The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Story to Screenplay

( 100 )

Overview

F. Scott Fitzgerald, one of the great voices in the history of American literature, is best known today for his novels, but during his lifetime his fame stemmed primarily from his prolific achievements as one of America's most gifted short story writers. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is one of his most memorable creations.

"I was born under unusual circumstances." And so begins the film "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," adapted from the 1920s story by F. Scott Fitzgerald about a man whois born in his...

See more details below
Available in stores.

Pick Up In Store Near You

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$0.95
BN.com price
Marketplace
BN.com

All Available Formats & Editions

Note: This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but may have slight markings from the publisher and/or stickers showing their discounted price. More about bargain books

Overview

F. Scott Fitzgerald, one of the great voices in the history of American literature, is best known today for his novels, but during his lifetime his fame stemmed primarily from his prolific achievements as one of America's most gifted short story writers. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is one of his most memorable creations.

"I was born under unusual circumstances." And so begins the film "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," adapted from the 1920s story by F. Scott Fitzgerald about a man whois born in his eighties and ages backwards. A man, like any of us, unable to stop time. We follow his story set in New Orleans from the end of World War I in 1918, into the twenty-first century, following his journey that is as unusual as any man's life can be. Directed by David Fincher, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is a time traveler's tale of the people and places Benjamin Button bumps into along the way, the loves he loses and finds, the joys of life and the sadness of death, and what lasts beyond time.

Included in this volume is F. Scott Fitzgerald's provocative story, as well as Eric Roth's stunning screenplay, a bold re-imagining of this classic tale.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616882983
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/23/2008
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1896, attended Princeton University, and published his first novel, This Side of Paradise, in 1920. That same year he married Zelda Sayre and the couple divided their time between New York, Paris, and the Riviera, becoming a part of the American expatriate circle that included Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, and John Dos Passos. Fitzgerald was a major new literary voice, and his masterpieces include The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby, and Tender Is the Night. He died of a heart attack in 1940 at the age of fourty-four, while working on The Love of the Last Tycoon. For his sharp social insight and breathtaking lyricism, Fitzgerald stands as one of the most important American writers of the twentieth century.

Biography

The greatest writers often function in multifaceted ways, serving as both emblems of their age and crafters of timeless myth. F. Scott Fitzgerald surely fits this description. His work was an undeniable product of the so-called Jazz Age of the 1920s, yet it has a quality that spans time, reaching backward into gothic decadence and forward into the future of a rapidly decaying America. Through five novels, six short story collections, and one collection of autobiographical pieces, Fitzgerald chronicled a precise point in post-WWI America, yet his writing resonates just as boldly today as it did nearly a century ago.

Fitzgerald's work was chiefly driven by the disintegration of America following World War I. He believed the country to be sinking into a cynical, Godless, depraved morass. He was never reluctant to voice criticism of America's growing legions of idle rich. Recreating a heated confrontation with Ernest Hemingway in a short story called "The Rich Boy," Fitzgerald wrote, "Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different."

The preceding quote may sum Fitzgerald's philosophy more completely than any other, yet he also hypocritically embodied much of what he claimed to loathe. Fitzgerald spent money freely, threw lavish parties, drank beyond excess, and globe-trotted with his glamorous but deeply troubled wife Zelda. Still, in novel after novel, he sought to expose the great chasm that divided the haves from the have-nots and the hollowness of wealth. In This Side of Paradise (1920) he cynically follows opulent, handsome Amory Blaine as he bounces aimlessly from Princeton to the military to an uncertain, meaningless future. In The Beautiful and the Damned (1922) Fitzgerald paints a withering portrait of a seemingly idyllic marriage between a pair of socialites that crumbles in the face of Adam Patch's empty pursuit of profit and the fading beauty of his vane wife Gloria.

The richest example of Fitzgerald's disdain for the upper class arrived three years later. The Great Gatsby is an undoubted American classic, recounting naïve Nick Carraway's involvement with a coterie of affluent Long Islanders, and his ultimate rejection of them when their casual decadence leads only to internal back-stabbing and murder. Nick is fascinated by the mysterious Jay Gatsby, who had made the fatal mistake of stepping outside of his lower class status to pursue the lovely but self-centered Daisy Buchanan.

In The Great Gatsby, all elements of Fitzgerald's skills coalesced to create a narrative that is both highly readable and subtly complex. His prose is imbued with elegant lyricism and hard-hitting realism. "It is humor, irony, ribaldry, pathos and loveliness," Edwin C. Clark wrote of the book in the New York Times upon its 1925 publication. "A curious book, a mystical, glamorous story of today. It takes a deeper cut at life than hitherto has been essayed by Mr. Fitzgerald."

Gatsby is widely considered to be Fitzgerald's masterpiece and among the very greatest of all American literature. It is the ultimate summation of his contempt for the Jazz-Age with which he is so closely associated. Gatsby is also one of the clearest and saddest reflections of his own destructive relationship with Zelda, which would so greatly influence the mass of his work.

Fitzgerald only managed to complete one more novel -- Tender is the Night -- before his untimely death in 1940. An unfinished expose of the Hollywood studio system titled The Love of the Last Tycoon would be published a year later. Still The Great Gatsby remains his quintessential novel. It has been a fixture of essential reading lists for decades and continues to remain an influential work begging to be revisited. It has been produced for the big screen three times and was the subject of a movie for television starring Toby Stephens, Mira Sorvino, and Paul Rudd as recently as 2000. Never a mere product of a bygone age, F. Scott Fitzgerald's greatest work continues to evade time.

Good To Know

In 1937, Fitzgerald moved to Hollywood to pursue a screenwriting career. He only completed a single screenplay Three Comrades during this time before being fired for his excessive drinking.

He held a very romantic view of Princeton before attending the university in 1913. However, his failure to maintain adequate grades or become the football star he dreamed to be lead to an early end to his studies in 1917.

Fitzgerald owes a his name to another famous American writer. He was named after Francis Scott Key, the composer of "The Star Spangled Banner," who also happened to be a distant relative of Fitzgerald's.

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (real name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 24, 1896
    2. Place of Birth:
      St. Paul, Minnesota
    1. Date of Death:
      December 21, 1940

Introduction

This reading group guide contains an introduction, questions for discussion , and suggestions to further enhance your book club.

INTRODUCTION

F. Scott Fitzgerald is best known for classic jazz age novels such as The Great Gatsby and Tender Is the Night, but the acclaimed writer's impressive canon also boasts some 160 published short stories. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" first appeared in Collier's in 1922 and was one of several fantasy stories for which Fitzgerald garnered widespread praise in his lifetime. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"is the heartbreaking and often humorous tale of a man who ages in reverse through the course of his long and highly unconventional life.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

1. How does Fitzgerald use tone and style to create a world that is fantastical and dreamlike, yet realistic?

2. How does Fitzgerald employ humor in the story? In what ways is the idea of someone aging in reverse inherently humorous?

3. By the time Benjamin takes over his father's company, his relationship with his father is dramatically different. Fitzgerald writes, "And if old Roger Button, now sixty-five years old, had failed at first to give a proper welcome to his son he atoned at last by bestowing on him what amounted to adulation." Benjamin's reverse aging is responsible for many of the highs and lows of his relationships with his father and his son. Do you think these relationships in some ways parallel those of all fathers and sons?

4. How does this story, though written almost a century ago, reflect our society's current attitude toward age and aging?

5. What is ironic about Benjamin marrying a "younger" woman? Whatdoes the story reveal about our perceptions of age and beauty?

6. The happier Benjamin becomes in his career, the more strained his marriage grows. Fitzgerald writes, "And here we come to an unpleasant subject which it will be well to pass over as quickly as possible. There was only one thing that worried Benjamin Button: his wife had ceased to attract him." Why does he fall out of love with Hildegarde?

7. How does Fitzgerald use Benjamin's condition to ridicule social norms?

8. How does Benjamin's reverse aging ironically mirror the modern midlife crisis?

9. When Benjamin returns from the war, Hildegarde, annoyed with his increasingly youthful appearance, says, "You're simply stubborn. You think you don't want to be like any one else....But just think how it would be if every one else looked at things as you do — what would the world be like?" Later Fitzgerald writes of Roscoe, "It seemed to him that his father, in refusing to look sixty, had not behaved like a 'red-blooded he-man'...but in a curious and perverse manner." What is significant about their attitudes? How is it ironic that Hildegarde and Roscoe seem to believe that Benjamin should control his aging?

10. Why do you think that fantasy and stories that manipulate time are so popular in our culture at the moment? What are some of the films, TV shows, and books that reflect these trends? Are you a fan of fantasy and stories that play with time, or do you prefer more traditional forms of storytelling?

ENHANCE YOUR BOOK CLUB

1. Read other books about characters who age in reverse, such as The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Greer, The Body by Hanif Kureishi, and the Fitzgerald-inspired story collection The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Apt. 3W by Gabriel Brownstein.

2. Host a movie night. Check out the new David Fincher film, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett or pick up The Great Gatsby, starring Mia Farrow and Robert Redford.

3. Learn more about Fitzgerald at http://www. fitzgeraldsociety.org.

F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1896, attended Princeton University, and published his first novel, This Side of Paradise, in 1920. That same year he married Zelda Sayre and the couple divided their time between New York, Paris, and the Riviera, becoming a part of the American expatriate circle that included Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, and John Dos Passos. Fitzgerald was a major new literary voice, and his masterpieces include The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby, and Tender Is the Night. He died of a heart attack in 1940 at the age of fourty-four, while working on The Love of the Last Tycoon. For his sharp social insight and breathtaking lyricism, Fitzgerald stands as one of the most important American writers of the twentieth century.

Read More Show Less

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide contains an introduction, questions for discussion , and suggestions to further enhance your book club.

INTRODUCTION

F. Scott Fitzgerald is best known for classic jazz age novels such as The Great Gatsby and Tender Is the Night, but the acclaimed writer's impressive canon also boasts some 160 published short stories. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" first appeared in Collier's in 1922 and was one of several fantasy stories for which Fitzgerald garnered widespread praise in his lifetime. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"is the heartbreaking and often humorous tale of a man who ages in reverse through the course of his long and highly unconventional life.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

1. How does Fitzgerald use tone and style to create a world that is fantastical and dreamlike, yet realistic?

2. How does Fitzgerald employ humor in the story? In what ways is the idea of someone aging in reverse inherently humorous?

3. By the time Benjamin takes over his father's company, his relationship with his father is dramatically different. Fitzgerald writes, "And if old Roger Button, now sixty-five years old, had failed at first to give a proper welcome to his son he atoned at last by bestowing on him what amounted to adulation." Benjamin's reverse aging is responsible for many of the highs and lows of his relationships with his father and his son. Do you think these relationships in some ways parallel those of all fathers and sons?

4. How does this story, though written almost a century ago, reflect our society's current attitude toward age and aging?

5. What is ironic about Benjamin marrying a "younger" woman? What does the story reveal about our perceptions of age and beauty?

6. The happier Benjamin becomes in his career, the more strained his marriage grows. Fitzgerald writes, "And here we come to an unpleasant subject which it will be well to pass over as quickly as possible. There was only one thing that worried Benjamin Button: his wife had ceased to attract him." Why does he fall out of love with Hildegarde?

7. How does Fitzgerald use Benjamin's condition to ridicule social norms?

8. How does Benjamin's reverse aging ironically mirror the modern midlife crisis?

9. When Benjamin returns from the war, Hildegarde, annoyed with his increasingly youthful appearance, says, "You're simply stubborn. You think you don't want to be like any one else....But just think how it would be if every one else looked at things as you do — what would the world be like?" Later Fitzgerald writes of Roscoe, "It seemed to him that his father, in refusing to look sixty, had not behaved like a 'red-blooded he-man'...but in a curious and perverse manner." What is significant about their attitudes? How is it ironic that Hildegarde and Roscoe seem to believe that Benjamin should control his aging?

10. Why do you think that fantasy and stories that manipulate time are so popular in our culture at the moment? What are some of the films, TV shows, and books that reflect these trends? Are you a fan of fantasy and stories that play with time, or do you prefer more traditional forms of storytelling?

ENHANCE YOUR BOOK CLUB

1. Read other books about characters who age in reverse, such as The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Greer, The Body by Hanif Kureishi, and the Fitzgerald-inspired story collection The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Apt. 3W by Gabriel Brownstein.

2. Host a movie night. Check out the new David Fincher film, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett or pick up The Great Gatsby, starring Mia Farrow and Robert Redford.

3. Learn more about Fitzgerald at http://www. fitzgeraldsociety.org.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 100 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(36)

4 Star

(28)

3 Star

(27)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(4)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 100 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2007

    WINNING IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY

    Here's a man who was born with a mark against him and managed to grow up when everything and everyone seems to be against him. He managed to get married, raise a child and have a complete life, quality of his life is another issue. When one thought everything seemed to be going well for him, he started to revert to nothingness.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 19, 2009

    Cute, short, but worth remembering...

    After watching the movie, I was completely enthralled by the storyline. I decided to read the books just a few days after. I have to admit, the plot was completely original and I would've never have thought of it, but I couldn't see how they fit such a small book into such a long movie. I realized how much of their own imput was added and I was a bit dissapointing. It was a little dissapointing because the style of writing wasn't personal with the characters, but this story is such a wonderful fairy-tale like story. The story is a little vague to me, but overall, it's one of few stories that I'll remember for the rest of my life.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2008

    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

    The story is about a boy named Benjamin Button who ages' backwards.<BR/>When Mr.Button goes to pick up his kid he notices something weird; his son is really old. Benjamin has to dye his hair to look like he IS s son Mr. Button. When he goes to apply to Yale he forgot to put on his dye and he was called a lunetic. He finally got married but while his wife is aging he is getting younger. He leaves here and goes to Harvard but in the senior year he looks like he is 16 and forgets most of his life. <BR/>Benjamin is spending the rest of his life forgetting everything. Forgetting the memories, forgetting sound, forgetting his wife are son, forgetting how to speak, forgetting people and who they are. This is a sad story. Don't feel like i'm ruining the story for you. There is not much to the story. The story is not long at all it's considered a short story and depending your age you could probably finish it in 15-30 minutes.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 28, 2014

    Nice,,,, Great...!

    Nice,,,, Great...!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2014

    It was ok...

    I expected more of a storyline, even though it was a short story. I think having watched the movie first made me expect more from the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2013

    A great m The best book so far

    This nook is so good once you get it yoi will read over and over again

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

    One of many

    This is a short story about a man that is living his life backwards.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2012

    TCCOBB

    XSWDWXRDDDXQ?

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    I really enjoyed reading this book. About half way through I was so eager to see the movie since the book was soo good. If you like the book dont see the movie. The movie has the same concept as the book but is very different.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 15, 2012

    This is an excellent work. While this is posted as a book revie

    This is an excellent work. While this is posted as a book review and
    the edition I used was a single story book, the truth is this is in
    actuality a short story. It definitely rates 5 out of 5 stars. I
    picked this edition up sometime around the time the film was being
    released. The book got mixed in box of other books during my last
    military move and sat unread until its recent rediscovery today. Since
    Fitzgerald was known more for his realism, I was surprised when I first
    heard about this story and its science fiction leanings. Furthermore, I
    was skeptical. I wondered if a realist could do justice to a scifi
    story. Fitzgerald did a wonderful job with the subject and the story.
    The good: The story flows with very few disconnects. Fitzgerald did a
    masterful job of telling the story of a man whose life is lived in
    reverse. The bad: The story is set up in 11 mini-chapters. For a
    story of only 52 pages, this was a little unnecessary. Overall, it is a
    very well written story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2012

    Good read, however...

    The formatting for this is terrible. Do yourself a favor and buy a different copy just to make it easier to read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2011

    Great story, must read!

    Very interesting read, and the story about why the story was written Is interesting too! Saw the movie, as usual the book is more engaging.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 19, 2011

    Benjamin Button

    Definitely different from the movie, but still a great read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 22, 2011

    Not like movie...

    Totally different than the movie. This is a rare instance that the movie is better than the book. Still a good read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 4, 2011

    Great Book

    This book was extremely too short; on my reader it showed 23 pages. However, this was a really good read. If you saw the movie then you already know what this book is about. I dont know how Fitzgerald did it in so few words but he captured Benjamins life superbly, he left the reader feeling fulfilled yet yearning for more. Highly recommended!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 15, 2011

    great storytelling

    Fitzgerald paints a beautifully simple short story. Read and enjoy! For those that enjoyed Great Gatsby this will not dissappoint.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great short read

    I saw the movie first, and I was interested to read to the book. I was shocked that the book was so short since the movie was so long. The book and movie are quite different although the general concept is the same. I think I like the book more than the movie now. I highly recommend it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 4, 2010

    very charming

    i really liked this story alot, Ive never seen the movie and didnt even though there was a book for it, im glad I read it. I felt sorry for benjamin

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 100 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)