Howard is an avid short story reader who likes to help others find and understand stories.
This page collects many stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald. There's a short teaser so you can get a sense of what the story is about, and a link for easy reading.
I hope you find a new Fitzgerald story to enjoy!
Dexter Green caddies at the Sherry Island Golf Club for pocket-money. He earns a reputation as the best caddie at the club—he comports himself well and never loses a ball. One year he abruptly quits, saying that at fourteen he's too old for the job. Just before, he'd witnessed a scene at the club between an eleven-year old girl and her nurse. The girl was rude, selfish, and demanding. Dexter was ordered to caddie for her. Years later, two old acquaintances meet again.
Read Winter Dreams
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mr. and Mrs. Button are a prominent Southern couple, in good stead both socially and financially. Mrs. Button goes to a fashionable hospital for the birth of their first child. Mr. Button is up early on the momentous day to head to the hospital. He spots Doctor Keene exiting the building and rushes to get an update on the birth. He's evasive on the subject and agitated in general, telling Mr. Button to go look for himself. What's more, their long-standing relationship is over. Confused, Mr. Button speaks to the receptionist, whose reaction only adds to his stress.
"No, not triplets!" answered the doctor cuttingly. "What's more, you can go and see for yourself. And get another doctor. I brought you into the world, young man, and I've been physician to your family for forty years, but I'm through with you! I don't want to see you or any of your relatives ever again! Good-bye!"
— Fitzgerald: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Charlie Wales is back in Paris after three years away. He goes to the Ritz bar and asks about his old acquaintances. He doesn't drink much anymore. The stock market crash of 1929 has left few Americans in Paris. He's in the city to see his little girl. His sister-in-law, Marion, took custody of her after the death of Charlie's wife. Charlie has given up his old life of extravagant spending and heavy drinking. He wants to get his daughter back.
Read Babylon Revisited
The Ice Palace
Sally Happer, nineteen-years-old, lives in Tarleton, Georgia, where nothing much happens. She's looking out her bedroom window when Clark Darrow pulls up in his ancient car. He invites her to come swimming with some friends. Clark asks her if she's engaged to a Yankee. Her other friends ask the same thing; the news has gotten around quickly. They want her to stay, but she wants to experience interesting things and be successful.
Read The Ice Palace
“Clark, I don’t know. I’m not sure what I’ll do, but—well, I want to go places and see people. I want my mind to grow. I want to live where things happen on a big scale.”
— Fitzgerald: "The Ice Palace"
Bernice Bobs Her Hair
Bernice is visiting her cousin Marjorie for the summer. They go to country-club dances where Marjorie is a big hit. A Yale student, Warren, has been stuck on Marjorie for years. Bernice is unpopular—she's pretty but no fun. After one of these dances, Bernice overhears Marjorie and her mother talking about how socially hopeless she is. Bernice is hurt and says she will go home.
The Rich Boy
The narrator tells the story of his friend Anson Hunter, a rich boy. He's used to being deferred to and being the center of attention. When he grows up, he shifts his life to New York. He understands and accepts the kind of privileged life he leads and what comes with it. Despite being bawdy and a pleasure-seeker, he falls in love with Paula, a conservative and proper girl.
Anson's first sense of his superiority came to him when he realized the half-grudging American deference that was paid to him in the Connecticut village. The parents of the boys he played with always inquired after his father and mother, and were vaguely excited when their own children were asked to the Hunters' house.
— Fitzgerald: "The Rich Boy"
Head and Shoulders
Horace Tarbox is a prodigy—he was accepted to Princeton at thirteen and moved to Yale at seventeen. He focuses only on his studies. His cousin Charlie persuades Marcia, a theater performer, to visit Horace. They're very different. She asks him to kiss her, and invites him to come see her show.
Read Head and Shoulders
A New Leaf
Julia and Phil are sitting at an outdoor café in Paris. Phil starts talking to an extraordinarily handsome man, Dick Ragland, who comes into view. Julia wants to know why he didn't introduce her to him. Phil says Dick has a very bad reputation, which includes killing someone with an automobile. Julia still wants to meet him, so Phil arranges it. They all get together on the day that Phil is leaving for London. Phil has to make sure his English visa is in order, so Julia and Dick get some time to talk alone.
“He’s without doubt the handsomest man I ever saw in my life.”
“Yes, he’s handsome,” he agreed without enthusiasm.
“Handsome! He’s an archangel, he’s a mountain lion, he’s something to eat. Just why didn’t you introduce him?”
— Fitzgerald: "A New Leaf"
Joel Coles is a new screenwriter in Hollywood, getting good assignments and doing his work enthusiastically. One Sunday he gets invited to the home of Miles Calman, an important director. This could be big for his career. He decides not to drink at the function so he'll stand out more. The party goes well—he talks to Calman's wife, the actress Stella Walker; she introduces him to some other guests; and he talks to Calman's mother. Feeling confident from his social success, he decides to do an impersonation that had gone over well at other gatherings.
Read Crazy Sunday
Rudolph Miller, an eleven-year-old boy, visits Father Schwartz at his home. The priest is relieved to have some company, and tries to get Rudolph to open up. The boy is reluctant at first, but admits that he committed a terrible sin. It started three days ago, on a Saturday, when his father insisted he go to confession. He confessed to a variety of minor sins. At the end of the confession, he made a mistake that made him want to avoid the next day's communion.
Read Absolution (PDF Pg. 85)
The little boy looked at him through his tears, and was reassured by the impression of moral resiliency which the distraught priest had created. Abandoning as much of himself as he was able to this man, Rudolph Miller began to tell his story.
— Fitzgerald: "Absolution"
The Baby Party
John Andros is at the office when his wife, Edith, calls to tell him that their daughter, two-and-a-half-year-old Ede, is going to a baby party. John leaves work a little early to go to the Markey's place, where the party is being held. He's in a good mood, so he likes the idea of going to the party and wonders how his little Ede will compare to the other children. As he walks up to the Markey's door, he hears raised voices—not children's but adult's, including the voice of his wife.
Read The Baby Party
The Bridal Party
Michael receives an engagement and marriage notice from Caroline Dandy, an ex-girlfriend whom he still loves. The wedding day is only two weeks off. He lost Caroline because he had no money and no prospects for making any. He goes for a walk, contemplating his unhappy state. He runs into Caroline and her fiancé, Hamilton Rutherford. He gets invited to a slew of wedding related events. Before parting, he and Caroline share a moment in which he believes she sees how wounded he is. Back at the hotel, a concierge arrives with a telegram informing Michael of the death of his grandfather. Michael is in line to inherit a quarter of a million dollars.
But the fear stayed with him, and after a while he recognized it as the fear that now he would never be happy. He had met Caroline Dandy when she was seventeen, possessed her young heart all through her first season in New York, and then lost her, slowly, tragically, uselessly, because he had no money and could make no money . . .
— Fitzgerald: "The Bridal Party"
Nineteen-year-old Lois sends a telegram to her love interest, telling him where and when they can meet. She heads for a seminary, where she will visit her thirty-six-year-old brother, Kieth. Lois remembers Kieth from an old picture, and they haven't seen each other in a long time. She feels a bit sorry for him and plans to cheer him up.
The Cut-Glass Bowl
Among the wedding gifts that Evylyn and Harold Piper receive is a cut-glass bowl. It's been with them for many years. When Mrs. Fairboalt visits one day, she compliments the bowl. Evylyn tells the story of getting it from an old admirer. When Mrs. Fairboalt leaves, she gets another visit from Freddy Gedney, a man who's been rumored to be visiting a lot lately. There's a incident involving the cut-glass bowl. It seems to be involved in a lot of significant moments in the Piper's lives.
Read The Cut-Glass Bowl
'Evylyn, I'm going to give a present that's as hard as you are and as beautiful and as empty and as easy to see through.'
— Fitzgerald: "The Cut-Glass Bowl"
Beauty Boy and Lilymary get married. They work hard for years, trying to better themselves but not making much progress. After trying to have a baby for years, Lilymary finally gives birth. Beauty Boy takes on more work to provide for his family. They continue to have a hard time.
Read Dearly Beloved
Afternoon of an Author
A writer wakes up feeling better than he has in weeks—he's not ill or dizzy. He has breakfast and relaxes a bit before starting his work. His story in progress isn't satisfying. He struggles to come up with something to save it. He decides he needs to get out of the house, but he's not sure where to go.
The plot was like climbing endless stairs, he had no element of surprise in reserve, and the characters who started so bravely day-before-yesterday couldn't have qualified for a newspaper serial.
— Fitzgerald: "Afternoon of an Author"
The Diamond as Big as the Ritz
John Unger is from a prominent family in a small town. At sixteen he's sent to St. Midas's, the most exclusive and expensive prep school in the world. In his second year, he meets Percy Washington, who's aloof and uncommunicative. Percy invites John to take his summer vacation with him at his home in the West. Along the way, Percy makes the surprising statement that his father is by far the richest man in the world. He claims his father has a diamond as big as the Ritz-Carlton hotel.
This is a novella.
Noel Penaflor from California on August 07, 2019:
Thank you for this. I've always wanted to read more Fitzgerald but there have been other things I've chosen to read instead. This helps for short bursts.