Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Great Gatsby

Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Great Gatsby

Sarah Churchwell / Nov 18, 2019

Careless People Murder Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby Tracing the genesis of a masterpiece a Fitzgerald scholar follows the novelist as he begins work on The Great Gatsby The autumn of found F Scott Fitzgerald at the height of his fame days from t

  • Title: Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Great Gatsby
  • Author: Sarah Churchwell
  • ISBN: 9781594204746
  • Page: 309
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Tracing the genesis of a masterpiece, a Fitzgerald scholar follows the novelist as he begins work on The Great Gatsby The autumn of 1922 found F Scott Fitzgerald at the height of his fame, days from turning twenty six years old, and returning to New York for the publication of his fourth book, Tales of the Jazz Age A spokesman for America s carefree younger generationTracing the genesis of a masterpiece, a Fitzgerald scholar follows the novelist as he begins work on The Great Gatsby The autumn of 1922 found F Scott Fitzgerald at the height of his fame, days from turning twenty six years old, and returning to New York for the publication of his fourth book, Tales of the Jazz Age A spokesman for America s carefree younger generation, Fitzgerald found a home in the glamorous and reckless streets of New York Here, in the final incredible months of 1922, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald drank and quarreled and partied amid financial scandals, literary milestones, car crashes, and celebrity disgraces Yet the Fitzgeralds triumphant return to New York coincided with another event the discovery of a brutal double murder in nearby New Jersey, a crime made all the horrible by the farce of a police investigation which failed to accomplish anything beyond generating enormous publicity for the newfound celebrity participants Proclaimed the crime of the decade even as its proceedings dragged on for years, the Mills Hall murder has been wholly forgotten today But the enormous impact of this bizarre crime can still be felt in The Great Gatsby, a novel Fitzgerald began planning that autumn of 1922 and whose plot he ultimately set within that fateful year.Careless People is a unique literary investigation a gripping double narrative that combines a forensic search for clues to an unsolved crime and a quest for the roots of America s best loved novel Overturning much of the received wisdom of the period, Careless People blends biography and history with lost newspaper accounts, letters, and newly discovered archival materials With great wit and insight, acclaimed scholar of American literature Sarah Churchwell reconstructs the events of that pivotal autumn, revealing in the process new ways of thinking about Fitzgerald s masterpiece Interweaving the biographical story of the Fitzgeralds with the unfolding investigation into the murder of Hall and Mills, Careless People is a thrilling combination of literary history and murder mystery, a mesmerizing journey into the dark heart of Jazz Age America.

    Careless People Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Jun , Careless People Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Great Gatsby by Sarah Churchwell is a Penguin Press publication This book was promoted, via a recent newsletter I subscribe to, as a True Crime must read. Careless People Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Interweaving the biographical story of the Fitzgeralds with the unfolding investigation into the murder of Hall and Mills, Careless People is a thrilling combination of literary history and murder mystery, a mesmerizing journey into the dark heart of Jazz Age America. Careless People Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Interweaving the biographical story of the Fitzgeralds with the unfolding investigation into the murder of Hall and Mills, Careless People is a thrilling combination of literary history and murder mystery, a mesmerizing journey into the dark heart of Jazz Age America. Careless People Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Careless People Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby by Sarah Churchwell review The old money had their grand summer houses on the other side of Manhasset Bay, at Sands Point East Egg in the novel, where Tom and Daisy Buchanan s white palace sits, with its dock and famous green light, shining across the bay. Careless People Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The CARELESS PEOPLE is a unique literary investigation a gripping double narrative that combines a forensic search for clues to an unsolved crime and a quest for the roots of Careless People by Sarah Churchwell PenguinRandomHouse About Careless People Interweaving the biographical story of the Fitzgeralds with the unfolding investigation into the murder of Hall and Mills, Careless People is a thrilling combination of literary history and murder mystery, a mesmerizing journey into the dark heart of Jazz Age America. Book World Careless People Murder, Mayhem and the Careless People Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Great Gatsby, by Sarah Churchwell Penguin Churchwell finds plenty of suggestive resonances with Gatsby in this sensational tale. Careless People links murder to Great USA TODAY Mar , Careless People links murder to Great Gatsby Of course, both the real life case and the novel share the aspect of infidelity ending in tragedy She also writes in detail about the remarkable year of a time of American exuberance, glamour and gaudy parties It had been a tough, unproductive year for Fitzgerald, however. Careless People Murder Mayhem and the Invention of The Sep , Unlimited recording storage space Live TV from channels No cable box required Cancel anytime. Careless People Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Feb , You can listen to the full audiobook Careless People Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Great Gatsby for free at audibay Format Unabridged Writte

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    1. Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Great Gatsby by Sarah Churchwell is a 2014 Penguin Press publication. This book was promoted, via a recent newsletter I subscribe to, as a ‘True Crime’ must read. So, after reading the synopsis, I checked it out of the library. How was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” connected to a double homicide in the 1920’s? The Mills- Hall murders in New Jersey, committed in 1922 was touted as the crime of the decade. An Episcopa [...]


    2. I've gotta say I ate this book up. As a fan of Scott Fitzgerald and his seemingly unfilmable masterpiece, The Great Gatsby, I couldn't get enough of this account of its creation. It opens in the autumn of 1922 when Fizgerald and his wife Zelda return to New York from the midwest after the birth of their daughter, Scotty (who they leave behind for a full twelve months!), and conjectures initially on the influences on the young author during the year in which he set his greatest novel, though he w [...]


    3. Since the publication of The Great Gatsby in 1925, it has been talked and talked about. Some people were forced to read it in high school, some hate it and others love it. No matter what you think about the book you can’t deny its significance. Careless People looks at The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald and what was happening during the Jazz era. More specifically the months when this classic too place.I loved The Great Gatsby, the first time I read it I got little out of it (see review) bu [...]


    4. 3.5. The nineteen twenties were a very interesting period in history and what made Fitzgerald so fascinating is that his novels documented this period, the Jazz age, perfectly. A fascinating look at this time, of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, their opulent lifestyle, his struggles to keep writing amidst the constant partying and drinking. Churchwell does a wonderful job bringing this period to light as well as showing the reader a couple in constant flux. Their is a double thread to this book, as [...]


    5. "The Great Gatsby" was first published in 1925, but Fitzgerald set the novel in 1922, when he and Zelda returned to New York. Fitzgerald was planning his new novel and he wanted to do something different - it would take him two years to finish Gatsby and, in a way, this is a biography of a novel. For, in this book, the author cleverly takes us through the time that Scott and Zelda spent in New York - the events that influenced him and the eighteen months he spent in Great Neck, just outside the [...]


    6. I had to give up with this one in the end. I tried several times to reconnect with the thread of this book, and while it was interesting reading about the unsolved double murder that occured in 1922 that Fitzgerald may have referenced while writing 'The Great Gatsby', and the insanely selfish and giroscopic existance of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald that definetly DID get included in the same novel, but it was so chop and change I lost my connection with the book after just over 200 pages.Frankly - [...]


    7. I picked up this book because I avidly admire the writing of Fitzgerald in his American anthem, "The Great Gatsby." Henry Miller once advised that he only found his voice after becoming annihilated in New York and Paris, and began to write unabashedly about his own life in a deeper, mindful way. Fitzgerald's "Gatsby" is about his own life, nearly entirely with fictional proxies for the people he knew and most of all, Zelda. They were a fascinating couple from the outset living among the "top 1%" [...]


    8. carelesspeople2Following my recent re-read of The Great Gatsby this newly published book – which is really the biography of that novel – was crying out to me. I have been spectacularly bad at reading non-fiction this year – even worse than I usually am. However I found this book to be totally compelling, well written, superbly well researched and I thoroughly enjoyed it.In Careless People Sarah Churchwell makes a detailed examination particularly of the autumn of 1922 – what was happenin [...]


    9. Thought it was good, but got a little bogged down in the middle. Most startling part was Fitzgerald's last royalty check: $7.12 No wonder he drank!


    10. I love The Great Gatsby and have read it many times over the years, so the title of this book grabbed me immediately. I expected from this that the whole book would focus on the composition of 'Gatsby', but this isn't really the case. It's more of a mini-biography of Scott Fitzgerald, confusingly inter-cut with details of a murder case which appears to have little relevance to him or his book. I think the Hall-Mills case is interesting in its own right, and I'd like to read a book about it, but [...]


    11. If you love "The Great Gatsby" - and what right thinking person doesn’t? - then you will almost certainly love "Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby" by Sarah Churchwell.Beautifully written, Sarah Churchwell skilfully illuminates the lives and times of Scott and Zelda, and Scott's creative process. A beguiling mix of biography, history, letters, headlines from the era, including the then infamous Hall and Mills murder case, mixed together to create a wonderful [...]


    12. Slow reading but absolutely fascinating. I wish I had read this before I read Gatsby so many years ago. (Of course, it wasn't written then.) Interesting the interplay between the Hall-Mills murder, the sociology of the time, and Fitzgerald's writing. And my favorite part: In 1923, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote a short story that he developed into a play, a political satire about a man who dreams of being a postman but is nagged by his wife to be something more. He meets a bootlegger and drinks some [...]


    13. The attempt to link Fitzgerald’s creation of Gatsby to the sensational 1922 Hall-Mills murder case, as well as classics such as The Satyricon, pointless lists of Jazz Age slang, familiar Scott-Zelda anecdotes and so forth results in a hodge-podge that is neither enlightening nor interesting. I confess to not being an admirer of the overrated Gatsby,much less his author. Churchill dolls up her tale with every 20’s reference she can think of: Wall Street, Long Island society, the Guggenheim ma [...]


    14. This scholarly book makes intriguing new connections between the people and personalities from Fitzgerald's booze-fuelled milieu and the cast of characters who inhabit his work.From a time of loose morals and abundant excess there are episodes that, even today, would create scandal. Fitz's wife Zelda strips off in public at the drop of a hat, dances naked on nightclub tables, chases the teenage brother of a party host upstairs for sex - it's outrageous and it’s a tabloid dream.There's so much [...]


    15. ★★★ 1\2.Churchwell's book takes its title from one of The Great Gatsby's Nick Carraway's lines when he referred to his cousin Daisy and her husband, Tom Buchanan, as "careless people". They blithely sail through life, causing disaster right and left and leaving others to pick up the pieces. She alternates discussions about the book Gatsby, the Fitzgeralds, and a popular murder case of 1922, the Hall-Mills murders - a rector and his married lady friend having a lover's tryst. This was appar [...]


    16. Jazz-Age New York dazzles in this tour through F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald’s lives and the inspirations behind The Great Gatsby. It’s an essential guide to understanding that master work of “nostalgic glamour: lost hope, lost possibility, lost paradise.” The best chapters zoom in on Gatsby’s setting, September-December 1922, which also saw the Fitzgeralds’ return to New York from the Midwest. The nation was gripped by the Hall-Mills case, an unsolved double murder that undoubtedly [...]


    17. Well-researched but badly written and poorly organized. Sentences like this one abound: "Past the ash heaps, looming like a corner of the Inferno beside Long Island Rail Road, emerging from the clinging grime, through the dry, fallow fields dotted with occasional white-frame Victorian farmhouses, past the outpost of an isolated garage planted along the side of the two-lane road, a red gas pump sprouting in front of it, they drove four miles north of where Charles Cary Rumsey had been killed in a [...]


    18. Churchill takes the lives of F.Scott Fitzgerald and wife Zelda, the writing of the classic The Great Gatsby and the new Jersey murder that took the nation by storm. For fans of the 1920's and The Great Gatsby . Well written!


    19. I continue to overestimate my enthusiasm for 1920s, most likely due to my SO's fascination with that era. But my enthusiasm for The Great Gatsby is genuine, it is a bonafide great American novel. And not of the jingoistic blindly patriotic variety either, but an intelligent well crafted study of the Emersonian dream of a self made man crash and burn against the carelessness of the blatantly wealthy. Last line of GatsbySo we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past [...]


    20. F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Jazz Age and the Invention of The Great GatsbyCareless People is a well researched look at the jazz age as experienced by Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and their contemporaries. The author theorizes that the events and people Fitzgerald experienced in 1922 and beyond, before the publication of the book in 1925, shaped the plot and characters. In particular, the author thinks the Hall – Mills unsolved double murder was the basis for the murder in Gatsby. The book also deta [...]


    21. 3.75 stars. Overall a fairly decent look into the Jazz Age and the works and life of F. Scott Fitzgerald. The book is well researched, with the social and historical implications of the period covered in interesting detail.This book is also a work of literary criticism, and as such reviews of his books, symbols and themes are given meaning beyond mere words. However, the meanings are up for criticism, depending on your skill with symbology (I'm a dunce there) and your awareness of Fitzgerald's l [...]


    22. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald were a fascinating couple, and the nineteen-twenties a fascinating time. This book really brought to life the spirit of the world in which they were living and the ways in which their lives mirrored the exhilaration and the tragedy of Jay Gatsby's story. The book appears to be very well-researched with regard to the Fitzgeralds and The Great Gatsby, providing many excerpts from letters and journals that helped to make the subjects feel very real. At times, however, I f [...]



    23. Evocative. About Fitzgerald, about the novel, about the times. Churchwell weaves throughout the book the story of unsolved (and poorly investigated, to say the least) murders that happened in 1922. Without oversimplifying the relationship, Churchwell shows how the murders are part of what Fitzgerald absorbed and used in the writing of the Great Gatsby. If you love the novel, as I do, or love the time period, you'll probably like this book.


    24. It's interesting, it's long, it would work remarkably well read in conjunction with, or immediately after reading The Great Gatsby - but it just didn't pull me in. I wanted to read it so I slogged through the whole thing and there were some very interesting facts; your 'take' on the Gatsby will change once you realize how much of it is adapted from current events and people and places he knew. Just a bit dry, almost read like an extended book report.


    25. This book gives the history of the year 1922, the year in which F. Scott Fitzgerald set his masterpiece, The Great Gatsby. It was quite interesting to read both about the news items and social activities of that year, and also about what Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald were doing in their personal lives. The book provides an interesting companion to Gatsby.


    26. Look, I grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, and I went to the same high school that F. Scott Fitzgerald went to (until he was kicked out and went out east for his education, that is). Hell, I was in a play that our high school put on for a Fitzgerald Convention that came to town back in the day. So I grew up in an environment that had a lot of feelings about Fitzgerald. But oddly enough, I didn't read THE GREAT GATSBY until a couple years ago, which is good because I could just enjoy it on my own wi [...]


    27. I enjoyed the book for the detailed analysis of The Great Gatsby, even though I began to realize about a quarter into the book that I would have done well to reread TGG before starting this book. The details of Scott and Zelda's early years together continue to enchant and/or shock. The parties! The glitter and the glamour! The speakeasys ! The author did a good job of uncovering some new information from the Fitzgeralds' clipping book (or at least, it was presented as new - I am not enough of a [...]


    28. This is an interesting read but it's perhaps trying to do too many things at once which serve to detract from, rather than strengthen, its import and impact. Churchwell is writing a biography of the Fitzgeralds, especially during the year of 1922 when the Great Gatsby was set, even though it wasn't written and completed until a few years later. She is also offering interpretations and readings of the novel itself, alongside contextual information on e.g. prohibition, the gangster-crooks who buil [...]


    29. Imagine Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald reading the morning newspaper while nursing their hangovers, and discussing the sordid murder of a pastor and his parishioner. See how Scott sharpens his capacities to exist both “within and without” of his life–judging others and himself for their behavior, but powerless or unwilling to stop it. Experience the delicious words of Zelda adding color to the text and settling into the subconscious of her husband. Understand the fascinating workings of a nati [...]


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