When Benjamin Button is born, everyone is appalled, for instead of a tiny infant, Benjamin is a grown old man. His parents try to pretend there's nothing wrong, giving him a rattle to play with and dressing him in very large baby clothes. But Benjamin's life is anything but normal. In The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, F. Scott Fitzgerald tells us the story of Benjamin's life as he progresses from old man through adulthood and childhood, until he ends his life as an infant.
I decided to read The Curious Case of Benjamin Button because I was bored on a road trip and found it on my BlackBerry. It was only 93 BlackBerry-sized pages, so it's a very short story. I really enjoyed it. The beginning of the version I read states: "This story was inspired by a remark of Mark Twain's to the effect that it was a pity that the best part of life came at the beginning and the worst part at the end." I thought this was a very interesting comment, and I found the story to be quite thought-provoking.
There were definitely benefits to Benjamin living his life backwards. He had much more knowledge as a child and more energy and vitality as he got older. The idea of ending life as an infant without a care in the world is a pleasant idea as well. But the reactions of other people to him, particularly his father and his son were sad. And he faced many challenges as he lived life in a completely different direction than everyone else.
I really enjoyed this story and am determined to read more of Fitzgerald's work in the future. I also wonder, now, how the movie compares to the book. I may need to check it out sometime.
My Rating: 5/5
Reading group guide and discussion questions for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
This review was written based on a copy of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button that I purchased.