The Curious Case of Benjamin Button = 67 down, 33 to go

18 Jul

Classic
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Jazz Age Stories
F. Scott Fitzgerald
464 pages

My trail to this book was a little rocky. It started out with my purchasing what I thought was the book on the discount rack at Borders. Later that night, I was proudly showing off my cheap book finds to a friend at dinner and realized this particular cheap book find was actually a cheap movie screenplay find. Needless to say, I wasn’t so thrilled. Hey I love to watch a movie as much as the next gal, but reading one – in its literal conversational format? Not on the top of my bucket list, or likely even in the same galaxy as my bucket list.

So on pure principle, I returned the screenplay book and was refunded my $3.99 plus tax. But the storyline kept knocking on my head and telling me that as I found the idea of a baby being born old and then receding in time to infanthood at the end of life intriguing. And because I apparently live under a rock, I never saw the Brad Pitt movie and didn’t know what the crux of the story was until I wrongly brought home the screenplay.

So I went in search of this book on my Kindle iPhone app and discovered it is actually a short story, bundled with three “Other Jazz Age Stories.” The Benjamin Button story was an amusing, quick read full of the contrast and irony that comes with childhood and adulthood, parenting and gallivanting.

Towards the end of the story, when Benjamin has aged-down to an infant, there is the observation:

There were no troublesome memories in his childish sleep; no token came to him of his brave days at college, of the glittering years when he flustered the hearts of many girls. There were only the white, safe walls of his crib and Nana and a man who came to see him sometimes, and a great big orange ball that Nana pointed at just before his twilight bed hour and called “sun.” When the sun went his eyes were sleepy – there were no dreams, no dreams to haunt him.

How many times have you been having a conversation with friends, complaining about the job, the bills, the stresses of being an adult…and just wished to relive a bit of childhood all over again, “Remember how it was when we were five? Life didn’t get any better than that.” This story is the opposite of that and is a sentimental-ish reminder that sometimes the greatest joy is found in the moment immediately in front of you.

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