Short Story #287: The Lost Decade by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Title:  The Lost Decade

Author:  F. Scott Fitzgerald


Photo of F Scott Fitzgerald. Image source: Brown works odd jobs at a newspaper.  One day, he is directed to take Louis Trimble out to lunch.  The editor explains that Trimble has been away for nearly a decade.  Brown is instructed to take him to 21.  Trimble attempts to decline the invitation but the editor insists.  Brown begins to inquire about Trimble's past.  He explains that he was last present when they had begun the Empire State Building.  Brown keeps trying to get him to reveal where he has been but Trimble doesn't give it away directly.  When asked if he's been out of civilization for a while, Trimble says he has in sense, which makes Brown wonder if he was in prison or an asylum.  They arrive at 21 and Trimble says he remembers when that name became famous.  He suggests they try some other place.  Brown continues to guess at Trimble's background and current needs.  Through the discussion, Trimble reveals that he went to Massachusetts Tech.  When asked what he wants to see the most, Trimble answers with mundane things.  Brown begins to piece it together and Trimble eventually reveals that he was the architect of the Armistead Building, erected in 1928.  The realization final comes that Trimble had spent the intervening years entirely drunk and now, sober, wants to see the world anew.  


The story is a bit understated compared with his other tales that focus on the 1920s and 1930s.  But I think in some ways, it makes it more powerful.  We see the peak of Trimble's possibility in the Armistead Building but are much more focused on his aftermath as he tries to reclaim all the he has lost in the interim.  

Short Story #287 out of 365
Rating:  4 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read:  10/1/2014
Source:  You can read the full short story at this website.  

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.

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