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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

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Published: 1922
Language: English
Wordcount: 9,158 / 3 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 121.2
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 77,662
Added to site: 2008.06.21 21306
Genre: Short Story

A man, "born under unusual circumstances," ages backwards, through a life that is as unusual as could be.

Show Excerpt

ople who were unfailingly polite racked their brains for compliments to give to the parents--and finally hit upon the ingenious device of declaring that the baby resembled his grandfather, a fact which, due to the standard state of decay common to all men of seventy, could not be denied. Mr. and Mrs. Roger Button were not pleased, and Benjamin's grandfather was furiously insulted.

Benjamin, once he left the hospital, took life as he found it. Several small boys were brought to see him, and he spent a stiff-jointed afternoon trying to work up an interest in tops and marbles--he even managed, quite accidentally, to break a kitchen window with a stone from a sling shot, a feat which secretly delighted his father.

Thereafter Benjamin contrived to break something every day, but he did these things only because they were expected of him, and because he was by nature obliging.

When his grandfather's initial antagonism wore off, Benjamin and that gentleman took enormous pleasure in one another's

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 3.9 from 16 reviews: ****
Henry L. Ratliff

(1922) Short Story / Fantasy / Humor / Satire
First published in Colliers Magazine in May 1922.

R: * * * * *

Plot bullets

  • Benjamin comes into this world, not a a crying infant, but as an alert 70 year old man.

  • The problems of coping with this situation is only overshadowed by his regression to an infant over time.

  • Stranger and stranger becomes this: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

The 2008 movie of the same name is loosely
based on this story.


Really enjoyed this story. I hated the movie but the story was really good :)You should definitely read it!

Andrew Ives

Although there is a romantic fairy tale mood to this story, the premise is such an absurd one that even Fitzgerald's great writing ability cannot redeem it. It reminded me of the latter unbearably-stupid episodes of Mork & Mindy when Mork's son grew younger. Being full of bad proof-reading mistakes didn't help me enjoy it any the more either.

angel parmar





Complete waste of my time.


A wonderful ,very ironic story about how sad a life could be for you and your family if you are not like everybody else....I think it shows that mostly we pay attention on how the one looks and ignore everything else.
I recommend it from the bottom of my heart...


Good story ,


The best part of this story for me is the humor. I think I will appreciate this story even more when I am older.


A very weird but interesting story... The one you should just read for fun...


its a perfect story i even hear . its ful of great immotion.and it could be charmed the reader.


This is a great short story. It only took me a day to read it, but throughout the day I kept reaching for my mobile to pick up where I left off.

I haven't seen the movie, but it has also been recommended to me... I wonder if it portrays Fitzgerald's work well or at all....


This is well written and the story really flowed well.


Humourus and amazing story that gives you a wonderful lesson about life. Neves is too late or too old for do something you want. Highly recommended.


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!


Fantasy short story about a most unusual baby.



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Howard Reiss
Howard Reiss an especially gifted storyteller with a knack for creating fully developed characters and original storylines. He recently published his 6th novel, The Texture of Love. The Old Drive-In, Howard Reiss’ fifth novel, is a nostalgic reflection on what could have been. As our Author of the Day, Reiss tells us more about this book and what it took to write it.
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