The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The only good thing about this book is that it was short.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is less known than F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous The Great Gatsby, but it was turned into a movie in 2008 with Brad Pitt.  Maybe the movie was better but, if you haven’t been introduced to the story, here’s the gist: Benjamin Button was born as an old man and, as the years go by, he seems to get younger and younger until he becomes an infant for the first time and then ceases to exist.

To start with, the concept is ridiculous.  Fitzgerald was attempting to make a point about life, but I was too distracted by the absurdity to pay much attention to it.  I can usually get behind an unrealistic concept, but come on: how does a woman actually give birth to a fully grown man?  There are some logistics of that I just cannot get around…

You’re also supposed to feel sympathetic towards Button.  I did when his father was ashamed of him in the first years of his life.  However, the longer the story went on, the less I liked Button, so the less I felt sorry for him.  The final straw was the way Fitzgerald wrote his relationship with his wife.  They were married when he seemed much older than her and she enchanted him.  As time went by, she grew older and he, younger.  She became nagging and boring while Benjamin became more vivacious and interested in living in the moment.

The worst part is that, while he remembers people, he loses intelligence as he grows younger, so he never seems to gain any “wisdom” or “revelation.”  All in all, it just felt like a waste of time.  The only Fitzgerald book that’s worth the effort seems to be The Great Gatsby…which I guess is why that’s the one everyone reads in high school.

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Categories: Book Club Thursday | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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