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Tales of the Jazz Age (English Edition) par [Fitzgerald, F Scott]
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Longueur : 214 pages Word Wise: Activé Composition améliorée: Activé
Page Flip: Activé Langue : Anglais

Description du produit



Jim Powell was a Jelly-bean. Much as I desire to make him an appealing character, I feel that it would be unscrupulous to deceive you on that point. He was a bred-in-the-bone, dyed-in-the-wool, ninety-nine three-quarters per cent Jelly-bean and he grew lazily all during Jelly-bean season, which is every season, down in the land of the Jelly-beans well below the Mason-Dixon line.

Now if you call a Memphis man a Jelly-bean he will quite possibly pull a long sinewy rope from his hip pocket and hang you to a convenient telegraph-pole. If you call a New Orleans man a Jelly-bean he will probably grin and ask you who is taking your girl to the Mardi Gras ball. The particular Jelly-bean patch which produced the protagonist of this history lies somewhere between the two--a little city of forty thousand that has dozed sleepily for forty thousand years in southern Georgia, occasionally stirring in its slumbers and muttering something about a war that took place sometime, somewhere, and that everyone else has forgotten long ago.

Jim was a Jelly-bean. I write that again because it has such a pleasant sound--rather like the beginning of a fairy story--as if Jim were nice. It somehow gives me a picture of him with a round, appetizing face and all sorts of leaves and vegetables growing out of his cap. But Jim was long and thin and bent at the waist from stooping over pool-tables, and he was what might have been known in the indiscriminating North as a corner loafer. "Jelly-bean" is the name throughout the un-dissolved Confederacy for one who spends his life conjugating the verb to idle in the first person singular--I am idling, I have idled, I will idle.

Jim was born in a white house on a green corner. It had four weather-beaten pillars in front and a great amount of lattice-work in the rear that made a cheerful criss-cross background for a flowery sun-drenched lawn. Originally the dwellers in the white house had owned the ground next door and next door to that and next door to that, but this had been so long ago that even Jim's father scarcely remembered it. He had, in fact, thought it a matter of so little moment that when he was dying from a pistol wound got in a brawl he neglected even to tell little Jim, who was five years old and miserably frightened. The white house became a boarding-house run by a tight-lipped lady from Macon, whom Jim called Aunt Mamie and detested with all his soul.

He became fifteen, went to high school, wore his hair in black snarls, and was afraid of girls. He hated his home where four women and one old man prolonged an interminable chatter from summer to summer about what lots the Powell place had originally included and what sort of flowers would be out next. Sometimes the parents of little girls in town, remembering Jim's mother and fancying a resemblance in the dark eyes and hair, invited him to parties, but parties made him shy and he much preferred sitting on a disconnected axle in Tilly's Garage, rolling the bones or exploring his mouth endlessly with a long straw. For pocket money, he picked up odd jobs, and it was due to this that he stopped going to parties. At his third party little Marjorie Haight had whispered indiscreetly and within hearing distance that he was a boy who brought the groceries sometimes. So instead of the two-step and polka, Jim had learned to throw any number he desired on the dice and had listened to spicy tales of all the shootings that had occurred in the surrounding country during the past fifty years.

He became eighteen. The war broke out and he enlisted as a gob and polished brass in the Charleston Navy-yard for a year. Then, by way of variety, he went North and polished brass in the Brooklyn Navy-yard for a year.

When the war was over he came home. He was twenty-one, his trousers were too short and too tight. His buttoned shoes were long and narrow. His tie was an alarming conspiracy of purple and pink marvellously scrolled, and over it were two blue eyes faded like a piece of very good old cloth long exposed to the sun.

In the twilight of one April evening when a soft gray had drifted down along the cottonfields and over the sultry town, he was a vague figure leaning against a board fence, whistling and gazing at the moon's rim above the lights of Jackson Street. His mind was working persistently on a problem that had held his attention for an hour. The Jelly-bean had been invited to a party.

Back in the days when all the boys had detested all the girls, Clark Darrow and Jim had sat side by side in school. But, while Jim's social aspirations had died in the oily air of the garage, Clark had alternately fallen in and out of love, gone to college, taken to drink, given it up, and, in short, become one of the best beaux of the town. Nevertheless Clark and Jim had retained a friendship that, though casual, was perfectly definite. That afternoon Clark's ancient Ford had slowed up beside Jim, who was on the sidewalk and, out of a clear sky, Clark had invited him to a party at the country club. The impulse that made him do this was no stranger than the impulse which made Jim accept. The latter was probably an unconscious ennui, a half-frightened sense of adventure. And now Jim was soberly thinking it over.

He began to sing, drumming his long foot idly on a stone block in the sidewalk till it wobbled up and down in time to the low throaty tune:

"One mile from Home in Jelly-bean town,

Lives Jeanne, the Jelly-bean Queen.

She loves her dice and treats 'em nice;

No dice would treat her mean."

He broke off and agitated the sidewalk to a bumpy gallop.

"Daggone!" he muttered, half aloud.

They would all be there--the old crowd, the crowd to which, by right of the white house, sold long since, and the portrait of the officer in gray over the mantel, Jim should have belonged. But that crowd had grown up together into a tight little set as gradually as the girls' dresses had lengthened inch by inch, as definitely as the boys' trousers had dropped suddenly to their ankles. And to that society of first names and dead puppy-loves Jim was an outsider--a running mate of poor whites. Most of the men knew him, condescendingly; he tipped his hat to three or four girls. That was all.

When the dusk had thickened into a blue setting for the moon, he walked through the hot, pleasantly pungent town to Jackson Street. The stores were closing and the last shoppers were drifting homeward, as if borne on the dreamy revolution of a slow merry-go-round. A street-fair farther down made a brilliant alley of varicolored booths and contributed a blend of music to the night--an oriental dance on a calliope, a melancholy bugle in front of a freak show, a cheerful rendition of "Back Home in Tennessee" on a hand-organ.

The Jelly-bean stopped in a store and bought a collar. Then he sauntered along toward Soda Sam's, where he found the usual three or four cars of a summer evening parked in front and the little darkies running back and forth with sundaes and lemonades.

"Hello, Jim."

It was a voice at his elbow--Joe Ewing sitting in an automobile with Marylyn Wade. Nancy Lamar and a strange man were in the back seat.

The Jelly-bean tipped his hat quickly.

"Hi, Ben--" then, after an almost imperceptible pause--"How y' all?"

Passing, he ambled on toward the garage where he had a room up-stairs. His "How y' all" had been said to Nancy Lamar, to whom he had not spoken in fifteen years.

Nancy had a mouth like a remembered kiss and shadowy eyes and blue-black hair inherited from her mother who had been born in Budapest. Jim passed her often in the street, walking small-boy fashion with her hands in her pockets and he knew that with her inseparable Sally Carrol Hopper she had left a trail of broken hearts from Atlanta to New Orleans.

For a few fleeting moments Jim wished he could dance. Then he laughed and as he reached his door began to sing softly to himself:

"Her Jelly Roll can twist your soul,

Her eyes are big and brown,

She's the Queen of the Queens of the Jelly-beans--

My Jeanne of Jelly-bean Town."


At nine-thirty Jim and Clark met in front of Soda Sam's and started for the Country Club in Clark's Ford.

"Jim," asked Clark casually, as they rattled through the jasmine-scented night, "how do you keep alive?"

The Jelly-bean paused, considered.

"Well," he said finally, "I got a room over Tilly's garage. I help him some with the cars in the afternoon an' he gives it to me free. Sometimes I drive one of his taxies and pick up a little thataway. I get fed up doin' that regular though."

"That all?"

"Well, when there's a lot of work I help him by the day--Saturdays usually--and then there's one main source of revenue I don't generally mention. Maybe you don't recollect I'm about the champion crap-shooter of this town. They make me shoot from a cup now because once I get the feel of a pair of dice they just roll for me."

Clark grinned appreciatively.

"I never could learn to set 'em so's they'd do what I wanted. Wish you'd shoot with Nancy Lamar some day and take all her money away from her. She will roll 'em with the boys and she loses more than her daddy can afford to give her. I happen to know she sold a good ring last month to pay a debt."

The Jelly-bean was non-committal.

"The white house on Elm Street still belong to you?"

Jim shook his head.

"Sold. Got a pretty good price, seein' it wasn't in a good part of town no more. Lawyer told me to put it into Liberty bonds. But Aunt Mamie got so she didn't have no sense, so it takes all the interest to keep her up at Great Farms Sanitarium."


"I got an old uncle up-state an' I reckin I kin go up there if ever I get sure enough pore. Nice farm, but not enough niggers around to work it. He's asked me to come up and help him, but I don't guess I'd take much to it. Too doggone lonesome----" He broke off suddenly. "Clark, I want to tell you I'm much obliged to you for askin' me out, but I'd be a lot happier if you'd just stop the car right here an' let me walk back into town."

"Shucks!" Clark grunted. "Do you good to step out. You don't have to dance--just get out there on the floor and shake."

"Hold on," exclaimed Jim uneasily. "Don't you go leadin' me up to any girls and leavin' me there so I'll have to dance with 'em."

Clark laughed.

"'Cause," continued Jim desperately, "without you swear you won't do that I'm agoin' to get out right here an' my good legs goin' carry me back to Jackson Street."

They agreed after some argument that Jim, unmolested by females, was to view the spectacle from a secluded settee in the corner where Clark would join him whenever he wasn't dancing.

So ten o'clock found the Jelly-bean with his legs crossed and his arms conservatively folded, trying to look casually at home and politely uninterested in the dancers. At heart he was torn between overwhelming self-consciousness and an intense curiosity as to all that went on around him. He saw the girls emerge one by one from the dressing-room, stretching and pluming themselves like bright birds, smiling over their powdered shoulders at the chaperones, casting a quick glance around to take in the room and, simultaneously, the room's reaction to their entrance--and then, again like birds, alighting and nestling in the sober arms of their waiting escorts. Sally Carrol Hopper, blonde and lazy-eyed, appeared clad in her favorite pink and blinking like an awakened rose. Marjorie Haight, Marylyn Wade, Harriet Cary, all the girls he had seen loitering down Jackson Street by noon, now, curled and brilliantined and delicately tinted for the overhead lights, were miraculously strange Dresden figures of pink and blue and red and gold, fresh from the shop and not yet fully dried.

He had been there half an hour, totally uncheered by Clark's jovial visits which were each one accompanied by a "Hello, old boy, how you making out?" and a slap at his knee. A dozen males had spoken to him or stopped for a moment beside him, but he knew that they were each one surprised at finding him there and fancied that one or two were even slightly resentful. But at half past ten his embarrassment suddenly left him and a pull of breathless interest took him completely out of himself--Nancy Lamar had come out of the dressing-room.

She was dressed in yellow organdie, a costume of a hundred cool corners, with three tiers of ruffles and a big bow in back until she shed black and yellow around her in a sort of phosphorescent lustre. The Jelly-bean's eyes opened wide and a lump arose in his throat. For a minute she stood beside the door until her partner hurried up. Jim recognized him as the stranger who had been with her in Joe Ewing's car that afternoon. He saw her set her arms akimbo and say something in a low voice, and laugh. The man laughed, too, and Jim experienced the quick pang of a weird new kind of pain. Some ray had passed between the pair, a shaft of beauty from that sun that had warmed him a moment since. The Jelly-bean felt suddenly like a weed in a shadow.

A minute later Clark approached him, bright-eyed and glowing.

"Hi, old man," he cried with some lack of originality. "How you making out?"

Jim replied that he was making out as well as could be expected.

"You come along with me," commanded Clark. "I've got something that'll put an edge on the evening."

Jim followed him awkwardly across the floor and up the stairs to the locker-room where Clark produced a flask of nameless yellow liquid.

"Good old corn."

Ginger ale arrived on a tray. Such potent nectar as "good old corn" needed some disguise beyond seltzer.

"Say, boy," exclaimed Clark breathlessly, "doesn't Nancy Lamar look beautiful?"

Jim nodded.

"Mighty beautiful," he agreed.

"She's all dolled up to a fare-you-well to-night," continued Clark. "Notice that fellow she's with?"

"Big fella? White pants?"

"Yeah. Well, that's Ogden Merritt from Savannah. Old man Merritt makes the Merritt safety razors.

From Library Journal

Fitzgerald's 1922 collection isn't his strongest work, but it does contain gems like "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz." This edition also sports several additional stories not included in the original, such as "Diamond Dick, "The Third Casket," and "The Unspeakable Egg," plus a scholarly introduction and other goodies by editor West. Nice if you can afford it.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1611 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 214 pages
  • Editeur : Dead Dodo Vintage (2 août 2013)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Lecteur d’écran : Pris en charge
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 3.0 étoiles sur 5 4 commentaires client
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3.0 étoiles sur 5
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Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Impossible de lire cet ouvrage. Il manque des mots, des segments, voire même probablement des phrases entières dès les premières pages.
J'aimerais être remboursée ou bien bénéficier d'une autre version.
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L'histoire est vraiment très synthétique par rapport au film. J'avais vu le film avant,je pense qu'il vaut mieux lire d'abord et voir le film ensuite. Je me souvenais de l'histoire d'amour de Benjamin, histoire impossible puisque leurs vies se croisent : il rajeunit, elle vieillit...Dans le livre il croise une femme mais, c'est tout juste mentionné.Finalement, je suis restée un peu sur ma faim.
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Une nouvelle qui se lit très vite et dont l'idée de départ est fascinante. Malgré quelques questions sans réponse (quid de la mère de Benjamin?), j'ai apprécié ce livre. Un conseil ne le lisez pas avant de regarder le DVD qui n'a rien à voir (sauf l'idée de départ) et qui donc m'a complètement déçue...
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comme beaucoup de romans de fitzerald il y a là une ironie mordante, qui met presque mal à l'aise et nous oblige à réfléchir à nos vies; beaucoup plus noir que le film qui était assez édulcoré
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) (Peut contenir des commentaires issus du programme Early Reviewer Rewards) 4.1 étoiles sur 5 254 commentaires
28 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 AVOID THE "TIMELESS CLASSICS" EDITION 26 septembre 2011
Par J. A. I. - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Avoid the Timeless Classics edition. It is a mess. Far from being "carefully formatted" it is in fact full of typos and odd formatting choices that distract and detract from the enjoyment of Fitzgerald's stories. If you wish to save money just download the free version which is certainly no worse than the awful Timeless Classic edition.

If you want a better file try one of the more expensive editions.

If anyone at the "publisher" (or at Amazon) cares I would appreciate a refund on this ebook or a free download of a better edition.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 20 décembre 2014
Par Marablaise - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I’ve seen the movie (twice), and I’ve been looking forward to reading the short story that the movie is based for a while now. The movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button has very little in common with the book. The name is the same, and the core is the same, Benjamin Button is born old and as he grows older he grows younger both in the book and the movie. But in the book, he is raised by his father and not abandon at birth. And all the rest of the book differs also from the movie.

I liked the story, first I couldn’t help but compare the story with movie and feel that the story was lacking everything the movie had, but soon I was sucked into the story and I’m glad it was different since it’s more fun reading something that not exactly like the movie.

It’s a bittersweet story and in a way a cruel story since Benjamin all under his life is met with contempt and misunderstanding. The story is set during the latter half of the 19th century but it could as well be taking place now a day since being different is something that is always going to be met with ignorance.
55 internautes sur 58 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Beautiful book design, but what's inside? 28 octobre 2011
Par Stephen L. Powell - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Tales of the Jazz Age (Penguin Classics Hardcover) does not contain the original contents of the 1922 book of the same title. This edition contains the following eight stories.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Head and Shoulders
The Cut-Glass Bowl
The Four Fists
May Day
'O Russet Witch!'
Bernice Bobs Her Hair
The Lees of Happiness

Of these stories five are also included in Flappers and Philosophers: The Collected Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald (Penguin Classics Hardcover). If you're buying these books as a book collector (like me) you'll want both titles because they are gorgeous editions. If however you're not intending on buying both I suggest purchasing Flappers and Philosophers instead as it has the majority of these stories plus many more.

3.0 étoiles sur 5 9 Shorts and 2 Plays. 31 janvier 2013
Par M. DeKalb - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Kindle free version:

1. Jelly Bean - Reviewed elsewhere.

2. The Camel's Hump - After being told `no' to his marriage proposal... ultimatum, Perry gets pretty liquored up. Using a cab driver as an assistant the two go to a circus party as, in tandem, a camel. The literary depiction of these two trying to walk is excellent: `The camel had a halting gait - and as he walked he alternatively elongated and contracted like a gigantic concertina.' (468).
Seeing his love interest at the party Perry soon finds himself in a mock wedding. Accidently handing over his earlier intended marriage license, followed by a ruse from the camel's hump - he's married and the rest is history.

3. May Day - Gordon's in a pinch, needs some m money to pay off an old flame that's hounding him and is capable of causing him trouble. Dean, well-to-do, the person from whom Gordon seeks financial assistance. Drinking having taken its toll on Gordon he soon meets Edith, a long since past love interest / opportunity, but also encounters Jewel (the aforementioned woman to whom money is owed)... here's where it really goes poorly for Gordon. The end result: Him not being able to deal with the circumstances.
The story is interesting in its anti-socialism feud depictions and partly existential bent toward the absurdist nature of all things.

4. Porcelain and Pink - A play which sees a young woman, nude, in a bathtub. Julie Mavis occupies the tub; her sister Lois wants the tub. What happens when Lois' beau came calling at the bathroom window and identities are suddenly confused?

5. The Diamond As Big As The Ritz - John T. Unger meets Percy Washington who's father has a diamond of the title. Of course it's a huge secret. Imagine the plummet of the diamond trade, maybe even market crashes. Naturally `guests' are infrequent and even those, John is informed by Kismine, Percy's sister, are generally not allowed to leave.
The Washington father is deemed ` the richest man that ever lived. Yet was he worth anything at all?' (1722). Not a cruel man, Mr. Washington offers (and wishes for the actual potentials) his prisoners ways out, but fear of the secret escaping prevents their release. The morality displayed in John's love for Kismine when he discovers he `isn't much better than a human corpse' and their subsequent eloping epitomizes FS Fitzgerald's `love as savior' philosophy. The concluding prayer by the Washington's and offer of a diamond to God indicates the absurdities of this world (`even God has a price'), as does the stealing of rhinestones instead of diamonds by Kismine. Forcing herself and John to live a life of poverty after escaping the desert.

6. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Reviewed elsewhere.

7. Tarquin of Cheapside - A man is seeking to be hidden from two seekers of justice, the crime regarding the act he'd committed upon one of the men's sisters. Hidden by a `friend', now accomplice the fellow writes an expose concerning the reason the men were hunting him. His host is given a copy of the work; we learn only the tales appalling title.

8. O Russett Witch! - Merlin Grainger works at the `Moonlight Quill', a bookshop named for its proprietor. Here he meets `Caroline' for the first time. She destroys the store and leaves Merlin in lust. Merlin encounters her many more times over the telling of the story that is his life in its near entirety. These encounters however, in the end, are never what Merlin had perceived them to be... if only he'd read the newspapers. My favorite story if for nothing other than the closing line: 'There was nothing left but heaven, where he would meet those who, like him, had wasted earth.'

9. The Lees of Happiness - Jeffery Curtain develops an embolism which puts him in coma-state. Despite all of life's hardships and temptations his wife remains by his side for eleven years.

10. Mr. Icky - Another play. Mr. Icky's children represent the kids of the jazz age. Likely representing the old era and the state of `being out of touch with the times' his children look down upon him and his practices, ways, habits and thoughts. Upon his death one of his sons is kind enough to proffer a mothball.

11. Jemina - Tantrums versus Doldrums. Two hillbilly families who one day encounter a `civilized folk' looking to buy land. Jemina Tantrum and the prospector fall in love but perish in the battle between the families. Jemina is `a human alcohol lamp' (from distilling whiskey) and the stranger... `was wonderful. When he talked his lips moved.'
The point of the story seems to be going out as one, that link and connectedness.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Well done 17 août 2013
Par SS - Publié sur
Achat vérifié
I have wanted to find this since the movie came out – I didn’t even see the movie because I wanted to find some kind of book first—so I was very happy to get this! It was short and to the point, I read it all in one sitting. I feel for Benjamin though, a misfit from the day he was born until the day he died. It was a sad story in my opinion, even when he was happy.

The art was nice, as was the story written. It was indeed a very interesting idea, but one I’m glad will never happen to an actual person – old at birth, baby at death. It would be a horrible life, but it made for a great (though sad) original story.
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