An honest account of Morley Callaghan's friendship with F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hemingway, culminating in the summer of 1929 when they were all in Paris. One reviewer calls this account "compassionate" and I agree. But this huge coterie of writers and artists who congregated in Paris during those years were a sensitive, gossipy and backbiting bunch - one needs to remember they were also all quite young, and they drank and drank. How they ever could write with that much alcohol in their system is beyond me. One of the loveliest parts of the book is an essay account at the end of Callaghan and his wife going back to Paris many decades later to revisit some of the haunts of 1929.
Morley Callaghan comes off as a name dropping chauvinist, taking an immediate dislike to the women he meets that summer in Paris. Sylvia Beach offends the great Callaghan because she refuses to give out the information of her writer friends. Zelda Fitzgerald he sneers at because she mentions that she too is a good writer and also he feels her ballet is competing with Scott. Pauline Hemingway isn't impressed with Morley or his wife Loretto (the only woman in the book who is approved of-though her only actions are sitting, smiling, and when she speaks, parroting Morley). He mentions every trivial encounter he can with any of the recognizable characters from 1920s Paris. It's like a summer spent celebrity spotting and is written up as well as any fifth grader writing "what I did with my summer vacation..." Try Memoirs of Montparnasse by John Glassco instead.
Very interesting reminiscing about Paris, writers like Hemingway and Fitzgerald, etc., the late 1920's and how it all eventually became stale and somewhat angsty and ultimately it changed.
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