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West of Sunset (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

"I had so much fun reading this novel. I love reading about the lives of writers and O'Nan does a terrific job fictionalizing F. Scott Fitzgerald's final days. His vision of 1930s Hollywood, where Fitzgerald is neighbors with Humphrey Bogart and eats lunch in the same cafeteria as Spencer Tracy, is addictive reading. The dancing! The premieres! The stars! It's a Hollywood of a long gone era, glitzy and gilded, pure joy to experience on the page. This novel gives us a writer hanging between past and present, struggling to stay afloat, writing to save himself. O'Nan's pacing and dialogue are dynamite. Those of us who remember that made-for-cable movie starring Jeremy Irons as Fitzgerald and Neve Campbell as his final secretary, Frances, will be absolutely delighted by this story."

— Julie W.

January 2015 Indie Next List

“This novel begins after F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda have streaked across the Jazz Age sky like bright, shiny shooting stars. Scott is in Hollywood working as a script doctor and shakily holding on to sobriety; Zelda is in a mental hospital clinging to sanity just as tenuously. Unaccustomed to the workaday world, Scott struggles to prove his worth in Hollywood by showing up to work on time, paying his bills, and living a life of quiet desperation. Gone are the days of wine and roses; Scott must now learn to live as if there is a tomorrow. O'Nan offers a subtle portrait of an American icon as an ordinary man attempting to redefine himself after nearly losing it all.”
— Kerry Spaulding, University Book Store, Mill Creek, WA


A "mesmerizing and haunting" (The Boston Globe) novel of F. Scott Fitzgerald's last years in Hollywood

Look out for City of Secrets coming from Viking on April 26, 2016

In 1937, F. Scott Fitzgerald was a troubled, uncertain man whose literary success was long over. In poor health, with his wife consigned to an asylum and his finances in ruin, he struggled to make a new start as a screenwriter in Hollywood.

Those last three years of Fitzgerald's life are the focus of Stewart O'Nan's graceful and elegiac novel West of Sunset. With flashbacks to Fitzgerald's glamorous Jazz Age past, the story follows him as he arrives on the MGM lot, falls in love with brassy gossip columnist Sheilah Graham, begins work on The Last Tycoon, and tries to maintain a semblance of family life with the absent Zelda and their daughter, Scottie. The Golden Age of Hollywood is brought vividly to life through the novel's romantic cast of characters, from Dorothy Parker and Ernest Hemingway to Humphrey Bogart. Written with striking grace and subtlety, this is a wise and intimate portrait of a man trying his best to hold together a world that's flying apart.

About the Author

Stewart O'Nan is the author of fourteen previous novels. He was born and lives with his family in Pittsburgh.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780143128243
ISBN-10: 0143128248
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: December 29th, 2015
Pages: 304
Language: English