Stewart O'Nan West of Sunset: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780143128243

West of Sunset: A Novel

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9780143128243: West of Sunset: A Novel

A “mesmerizing and haunting” (The Boston Globe) novel of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s last years in Hollywood
 
Look out for City of Secrets coming from Viking on April 26, 2016

In 1937, F. Scott Fitzgerald was a troubled, uncertain man whose literary success was long over. In poor health, with his wife consigned to an asylum and his finances in ruin, he struggled to make a new start as a screenwriter in Hollywood.

Those last three years of Fitzgerald’s life are the focus of Stewart O’Nan’s graceful and elegiac novel West of Sunset. With flashbacks to Fitzgerald’s glamorous Jazz Age past, the story follows him as he arrives on the MGM lot, falls in love with brassy gossip columnist Sheilah Graham, begins work on The Last Tycoon, and tries to maintain a semblance of family life with the absent Zelda and their daughter, Scottie. The Golden Age of Hollywood is brought vividly to life through the novel’s romantic cast of characters, from Dorothy Parker and Ernest Hemingway to Humphrey Bogart. Written with striking grace and subtlety, this is a wise and intimate portrait of a man trying his best to hold together a world that’s flying apart.

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Review:

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, January 2015: When an ambitious writer hops onto a high wire and strides across with grace, it's a wonderful thing to behold. And I don't mean this as hyperbole. Stewart O'Nan's West of Sunset, his glimmering fictional biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald's troubled years in Hollywood, is simply one of the best books I've read in many months. In some ways, this is a portrait of the artist as an aging man. We see Fitzgerald, "like an athlete," awake each day at 5 to write, then toil through long hours at "the Iron Lung," MGM's catty screenwriters' wing, then scratch out a few more words at night (which would turn into his unfinished final novel, The Last Tycoon). "When he was working, it worked," O'Nan tells us. "It was when he stopped that the world returned, and his problems with it..." In truth, not a whole lot happens. Fitzgerald pops his pills, visits Zelda and Scottie back East, has a messy yet loving affair, and occasionally gets stupid drunk. We're treated to sassy walk-ons by Dorothy Parker, Ernest Hemingway, and Humphrey Bogart. But part of the quiet, somber and entrancing appeal is how fully we become absorbed by Fitzgerald's fight for relevance, or at least a few bucks. Ultimately, it's quite heartbreaking to see the legendary creator of Gatsby cling to his literary dignity, his reputation and sanity slipping from his grasp, an outsider to the end. --Neal Thompson

About the Author:

Stewart O’Nan is the author of fourteen previous novels. He was born and lives with his family in Pittsburgh.

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Book Description Penguin Books, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. A mesmerizing and haunting (The Boston Globe) novel of F. Scott Fitzgerald s last years in Hollywood Look out for City of Secrets coming from Viking on April 26, 2016 In 1937, F. Scott Fitzgerald was a troubled, uncertain man whose literary success was long over. In poor health, with his wife consigned to an asylum and his finances in ruin, he struggled to make a new start as a screenwriter in Hollywood. Those last three years of Fitzgerald s life are the focus of Stewart O Nan s graceful and elegiac novel West of Sunset. With flashbacks to Fitzgerald s glamorous Jazz Age past, the story follows him as he arrives on the MGM lot, falls in love with brassy gossip columnist Sheilah Graham, begins work on The Last Tycoon, and tries to maintain a semblance of family life with the absent Zelda and their daughter, Scottie. The Golden Age of Hollywood is brought vividly to life through the novel s romantic cast of characters, from Dorothy Parker and Ernest Hemingway to Humphrey Bogart. Written with striking grace and subtlety, this is a wise and intimate portrait of a man trying his best to hold together a world that s flying apart. Bookseller Inventory # LIB9780143128243

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Book Description Penguin Books, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. A mesmerizing and haunting (The Boston Globe) novel of F. Scott Fitzgerald s last years in Hollywood Look out for City of Secrets coming from Viking on April 26, 2016 In 1937, F. Scott Fitzgerald was a troubled, uncertain man whose literary success was long over. In poor health, with his wife consigned to an asylum and his finances in ruin, he struggled to make a new start as a screenwriter in Hollywood. Those last three years of Fitzgerald s life are the focus of Stewart O Nan s graceful and elegiac novel West of Sunset. With flashbacks to Fitzgerald s glamorous Jazz Age past, the story follows him as he arrives on the MGM lot, falls in love with brassy gossip columnist Sheilah Graham, begins work on The Last Tycoon, and tries to maintain a semblance of family life with the absent Zelda and their daughter, Scottie. The Golden Age of Hollywood is brought vividly to life through the novel s romantic cast of characters, from Dorothy Parker and Ernest Hemingway to Humphrey Bogart. Written with striking grace and subtlety, this is a wise and intimate portrait of a man trying his best to hold together a world that s flying apart. Bookseller Inventory # LIB9780143128243

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