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Save Me The Waltz (Vintage Classics) [Paperback]

Zelda Fitzgerald
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

2 Aug 2001 Vintage Classics

'Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.'

One of the great literary curios of the twentieth century Save Me the Waltz is the first and only novel by the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald. During the years when Fitzgerald was working on Tender is the Night, Zelda Fitzgerald was preparing her own story, which strangely parallels the narrative of her husband, throwing a fascinating light on Scott Fitzgerald's life and work. In its own right, it is a vivid and moving story: the confessional of a famous glamour girl of the affluent 1920s and an aspiring ballerina which captures the spirit of an era.

Frequently Bought Together

Save Me The Waltz (Vintage Classics) + Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F.Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald + The Beautiful and Damned (Collins Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics; New Ed edition (2 Aug 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099286556
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099286554
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 87,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Save Me the Waltz is worth reading partly because anything that illuminates the career of F. Scott Fitzgerald is worth reading-and because it is the only published novel of a brave and talented woman who is remembered for her defeats" (Matthew Bruccoli Some Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald)

"Some of her sentences are so bittersweetly delicious I could eat them" (Jessica Whiteley Stylist)

"A strangely evocative novel, episodic in structure, painterly in its description, almost hallucinatory in overall effect" (New York Times)

Book Description

Zelda Fitzgerald was the 'first American Flapper' and this is her thinly veiled autobiography.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the Fitzerald fans 2 Jun 2011
I believe that the book itself should not be read as a standalone, but as a piece of the Fitzerald's life. In itself is hard to read, especially the first part of the book, which is utterly chaotic and hard to follow. Ideas, characters and events are crowding to get a piece of the reader. But, in the second half you can enjoy the language, metaphors and all the beauty of Zelda's mind.

I read this after finishing all of Scott's novels and the love letters between the couple. And I feel it was the right order to do it, because it gives a very interesting view from the other side (Zelda's) of what was happening between them. While reading it I had in mind that she was hospitalized in a mental institution while writing it, so, in a way you can feel her emotions in the book, even if those had been altered by modification before the publishing.

My real regret is that she didn't write more, and that she was not sane when she did...
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who would dare to edit her? 15 Jun 2009
Before I read this book, I only knew two things about Zelda: she was married to F Scott Fitzgerald, and she spent years in a mental home. So it was quite a surprise to see just what a brilliant and funny woman she was.
In her novel, "Save Me the Waltz", she writes with a hasty, confused style. She lingers over descriptions of flowers, then scurries past the key facts with barely a glance. She stuffs sentences with two, three, or even four metaphors at a go. It's a kind of literary bulimia. She loves to take a phrase and then reverse it to see what comes out. She invents words that we can sort of decipher from their roots or their context. She animates the inanimate so that cities, clouds, roads and trains all act consciously in her universe. For example, she tells us that "the sun... bruised itself on the clotted cotton fields". And yet there is something incredibly new and vital about her style. Its a frantic journey to pretty much nowhere in the end, but there is something wonderful about clinging on to her imagination for the ride. What this book seems to lack is any editing - but we can read her character through its lines, and it is quite likely that editing her would be tough.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
The parallel source of this book with her husband's "Tender is the Night" fades as the characters and plot unfolds. There is indeed interest in comparing the two, but Zelda displays her own style, passions and perceptions. There is a yearning and desperation in the main character, that provides both strength and pathos. This is a rewarding read, being both timeless in its themes, yet rooted scenically in its own age.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Documentary interest only. 15 Feb 2014
By Ryan Williams VINE VOICE
'Under separate cover, as I believe is the professional phraseology, I have mailed you my first novel. Scott [Fitzgerald] being absorbed in his own has not seen it, so I am completely in the dark as to its possible merits. If the thing is too wild for your purposes, might I ask what you suggest?'

Zelda Fitzgerald, in a letter to Maxwell Perkins, March 1932

Written in six weeks while its author was a resident of John Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, Save Me the Waltz is one of those books that has all the right components, but stalls almost immediately.

Despite the brief time it took to write and Scott's connections to Scribners, the novel led a less than charmed life. Scott wanted alterations. Some were points of copyright (Zelda used the name of 'Amory Blaine' for a character - Scott's hero in This Side of Paradise). Others were points of craft (the middle section sagged, and needed extensive revision). Others seem deeply hypocritical, considering how thoroughly Scott had looted their marriage for material in the past. Once published, the novel tanked: a mere 1,380 copies, earning Zelda $120.73, after deducting the costs for extensive proof corrections.

Rightly, too. Switch off hindsight, and it's hard to imagine writing like this avoiding the slush pile:

'They ordered Veronese pastry on lawns like lace curtains at Versailles and chicken and hazelnuts at Fountainbleu where the woods wore powdered wigs. Discs of umbrella poured over suburban terraces with the smooth round ebullience of a Chopin waltz. They sat in the distance under the lugubrious dripping elms, elms like maps of Europe, elms frayed at the end like bits of chartreuse wool, elms heavy and bunchy as sour grapes.
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