Book Review: Save Me the Waltz

People who know me well know that I love F. Scott Fitzgerald. I’m one of those people who say that The Great Gatsby is one of their favorite books because it really is. At some point over the past year or so, Amazon had a deal where customers could buy the Kindle edition of Save Me the Waltz: A Novel, the only book that Zelda Sayres Fitzgerald ever wrote, for $1.99. I bought it because I’m curious about Zelda. What was she like?

Today, I finally took a few hours of my day and read the book. To be honest, it was what I expected. It isn’t brilliant, and it doesn’t always make sense. But it is interesting. It’s definitely at least partially autobiographical, and it’s very interesting to see her perspective on her marriage. But overall, it’s not as good as anything her husband wrote, and I wouldn’t go reading it again.

It wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, but man alive, that book was not good. At times, I felt that Fitzgerald was just trying to prove that she could write at the same level as her husband and his (their?) friends. She uses language that is too highbrow or too intellectual for the story that she’s telling. And she doesn’t fully develop her characters. I didn’t feel terribly connected to her heroine, Alabama Beggs-Knight, or any of the other characters. I cared enough to want to know what would happen to Alabama, but I didn’t care enough to wish Alabama well. I didn’t care whether or not she was happy, and I probably would have wanted to hit her if I’d known her in real life. Overall, I just didn’t think it was a great book. I found it to be largely mediocre. I think it’s one of those books that I only read so that I could say that I’ve read it.

I will admit that it did help me understand Zelda a little more. It did show me how she viewed her husband, and that was interesting. But overall, it just wasn’t worthwhile to me.

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