, yes. But so driven toward his own place in literary history, he put his own name to short stories written exclusively by his wife. That is just one of the many terrible things he did to Zelda during their marriage. It was so sad to read about this stuff.

    He's yet one more example that with great genius, often there comes great neuroses.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I like the fact that the legend of Scott and Zelda is put to rest and the truth is out. I am so glad to see Zelda get a hearing of sorts. I wonder what she might have achieved, had she been born in more liberated times--and had she been allowed to develop her many talents to their fullest.


    Have you listened to any of Jenna Lamia’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I listened to Ms. Lamia's performance of THE HELP. Her narration of "Z" compares favorably. She has the Southern accent down pat. And she made me hate, despise, abhor Ernest Hemingway. Which is really saying a lot, if you know how much I love his work.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    As mentioned above, I found this a tough book to read, simply because it relentlessly showcases two amazingly gifted people--who disintegrate in slow motion. It's just so sad.


    Any additional comments?

    An interesting read, in light of Baz Lurhman's renditio of THE GREAT GATSBY, due in theatres May 10.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Book Woman 04-08-13
    Book Woman 04-08-13 Member Since 2011

    Book-a-licious

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    152
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't finish."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I never wanted to like a book so much as I wanted to like this one. Every other media I've come across Zelda -- TV, movies, other novels -- she was quite an interesting character. This novel made her seem dull and uninteresting. The story wasn't going anywhere, and I couldn't finish it.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Therese Anne Fowler again?

    Never say never.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Jenna Lamia?

    No. Narrator was fine. Accent was perfect.


    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray Stewart 04-07-16
    Ray Stewart 04-07-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    70
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    215
    109
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Multitalented Woman"

    This story grew on me over time. In the beginning it seems too detailed, but the longer I listened to it, the more impressed I became with Zelda's spunk. I hope the real Zelda was as awesome a personality as the historical-fiction version.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    serine 04-03-16
    serine 04-03-16 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    503
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    338
    166
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    33
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Historical fiction at its best!"

    This novel, which focuses on the life of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, began as any typical historical fiction novel, introducing the reader to Zelda and her famous husband to-be, F. Scott Fitzgerald. I often listen to historical fiction when I jog at the gym to make the time pass. Since this novel was fairly standard, I decided it wasn't captivating enough to use as a workout book. So, I listened each night before bed. Eventually I came to realize that what I was reading was a thoughtful, fictionalized portrayal of a woman who was living a life that mirrors that of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's as relayed in The Yellow Wallpaper. This 1920-1940s glimpse into fame, love, frustration, and madness was deeply satisfying to read.

    When Zelda was young, she viewed the world in an impractical manner, as many young people do. The author captures her transition from young naive girl to confused woman, always trying to navigate social rules, family ties, inner drives and impulses, love, the darkness within herself, and a desire to break free from it all. This book provides a very rich description of the obstacles that stood in her way, some of them self imposed and some of them barbaric external forces.

    Zelda's life was inextricably tied to Ernest Hemingway and some other famous people from the 1920s literary, art, music, and feminist scenes. That served as an added bonus to make this novel even more captivating. I will think about this book for a long time to come.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam G. Hogwarts 03-16-16
    Sam G. Hogwarts 03-16-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "The Jazz Age story English classes never told"

    A wonderfully written story showing a complex, dimensional view of Zelda my classes never shared

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Thornton 10-21-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    33
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Extraordinary extraordinary extraordinary"

    What an amazing book. Absolutely fascinating beautifully written and beautifully narrated by Jenna Lamia. I never wanted to leave this story, but was caught in the river so to speak. Devastating, beautiful I don't even know what to say. Absolutely extraordinary

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.