Flappers and Philosophers by F. Scott Fizgerald

I cannot even tell you how much I love these stories. Never one to be overwhelmed with The Great Gatsby, I am now truly impressed by Fitzgerald’s skill in these stories. Each one is written so beautifully, and the endings, more often than not, pack a serious punch. This is a fabulous collection of brilliant short stories. I’ll put my favorite quotes from each chapter under the titles below, but you’ll have to read the entire story for the full effect of their power:

The Offshore Pirates

“Does every man you meet tell you he loves you?”

Ardita nodded.

“Why shouldn’t he? All life is just a progression toward, and then a recession from, one phrase—‘I love you.’ “

The Ice Palace

“With a furious, despairing energy she rose again and started blindly down the darkness. She must get out. She might be lost in here for days, freeze to death and lie embedded in the ice like corpses she had read of, kept perfectly preserved until the melting of a glacier, Harry probably thought she had left with the others–he had gone by now; now one would know until late next day. She reached pitifully for the wall. Forty inches thick, they had said–forty inches thick!”

Head and Shoulders 

“But when you opened your door at the rap of life you let in many things.” (p. 62) and then…

“About raps. Don’t answer them! Let them alone—have a padded door.” (p. 67)

The Cut-Glass Bowl

“You see, I am fate,” it (the bowl) shouted, “and stronger than your puny plans; and I am how-things-turn-out and I am different from your little dreams, and I am the flight of time and the end of beauty and unfulfilled desire; all the accidents and imperceptions and the little minutes that shape the crucial hours are mine. I am the exception that proves no rules, the limits of your control, the condiment in the dish of life.”

Bernice Bobs Her Hair

“Vaguely she wondered why she did not cry out that it was all a mistake. It was all she could do to keep from clutching her hair with both hands to protect it from the suddenly hostile world. Yet she did neither. Even the thought of her mother was no deterrent now. This was the test supreme of her sportsmanship; her right to walk unchallenged in the starry heaven of popular girls.”

Benediction

“You can’t shock a monk. He’s a professional shock-absorber.”

Dalyrimple Goes Wrong 

“Happiness was what he wanted-a slowly rising scale of gratifications of the normal appetites-and he had a strong conviction that the materials, if not the inspiration of happiness, could be bought with money.”

The Four Fists

“He sailed home on the wings of desperate excitement, quite resolved to fan this spark of romance, no matter how big the blaze or who was burned. At the time he considered that his thoughts were unselfishly of her; in a later perspective he knew that she had meant no more than the white screen in a motion picture; it was just Samuel-blind, desirous.”

Did I do my part to intrigue you? Seriously, these are fantastic stories…

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16 thoughts on “Flappers and Philosophers by F. Scott Fizgerald”

  1. As a Fitzgerald fan, I am now looking on book sites to order this book 🙂 Thanks! Still, I am among the ones truly impressed by the characters and atmosphere of "The Great Gatsby" 🙂

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  2. I read (and briefly reviewed) a collection containing some of these stories recently, and I agree that while 'The Great Gatsby' is… well, let's say a little overrated, Fitzgerald's short stories are simply wonderful 🙂

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  3. You did! I haven't read F. Scott since college, and I haven't ever been especially drawn toward short stories, but I just might, you know, I just might! I'm glad this book gave you so much reading pleasure.

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  4. You have most definitely intrigued me with all those fantastic quotes! Must definitely get my hands on a copy of this one. Plus, I loved the cover! Thanks, Bellezza – I haven't read Fitzgerald since high school and now I'm looking forward to picking up his work – Cheers!

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  5. Dear DB, It's been a hundred years since I've written here! (well, it SEEMS like it.)But I DO stop by. When I get into blogworld, which has been rarer these days but no less important, believe me!ANyway, you've touched on one of my faves here – I'm Fitzgerald all the way, not just for his writing but his time period, friends, his hopes, the places he went, and didn't go and YES! I love this book. It's wonderful – I'm so glad you enjoyed it and found such treasures within each of the stories. In fact, I don't remember the one about "recession…from the phrase "I love you"…" and now have to go back and look for it in that story!Thanks for reviewing a treasure!Happy summer!

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  6. I couldn't resist these stories, so I downloaded "FLAPPERS AND PHILOSOPHERS" They seem a delightful read before going to sleep, one chapter at the time, here and there. Thank-you for your review.

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  7. Between you and the cover image I am definitely intrigued. What sold me more than anything was your thoughts on The Great Gatsby, a novel I ostensibly 'read' in high school but don't remember and have little desire to read again. Short stories though, that is a whole different animal and these do sound good.

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  8. It is my opinion that often high school students are required to read books that is often not suitable for them, thus instilling an aversion to said author. Who, for example, can relate to the romance or war themes in Hemingway's Farewell to Arms? Yet as an adult, Hemingway writes incredibly. Same with Fitzgerald. Hard for most high schoolers, but worth it for us adults.

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