Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of the Great Gatsby

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9780143126256: Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of the Great Gatsby

Since its publication in 1925, The Great Gatsby has become one of the world's best-loved books, delighting readers across the world. Careless People tells the true story behind F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece, exploring in newly rich detail the relation of Fitzgerald's classic to the chaotic world he in which he lived. Fitzgerald set his novel in 1922, and Careless People carefully reconstructs the crucial months during which Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald returned to New York in the autumn of 1922 - the parties, the drunken weekends at Great Neck, Long Island, the drives back into the city to the jazz clubs and speakeasies, the casual intersection of high society and organized crime, and the growth of celebrity culture of which the Fitzgeralds themselves were the epitome. And for the first time it returns to the story of Gatsby and the high-profile murder that provided a crucial inspiration for Fitzgerald's tale.

With wit and insight, Sarah Churchwell traces the genesis of a masterpiece, discovering where fiction comes from, and how it takes shape in the mind of a genius. Blending biography and history with lost and forgotten newspaper accounts, letters, and newly discovered archival material, Careless People is the biography of a book, telling the extraordinary tale of how F. Scott Fitzgerald created a classic and in the process discovered modern America.

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Product Description:

Since its publication in 1925, The Great Gatsby has become one of the world's best-loved books. Careless People tells the true story behind F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece, exploring in newly rich detail its relation to the extravagant, scandalous, and chaotic world in which the author lived.

With wit and insight, Sarah Churchwell traces the genesis of a masterpiece, mapping where fiction comes from, and how it takes shape in the mind of a genius. Careless People tells the extraordinary tale of how F. Scott Fitzgerald created a classic and in the process discovered modern America.

Review:

[Sarah Churchwell] tells the story crisply and intelligently, judiciously deploying Fitzgerald's eminently quotable literary remains, and also Zelda's, which are often even better, in a sprightly, enjoyable and slightly strange book: part "biography" of the novel, part sketch of the roaring 1920s, part brief account of the second half of Fitzgerald's life. Churchwell is perceptive and well-informed ( Guardian)

A perfect book to read alongside The Great Gatsby. Excellent (William Leith Evening Standard)

This book has as much spirit as gin fizz cocktails ( Lady)

A treasury of new material. Churchwell adds considerably to our understanding of the early 1920s, and how life for Fitzgerald played into the development of his art . . . Engaging deeply with the facts on the ground, the richly chaotic matrix that was Fitzgerald's life, Sarah Churchwell's Careless People takes us back there (Jay Parini Literary Review)

A suggestive, almost musical evocation of the spirit of the time (Thomas Powers London Review of Books)

The wonder of Careless People . . . is that it rewinds the years and allows the reader to appreciate again just how well Fitzgerald reflected his times - Book of the Week (Nicholas Blincoe Sunday Telegraph)

Investigates subject after subject with subtle intelligence . . . you find yourself caught up in the excitement of her search - Book of the Week (John Carey Sunday Times)

A literary spree, bursting with recherché detail, high spirits and the desperate frisson of the jazz age (Robert McCrum Observer)

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Book Description Penguin Books, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 198 x 127 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Kirkus (STARRED review) Churchwell. has written an excellent book. she s earned the right to play on [Fitzgerald s] court. Prodigious research and fierce affection illumine every remarkable page. The autumn of 1922 found F. Scott Fitzgerald at the height of his fame, days from turning twenty-six years old, and returning to New York for the publication of his fourth book, Tales of the Jazz Age. A spokesman for America s carefree younger generation, Fitzgerald found a home in the glamorous and reckless streets of New York. Here, in the final incredible months of 1922, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald drank and quarreled and partied amid financial scandals, literary milestones, car crashes, and celebrity disgraces. Yet the Fitzgeralds triumphant return to New York coincided with another event: the discovery of a brutal double murder in nearby New Jersey, a crime made all the more horrible by the farce of a police investigation--which failed to accomplish anything beyond generating enormous publicity for the newfound celebrity participants. Proclaimed the crime of the decade even as its proceedings dragged on for years, the Mills-Hall murder has been wholly forgotten today. But the enormous impact of this bizarre crime can still be felt in The Great Gatsby, a novel Fitzgerald began planning that autumn of 1922 and whose plot he ultimately set within that fateful year. Careless People is a unique literary investigation: a gripping double narrative that combines a forensic search for clues to an unsolved crime and a quest for the roots of America s best loved novel. Overturning much of the received wisdom of the period, Careless People blends biography and history with lost newspaper accounts, letters, and newly discovered archival materials. With great wit and insight, acclaimed scholar of American literature Sarah Churchwell reconstructs the events of that pivotal autumn, revealing in the process new ways of thinking about Fitzgerald s masterpiece. Interweaving the biographical story of the Fitzgeralds with the unfolding investigation into the murder of Hall and Mills, Careless People is a thrilling combination of literary history and murder mystery, a mesmerizing journey into the dark heart of Jazz Age America. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780143126256

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Book Description Penguin Books, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 198 x 127 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Kirkus (STARRED review) Churchwell. has written an excellent book. she s earned the right to play on [Fitzgerald s] court. Prodigious research and fierce affection illumine every remarkable page. The autumn of 1922 found F. Scott Fitzgerald at the height of his fame, days from turning twenty-six years old, and returning to New York for the publication of his fourth book, Tales of the Jazz Age. A spokesman for America s carefree younger generation, Fitzgerald found a home in the glamorous and reckless streets of New York. Here, in the final incredible months of 1922, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald drank and quarreled and partied amid financial scandals, literary milestones, car crashes, and celebrity disgraces. Yet the Fitzgeralds triumphant return to New York coincided with another event: the discovery of a brutal double murder in nearby New Jersey, a crime made all the more horrible by the farce of a police investigation--which failed to accomplish anything beyond generating enormous publicity for the newfound celebrity participants. Proclaimed the crime of the decade even as its proceedings dragged on for years, the Mills-Hall murder has been wholly forgotten today. But the enormous impact of this bizarre crime can still be felt in The Great Gatsby, a novel Fitzgerald began planning that autumn of 1922 and whose plot he ultimately set within that fateful year. Careless People is a unique literary investigation: a gripping double narrative that combines a forensic search for clues to an unsolved crime and a quest for the roots of America s best loved novel. Overturning much of the received wisdom of the period, Careless People blends biography and history with lost newspaper accounts, letters, and newly discovered archival materials. With great wit and insight, acclaimed scholar of American literature Sarah Churchwell reconstructs the events of that pivotal autumn, revealing in the process new ways of thinking about Fitzgerald s masterpiece. Interweaving the biographical story of the Fitzgeralds with the unfolding investigation into the murder of Hall and Mills, Careless People is a thrilling combination of literary history and murder mystery, a mesmerizing journey into the dark heart of Jazz Age America. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780143126256

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