‘The Cut-Glass Bowl’ by F Scott Fitzgerald

This story gets me every time. It’s one of those F Scott Fitzgerald tales about how shiny-looking things are really hard and nasty, and always turn to poison in the end. The action centres on a three-foot wide punch bowl, a malicious, beautiful gift. Written with his characteristic pace and style, it’s a vivid tale of social climbing, alcohol drinking, failing fortunes, and fading charm.

First published in Flappers and Philosophers, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1920. Collected in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Six Other Stories, Penguin Modern Classics, 2008

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