Wow, the book took my breath away toward the end. And you're unlikely to find a more moving ending anywhere in fiction. The book revolves around Martin Eden's rise from the gutter to literary fame, driven by love (or what he thinks is love). The bitterness of the burgeoning underrated writer is evident throughout. Could have done without the philosophical diatribes but this book is beautiful nevertheless.
This is an interesting tale but unusual for the fact that it doesn't read much like Fitzgerald. The prose style is a bit melodramatic and pulpy. It's fun to read, but not what you might expect if you've read other Fitzgerald stories. It reads as if he was trying to dumb it down. However, still a bit poignant in places.
The story reminded me of a classic by Ballard called Mr F is Mr F - which I think is a better story. In Ballard's version, a man grows backwards, but even beyond regressing to become a a baby, he ends up back in the womb, of his wife!
I want to add the view of someone who is not religious and therefore can cast an unbiased view of this book. Having read parts of it, I can see how some may be offended. However, having said that, I don't think the internet should ever be censored and this book should remain downloadable for anybody who wants it. You may not agree with the book, but the world is full of people with differing opinions and we should respect that. If anything this book teaches us that - that we're all different and see things differently. Live with it. :)
This book is blackly humorous in the same way that Don Quixote is, funny in places. Read this years ago but plan to read it again now I've come across it on this site because as far as I remember it was a compelling, fun, enjoyable book. It's basically about the exciting adventures of the eponymous hero Candide, although it also raises a lot of philosophical questions and that's probably why it's considered an important literary work. Short book that’s worth the read.