When I found out Stewart O’Nan was coming out with a book about F.Scott Fitzgerald, I was so excited. WEST OF SUNSET, is nothing like other books about the Fitzgerald’s. Nothing. It’s more like a character study of Scott’s later years. There is none of the drama of the wild and crazy days spent drinking all night in Paris and NYC.
O’Nan has managed to capture the mind of the genius Fitzgerald truly was. It reads like a sophisticated biography of one of the greatest and most troubled writers of all time.
WEST OF SUNSET, tackles the last years of Scott’s life. The troubled and tangled years full of bad health, alcoholism, and his inability to produce decent literature. He was living and working in Hollywood. Working on scripts for movies. And hanging out with the likes of Dorothy Parker, Humphrey Bogart, and Sheilah Graham who he ends up falling in love with.
Stewart O’Nan has managed to show us the soul of an imperfect man. Albeit a famous one. The chapters where Scott visits Zelda with their daughter, Scottie, are both poignant and insightful. All in all the novel is beautifully written and quite a tribute to the Fitzgeralds.
O’Nan has written fourteen novels. I have read many of them. I have long been a fan. He writes quietly, bringing his characters issues to us in a seemless way, full of reality and deeply fleshed out. Two of my favorites are THE ODDS and EMILY, ALONE.
I have Viking publishing to thank for my lovely finished book.