“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Read by Allen Davis Drake
Produced by Cloud Mountain Studios (2009)
1 Hour 9 Minutes.

Every so often I find myself going back and revisiting a classic, this time around it was a strange set of circumstances to getting this audiobook.  I have always tried to get my son interested in audiobooks and having to compete with the videogames and television the lack of pictures make it hard for me compete.  This time around I lucked out.  We had an upcoming 2 hour drive and I knew I’d have to find the perfect audiobook.  I know what you’re thinking,  if I have a hard time competing with TV and Videogames how is this classic story by F. Scott Fitzgerald going to get his attention.  Well, here’s where it gets funny.  We never saw the movie based on this story starring Brad Pitt, and probably never will but my son and I are fans of a TV show based on Mad Magazine.  “Mad” airs on the Cartoon network and just like the magazine features parodies everything including movies.  There was one skit in which he and I found pretty funny titled “The Curious Case of Benjamin Batman,” in which Batman was aging backwards.

So we had that as a start then a friend sent me an email with a link in which I could download several classic stories in audiobook form.  The choices ranged from “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” to “Treasure Island” to “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” and including this story.  So loving the classics I downloaded all I could.  (After all they were all free, and were professionally produced, not the lower quality found on Librivox and others.)

So with him now curious about the story and the long car trip planned we listened, and we were entertained.

First of all the gist of the story is that Benjamin Button is born a 70 year old man.  His father is embarassed and flabbergasted and at first does not know how to accept this medical curiosity.  The hospital wants Mr. Button to immediately remove the abomination and after buying a suit for his new born son takes him home and life begins at the end for Benjamin Button, having to go to school at the proper age (based on birth) Benjamin is a site in schoolboy shorts at the age of 65.  His life progresses backwards as we follow him to college and then marriage where he falls in love with a 20 year old woman as he appears to be 50.  He then goes off to fight in the French and Indian War and comes back a younger man.

The story is based on a quote from Mark Twain, “Youth is wasted on the Young.” and a conversation between Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) and F. Scott Fitzgerald.  The reader delivered the story with skill, keeping my 10 year old son and myself interested in the story and delivering the comedic scenes with just as much ease as the scenes when trying to be able to live as a married man who is growing apart from his wife due to the reverse aging and the turning over the family business to his son because he is getting too young.

The story is fun and at times and poignant at others and sometimes both.  A great view of the life of man.

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