The 100 best novels: No 51 – The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925). When Fitzgerald died in Los Angeles, from a heart attack, aged just 44, his publisher's warehouse still held copies of the first edition. There was, as Fitzgerald had predicted, no second act in this American life. Just immortality. The Great Gatsby, in short, becomes a tantalising metaphor for the eternal mystery of art. Hemingway wrote: "I did not know the terrible odds that were against him. We were to find out soon enough." The reviews were not as bad as people claim, and the sale of 20,000 copies was above average. Eliot, for one, was full of praise, but the novel did not match the expectations inspired by Fitzgerald's celebrity. Thereafter, Scott and Zelda's lives began to unravel. She had a breakdown and would end up in an asylum. He went to Hollywood to reverse his fortunes, completed Tender is the Night, and sold some confessional Esquire pieces, later published as The Crack-Up. "My God," he wrote to Zelda, "I am a forgotten man." Source: www.theguardian.com
F. Scott Fitzgerald, originally assigned to write the picture, was dismissed in a humiliating scene in front of the Hanover Inn during the 1939 Carnival. Budd Schulberg was also fired off "Winter Carnival" with Fitzgerald. It all started with two bottles of champagne that Budd's father, B.P. Schulberg, the former head of Paramount, had given to Budd and Fitzgerald as a bon voyage gift at the train station in Los Angeles as they headed east to Dartmouth. Schulberg did not know that Fitzgerald was a struggling alcoholic.