The Diamond as Big as the Ritz & Other Stories

By F. Scott Fitzgerald

Rating: 2 stars

I’m completely unfamiliar with Fitzgerald’s work, so when I found this collection of short stories in a charity shop, I thought it was a great way to introduce myself. I sort of wish I hadn’t. I really didn’t enjoy this collection at all. Every time I finished a story, I’d go and look at the table of contents to see how many more I still had, and that’s never a good sign.

To be clear, I’m not saying that Fitzgerald is a bad writer, far from it, but I just didn’t enjoy his stories Most of them are set in America’s gilded age and focus on the rich and just go to show that wealth doesn’t mean happiness. Most of the characters in this book are resolutely miserable, despite their wealth, and suicide crops up more than once. I think what got me was the almost complete lack of any joy or happiness for anyone in any of these stories. The penultimate story, The Lees of Happiness comes closest, and given its premise, that’s saying something.

The last story in the collection (The Lost Decade) I completely failed to understand at all. It was mercifully brief but I was left completely scratching my head, and had to go and look it up online (although that may have just been me).

Definitely not one I’ll be rereading, in fact, it’ll be back to the charity shop next time I’m visiting. It would be one star, but it gets another for the quality of the writing.

Book details

ISBN: 9781853262128
Publisher: Wordsworth Edition
Year of publication: 1922

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