On Booze, Paperback
2.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


"First you take a drink," F. Scott Fitzgerald once noted, "then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you." Fitzgerald wrote alcohol into almost every one of his stories.

On Booze gathers debutantes and dandies, rowdy jazz musicians, lost children and ragtime riff-raff into a newly compiled collection taken from The Crack-Up, and other works.

On Booze portrays "The Jazz Age" as Fitzgerald experienced it: roaring, rambunctious, and lush - with quite a hangover.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Alcoholic beverages
  • ISBN: 9781447202486



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On Booze by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a small and messy publication, consisting of some essays which were previously published in Esquire magazine, together with some notes and letters. The booklet resembles The Crack-Up, which was first published in 1945. At the time, The Crack-Up was very poorly received, but these days the essays and (auto-)biographical notes and letters, etc are more appreciated as ego documents for the insight they give into Fitzgerald's final years.The Crack-Up contained the following essays, letters and prose fragments:"The Echoes Of The Jazz Age" (Essay) in Scribner's Magazine (1931)"Ring" (Essay) in The New Republic (1933)"Sleeping And Waking" (Essay - Autobiographical) in Esquire (1934)"Pasting It Together" (Essay - Autobiographical) in Esquire (1936)"The Crack-Up" (Essay - Autobiographical) in Esquire (1936 )"Handle With Care" (Essay - Autobiographical) in Esquire (1936)"Three Letters About 'The Great Gatsby'" (Letters) (1936)"My Lost City" (Essay) (1936)"Early Success" (Essay - Autobiographical) in American Cavalcade (1937 )"The Note-Books" {21 Sections} (Notebooks / Book) (1936)Notebooks (n.d.)"Turkey Remains And How To Inter Them With Nunmerous Scarce Recipes" Prose/Parody/Humor/Satire (n.d.)"The Way Of Purgation" (Poetry) (1917)"A Letter From John Dos Passos" (Letters) John Dos Passos (1936)"A Letter From Thomas Wolfe"(Letters) Thomas Wolfe ( 1936)"Letters To Frances Scott Fitzgerald" (1936)"Letters To Friends" (1936)"The Moral Of Scott Fitzgerald" (Critical Study) Glenway Wescott, in "The New Republic" (1941)However, On Booze only contains four essays, viz. "The Crack-up" (1936), "Show Mr. and Mrs. F. to number—” (1934), "Sleeping And Waking" (1934) and "My Lost City" (1936), "Selections from the Notebooks (only 3 sections), "Turkey Remains And How To Inter Them With Nunmerous Scarce Recipes" and "Selections from the Letters (only 3 letters !).What is most disturbing is that Picador has published this dressed down edition of The Crack-Up without an introduction. The blurb text describes On Booze as "a newly compiled collection taken from The Crack-Up, and other works." Especially that last part is cynical, as the only piece of writing that is not taken from The Crack-Up is the essay "Show Mr. and Mrs. F. to number—”. This essay is sometimes ascribed to Zelda Fitzgerald and sometimes to joint authorship, but in On Booze Zelda's contribution is not acknowledged.While the text materials in On Booze are possibly somewhat interesting to readers and students of F. Scott Fitzgerald, it is doubtful that a wider readership would be interested in this booklet. The title, On Booze, is quite misleading, most of the writing does not refer to alcohol or alcoholism at all.

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