Review of West of Sunset from Newsday


New novels reimagine Virginia Woolf, F. Scott Fitzgerald

In O’Nan’s glitzy, tawdry Hollywood, Humphrey Bogart and his tipsy girlfriend turn up as Scott’s neighbors, acerbic Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley are his co-workers. Hemingway visits, a guest of his friend Marlene Dietrich, expounding about his travels in war-torn Spain. While Hemingway’s career flourishes — he sends Scott his new book, “For Whom the Bell Tolls” — Fitzgerald struggles. Dead of a heart attack at 44, he leaves Zelda “haunted with vagrant memories. … The soul aspires to be known,” she writes to Scottie. “Mine will never be again so deeply now that he is gone.”