Review of West of Sunset from Entertainment Weekly

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Reviewed by Melissa Maerz

F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of those great American writers whose work is often eclipsed by his own legend. He’s so well-known as a wild-partying alcoholic who squandered his wealth while his wife, Zelda, lived out her days in a mental hospital that critics often quote (and misquote) his most famous line—”there are no second acts in American lives”—as if it described his own final days, when the glow of The Great Gatsby was dimming and he was starting work on The Last Tycoon. There’s a certain romance to the tortured-genius mythology, but Stewart O’Nan makes quick work of dispelling it in this beautifully written historical novel.

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