The Popular Girl by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I’ve been neglecting to read anything from my 2011 Reading List over the past few weeks, which is not good because I had aimed to read one book from the list every week. So I’ve got a wee bit of catching up to do.

The Popular Girl is a book of short stories and was a very quick read. I know quite a few people who aren’t at all keen on F.Scott Fitzgerald but I enjoyed the two which I had read previously, the ubiquitous The Great Gatsby and The Last Tycoon. I read them for school, getting on for a shocking 40 years ago. I’ve just had to re-read that and re-calculate and shockingly I was correct the first time – 40 YEARS!

My two sons also read those ones for school, about 10 years ago for them I think, which seems a bit strange to me, you would think that there would have been some changes in the curriculum over all those years.

Anyway, back to the book. Apparently these short stories are amongst his lesser well known ones, which is a surprise to me because I really enjoyed them. Again Scott Fitzgerald is writing about class and money.

The five stories in the compilation are:

The Popular Girl
Love in the Night
The Swimmers
A New Leaf
What a Handsome Pair

I think my favourite one is Love in the Night which is about a young Russian prince who flees to the south of France after the Russian Revolution and has to eke out a living as a taxi driver there. A meeting with someone from his past changes everything.

I must say that I enjoy short stories, they’re good for journeys or times when you don’t feel up to plunging into anything which you might have to concentrate on. I hate it if I have to keep picking up and putting down a novel and only get the chance to read small amounts at a time.

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