I used to be a self-proclaimed bookworm a few years ago. I started out with some Goosebump books, sitting against the school radiator as a child and then found myself reaching for dark fantasy novels in my teenage years and now as an adult i enjoy reading a lot of Stephen King novels and hardboiled detective crime books.
Not to become such a hoarder of books and swimming in them anytime soon, i’ve come to realise the efficiency of listening to audiobooks as a way of making things easier and getting back into reading which I love. Although nothing beats having a real book at hand.
My bookshelf is towered high with some of my favourite novels, the Curious Case of Benjamin Button being one of them.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) was an American author of the Jazz age, well- known for his novels such as this one and the great Gatsby.
You may have watched the movie with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, which is loosely based the book but it didn’t necessarily follow the original story of the novel and I didn’t feel it was anything like the novel displays.
Sometimes a novel has that edge of bringing entertainment in writing than what the pictures can show us, the real bittersweet engagement of this particular tale, and Fitzgerald has a charming way of writing just that.
It was on September morning Roger Button rushed to hospital to visit his wife and firstborn. Not realising the shock he would be in. Seeing what seemed like an old man around 70,wrapped up in a crib barely fitting in it. Mr Button cried “am I mad”? “is this some ghastly joke?” A nice way to welcome your first child.
As years went by things got increasingly difficult for the Button family. He had to dye Benjamins hair to remotely look young as possible whilst he went clothes shopping which was an ordeal in itself ” how old did You say that boy of yours was” was amongst the several questions the neighbourhood would ask as this was a very extraordinary situation.
Things at home were far complicated, Roger Button insisted that Benjamin be a baby despite his ‘abnormalities’ of not looking like one, telling him to eat oatmeal, and play with his toys. Benjamin obeyed but it merely bored him to rattle his shaker and eat plain food as he would secretly smoke his fathers cigars and got told off.
At the age of five he went to kindergarten but he kept falling asleep which frightened his teacher so he had to leave.
At the age of 18 Benjamin looked 50 and he tried to register for college but he was quickly asked to leave stating that he was “a dangerous lunatic”. Benjamin was used to being rejected so often by everyone around him who didn’t understand his nature.
As time went by and Benjamin and his father who was 50, now looked compatible as brothers and they went to a fashionable dance where he met his first love- Hilegarde Moncrief.
As they danced she said “you’re the romantic age”..I’ve always said that I’d rather marry a man of fifty and be taken care of than a man of thirty and take care of him“. A haunting feeling that would unknowingly be the case for Benjamin Button.
This novel stretches on after their marriage and Benjamin begins to slowly get younger whilst his wife grew older, making him see things quite differently now.
It is a remarkable story, written beautifully with charm. About a Benjamin working so hard at life to do all the things he hadn’t in reverse. A man realising it’s never too early to do what he wants.