By Michael Langan
News Book Reviewer
“West of Sunset” calls to mind the famous Hollywood boulevard. It also clarifies a brilliant writing life become brittle and bogus. It’s a biographical novel of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s (1896–1940) last three years. In it, Fitzgerald is in free-fall decline, fighting his addictions as he goes down hard.
The book begins in 1937, with Fitzgerald back in Hollywood for a third time. Sick, out of energy and funds, his wife Zelda in an asylum, their daughter Scottie away at school, he is struggling to make a new start as a screenwriter.
This is the starting point of American writer Stewart O’Nan’s 14th novel, and it’s a terrific read.