West of Sunset: A Novel

By Stewart O'Nan

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

In 1937, F. Scott Fitzgerald used to be a afflicted, doubtful guy whose literary good fortune used to be lengthy over. sick, along with his spouse consigned to an asylum and his funds in break, he struggled to make a brand new begin as a screenwriter in Hollywood.

Those final 3 years of Fitzgerald’s existence are the point of interest of Stewart O’Nan’s sleek and elegiac novel West of Sunset. With flashbacks to Fitzgerald’s glamorous Jazz Age prior, the tale follows him as he arrives at the MGM lot, falls in love with brassy gossip columnist Sheilah Graham, starts off paintings on The final Tycoon, and attempts to take care of a semblance of kinfolk existence with the absent Zelda and their daughter, Scottie. The Golden Age of Hollywood is introduced vividly to lifestyles throughout the novel’s romantic solid of characters, from Dorothy Parker and Ernest Hemingway to Humphrey Bogart. Written with amazing grace and subtlety, it is a clever and intimate portrait of a guy attempting his most sensible to carry jointly a global that’s flying aside.

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Gross as relocating photographs have been, within the better of them, as within the top writing, undeniably, there has been existence. two times he’d journeyed west and did not seize something impending that spirit. Now, status outdoor the closed set, he resolved that rather than exile, he could settle for his time the following as a problem. His automobile used to be ready, stifling inside of. whilst he became the main, not anything occurred. He had fuel, that wasn’t the matter. He pulled out the choke, intentionally depressed the grasp to the ground. not anything. He attempted back, fast this time, as though he may perhaps shock the engine—in useless.

Aldous Huxley was once the following, and Anita bathrooms, and Dottie Parker together with her husband Alan Campbell—or no longer, when you consider that their places of work have been darkish and the single typing he heard issued from an nameless transom. “That’s Oppy,” Eddie stated with a dismissive wave, as though the scrivener by no means left his cellphone. His personal place of work had no identify and a view throughout Culver side road of a billboard in a vacant lot touting a coming subdivision artfully christened Edendale, and, in its shadow, as though in rebuttal, a string of flaking stucco bungalows and a nook drugstore, outdoors of which a wood Indian chained to a downspout stood like a sentinel.

You think that so? ” “It’s like Cinderella. ” “Too a lot? ” “No. ” Then a shrug. “Maybe a bit. ” sincere Françoise, the tailor’s sharp-eyed daughter. in the middle of this gentle building, Ernest despatched him his new one, For Whom the Bell Tolls, with an affectionate inscription. the story of a lone, heroic American vainly attempting to retailer Spain, it was once the booklet of the Month for November, and had bought to Paramount for 100000. To Scott it appeared adolescent and skinny, most likely simply because Stahr used to be with him forever now.

I’m writing a singular. ” “God assist you. Is it approximately us? ” “That’s what she requested. No. ” “That’s outstanding, Pie. and extremely courageous of you, i need to say. How a ways alongside are you? ” “Not particularly 100 pages. i used to be hoping, probably later, in case you have time—” “I’d like to see them,” he stated, considering with alarm that she was once prior to him. “They’re now not prepared but. ” “When they're, simply allow me be aware of. I’d be commemorated. Will you be exhibiting them in your mom besides? ” She wasn’t convinced of definitely the right solution. “She’d like that,” he stated.

Suppose my ribs. the following. ” He didn’t understand no matter if to be worried or flattered. He was once sorry for her, and resolved to do larger. He’d had a expertise for happiness as soon as, even though he was once younger then, and fortunate. yet wasn’t he fortunate now, back? while he used to be together with her like this, he may overlook the earlier. not anyone else had that energy, and but in spite of everything he feared he may disappoint her. They have been making love a moment time, good after dead night, assembly one another sweetly, whilst, on the fringe of unencumber, straining to his restrict, he felt dizzy.

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