Basil and Josephine

Basil and Josephine Basil and Josephine charts the coming of age of two privileged youths from quiet Midwestern towns Basil Duke Lee and Josephine Perry based on Fitzgerald himself and a combination of his first love Gi

  • Title: Basil and Josephine
  • Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • ISBN: 9781847493422
  • Page: 240
  • Format: Paperback
  • Basil and Josephine charts the coming of age of two privileged youths from quiet Midwestern towns, Basil Duke Lee and Josephine Perry based on Fitzgerald himself and a combination of his first love Ginevra King and his wife Zelda As one struggles to gain the acceptance of his peers and becomes consumed by ambition, the other finds herself obsessed by teenage crushes andBasil and Josephine charts the coming of age of two privileged youths from quiet Midwestern towns, Basil Duke Lee and Josephine Perry based on Fitzgerald himself and a combination of his first love Ginevra King and his wife Zelda As one struggles to gain the acceptance of his peers and becomes consumed by ambition, the other finds herself obsessed by teenage crushes and has to confront the pitfalls of popularity.Written for the Saturday Evening Post while the author was working on Tender Is the Night, these stories form a realistic and entertaining portrait of two young adults in the 1910s, fascinating both for the autobiographical insights they provide and the timeless satire that Fitzgerald s fiction has become synonymous with.

    157 Comment

    • Marigold says:

      My brain says Hemingway but my heart and soul belong to Fitzgerald. The Basil stories are based on FSF's own life and center on a boy/young man growing up, his ambitions and efforts to be both successful and well-liked. The Josephine stories are apparently based on a real-life young woman FSF was in love with in his youth. Basil is more interesting and Josephine, being a woman, is punished for her sins! Oh FSF. I love you in spite of yourself. I didn't really love either Basil or Josephine, and [...]

    • Joanne says:

      2.5 stars.I never thought I'd rate an FSF book so low, but I just couldn't get into this one. I didn't care for Basil or Josephine- I found them both irritating and I also kept pitying Basil, who tried so hard to be good and kept falling into the same problems. The only reason I was able to finish this book is because FSF's writing is always so good. To be fair, I'm not big on short stories, but I think I found these especially hard to get through because they were always the same story, with th [...]

    • Viji(Bookish endeavors) says:

      Like always,Fitzgerald takes one small part and adds his own sense of grandeur and makes it a delicacy. This one doesn't have a good plot but the author makes up for it with his dialogues. Here's an example- "It isn't given to us to know those rare moments when people are wide open and the lightest touch can either or heal. A moment too late and we can never reach them anymore in this world. They will not be cured by our most efficacious drugs or slain with our sharpest swords." A pleasant quick [...]

    • Cheryl Yang says:

      2.5Overall very unimpressed with this short story collection. I've loved everything I've read by FSF and I expected/wanted to love this too! I found all the themes (or at least how they were presented) very shallow and badly rehashed versions of what he's done in previous stories. I found the conclusion to Josephine's stories particularly disappointing; FSF writes brilliant women and I don't understand how he could be at the same time preaching these types of beliefs.

    • Deniss says:

      Ojalá hubiera leído este libro hace algunos años, es fantástico. Una razón más para admirar profundamente a Scott.

    • Cathy says:

      Maybe more of a 3.5--- some were better than others.I can't believe these stories were never compiled all together during Fitzgerald's lifetime. Together, you get a complete picture of the title characters in the linked stories--- kind of like Updike's Maples Stories or Winesburg Ohio. Uneven, but I always enjoy Fitzgerald.

    • Virginia Rounding says:

      I preferred the Basil to the Josephine stories - possibly because Basil was closer to FSF's own experience, whereas he gets a bit didactic with Josephine.

    • Jerry Parker says:

      If the Josephine stories were as good as the Basil ones this would have been five stars.

    • Ben says:

      3.5 stars. I have difficulty plowing through collections of short stories with the same speed that I could go through a novel. Even though this work centers on two characters -- Basil in the first series of stories, and Josephine in the second -- it was not very gripping. This is also at least partly because I had great difficulty sympathizing with Fitzgerald's characters -- two spoiled kids, one middle class boy who aspired to be among the upper classes of society (based on his own boyhood in M [...]

    • Susan says:

      Basil Duke Lee, from age 11 to 17, is the subject of the first set of short stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald. "He Thinks He's Wonderful" stands out as a heartrending and wonderful story of adolescence. Basil's goal is to be the most admired and popular boy of his social circle and he thinks he has hit upon a tactic that will work to attract Minnie Biddle, the most popular belle of the St. Paul Summitt Avenue set that season. But not all of Basil's social experiments work in his favor. Just when he [...]

    • Briynne says:

      I admit that I hadn't even heard of this collection of stories until I was prowling the Fitzgerald section of the public library this weekend. They were interesting, in that they deal with childhood and adolescence, but they didn't have quite the same punch of his novels. However, I'm much more a novel person than a short story person, so that judgment is probably only worth so much. The Basil stories irritated me pretty often. The writing and plots were typically good, but Basil himself drove m [...]

    • Spencer says:

      Though originally published in "The Saturday Evening Post" in 1928-1930, and originally intended to be published as a collection, it was not done so until many years after Fitzgerald's death in 1940. Basil is a thinly disguised FSF, and Josephine is a not so thinly disguised Ginevra King. Fitzgerald admitted as much when he revealed that he was still bleeding from the loss of Ginevra in 1917 when he wrote "This Side of Paradise." She is laced through many of his works. And Ginevra revealed in 19 [...]

    • Andy Miller says:

      Fitzgerald wrote a series of stories for the Saturday Evening Post that traced the growth of young Basil, starting when he was ten and ending when he was a freshman at Yale. A common theme of these stories is his trying too hard to move up the society latter and trying too hard for the unobtainable girl, with him slowly maturing from story to story until he becomes somewhat comfortable in his own skin in the last story He then wrote a similar series featuring Josephine, a beautiful daughter from [...]

    • Clarissa says:

      "Last night in bed I was thinking of the sort of man I really could love, but he'd be different from anybody I've ever met. He'd have to have certain things. He wouldn't necessarily be very handsome, but pleasant looking; and with a good figure, and strong. And he'd have to have some kind of position in the world or else not care whether he had one or not; if you see what I mean. He'd have to be a leader, not just like everybody else. And dignified, but very posh, and with lots of experience, so [...]

    • Alyson says:

      This was a pretty good read. I enjoyed the authenticity of that time period! There are too many movies and television shows that seem to always get this part of history wrong.And I completely disagree with the Introduction-I thought Josephine was a truly interesting character-almost like a pre-Scarlette O'Hara! Basil-which -duh! is Fitzy when he was a kid was kind of bland-like he was painting a rosier picture of himself than in real life. Also the more I read F.S.F the more I realize this man w [...]

    • Lily says:

      For the most part, I really enjoyed these short stories. I'm especially glad I read them before beginning The Great Gatsby, as they seem a natural precursor to the novel. The stories deal mainly with growing up (primarily with childish romance) and with wealth. However, I really could only read one story per day because of the incessant flightiness of Fitzgerald's protagonists that is a key part of his commentary on life for the American wealthy. If I had to choose a favorite story, it would be [...]

    • Dan says:

      In which Fitzgerald fictionalizes his own adolescence. Like his Pat Hobby sequence, these stories are probably a lot more satisyfing collected than they would be separately, even though they were originally published that way. Together, they read as episodes in the characters' lives, and there's less pressure for each story to be self-contained, which they aren't, really.The Basil Lee stories are much better than the Josephine Perry stories. (Fitzgerald, it seems, doesn't know much about female [...]

    • Arthur says:

      A few short stories each about the teenage characters Basil and Josephine. The Basil stores are really fantastic. The final two stories in the Basil series are really poignant and could almost be Salinger stories. The Josephine stories unfortunately are bitter and less carefully written. I've been reading a lot of Fitzgerald short stories recently and unfortunately their quality is uneven. The worst are contrived, and obviously driven by commercial interests. I can recommend the Basil stories as [...]

    • Zack says:

      This collection of short stories (featuring two protagonists—Basil and Josephine) contains some of F. Scott's best writing. While the stories are inconsistent, they brilliantly capture the early years of the 1900s and of (presumably) F. Scott's life. It's a shame he never finished this work and was unable to combine the stories into a single narrative, but for any fan of Fitzgerald it's a definite "must" to read. You will be re-reading certain sentences over and over again and marveling at the [...]

    • Blake Nelson says:

      This is my favorite book in the world and I just re-read it on the plane and I was dumbstruck by how brilliant it is. F. Scott was embarrassed by it because it was about kids which is hilarious because that's where his best stuff usually came from. It is all about this boy and this girl, they each get their separate set of stories. One of them is a stand in for Fitzgerald himself, and the other is a "speed" that's 20s slang for hipster, who is hot and gets with guys a lot. It is a history lesson [...]

    • Ashley Blake says:

      Wrote while he struggled with, in my opinion, his sub-par novel Tender is the Night, Fitzgerald wrote the 9 stories about Basil and 5 stories about Josephine. His character development is rich and real and deeply moving. I favored the Josephine stories, perhaps because I am a woman, but the Basil ones were excellent as well. I highly recommend this look into the young Americans of the 1910's.

    • carltheaker says:

      FSF's popular books and stories reflect the lives of up and coming,or trying to anyway, 20 somethings, just like FSF was when he wrote them.His end of the career Pat Hobby stories record a crashed career 40yr old,just as he was at the time. The Basil & Josephine stories differ in that they look back tohis childhood & adolescent days. Though Basil seems like a confidentof his success 25 yr old, in short pants.

    • Alwa says:

      Kind of interesting how people seem to come down hard for either Basil or Josephine—not both. I'm on Team Basil, as it happens (the Josephine stories are told with a little too much bitterness; sorry some hot little "speed" broke your heart in high school, Scott, but you really do need to get over it). Both are a little too irritating to fully enjoy, which might just mean I'm too close still to my own adolescence.

    • Lily says:

      I finally finished Fitzgerald's short stories!! They were quite amusing and old-timey. I love Fitzgerald's writing style. The plot can a bit boring and predictable from time to time but for the most part they were enjoyable. Also, the ones with Basil were way more fun than the ones with Josephine to be honest.

    • Whitney says:

      It started out strong, but started to become a little repetitive. Not a problem when publishing in the short story format, but as a collection it's better read in sections. The Basil section was much more interesting than the Josephine section, which is too bad because I was looking forward to a good girl coming-of-age story. I guess I'll just have to stick to Ramona Quimby.

    • suzy says:

      I fell in love with the Josephine Stories (screw you, Basil) when I was seventeen, as they ring so true in how silly/awful it is to be a swoony sixteen year old girl, not to mention the gorgeous 1920's Chicago/Lake Geneva backdrop they take place in. I'm currently trying to push them onto my own sixteen-year-old sister as a measure of self-awareness, but she'll have none of it. Of course.

    • Katherine says:

      I enjoyed the Basil stories more than the Josephine ones. I found Josephine to be annoying, childish (I know she's a child, but still), and superficial. But the ending to the Josephine stories was probably the most satisfying thing I will ever read. I actually yelled out in glee.

    • Lydia says:

      I liked the Basil stories better than the Josephine stories. The introduction said that the last story brought Basil and Josephine together, so I was surprised when it (apparently) didn't. The last story had no mention of Basil.

    • Megan Kaeb says:

      I have become a fan of F Scott Fitzgerald this year. I love his writing style and his sense of humor. This collection of stories was okay. I enjoyed the characters more when I started than when I finished and liked reading about Basil more than Josephine.

    • Kieran Evans says:

      Brilliant. I could really relate to Basil, despite being a century and a continent away from him. Whereas I absolutely detested Josephine Perry and Minnie Ermine. Eurgh. I could have thrown either of them into the sea.

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