This is an enjoyable collection of short stories that Fitzgerald wrote for Esquire near the end of his short life (44 years). These stories read quickly — I enjoyed reading 2 to 4 each night, which meant I finished it in five nights.
Pat Hobby, the protagonist miserable of these stories, is a 49 year old hack for a movie company. Once he was something special in Hollywood, a successful screen writer with a home and a swimming pool.
Now, three divorces later, he is a drunk who hangs about the studio and begs for script work. One wants to feel sorry for Hobby, but inevitably he does something that leaves one dismayed. Like many alcoholics and self-defeatists, Hobby blows one opportunity after another.
He’s a classic of many character types — the self-pitying drunk, the aging man who has convinced he has nothing left to live for….
The man-child whose dreams seldom go higher than gambling and girls….
The guy who tells everyone that he is a writer but really isn’t….
A pitiable creature.