Skip to main content


January 12, 2009

Reading Aloud: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Posted by carol
It is fitting that I am writing this blog as I watch the Golden Globe Awards since the idea for it came from a movie. Over the holidays we went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which I just loved. There was something about the story that grabbed me right from the opening. It was clever, and I thought the execution was quite wonderful. There are stories that just strike a chord with me, and this was one of them.

I knew from our Books Into Movies feature on that it was loosely based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Thus the next day we went to Island Books on the Outer Banks to pick up a copy of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Jazz Age Stories so we could do our own exploration of the story. While we had seen a book with just this story in it we decided that we wanted to get the version noted above that had a number of Fitzgerald's stories in it. (Whenever I read something by Fitzgerald I am reminded of the letter I got at a few years ago asking me if my husband was F. Scott Fitzgerald, a note that stayed up on my bulletin board for a long time since it always made me laugh.)

Instead of us each reading the story to ourselves, Cory, my younger son, ended up reading it aloud at the dinner table over the course of two evenings. (In a funny aside, the first night he did not eat dinner confessing to having eaten so many snacks all day that he had no appetite.) He's turning 14 in a few weeks so it's been a long time since there has been any reading aloud going on at our house. Thus this was a nice change of pace. He read with great animation and clearly was into sharing the story with us like this. While I am not a fan of audiobooks and always see myself as more of a visual learner than an auditory one, I enjoyed this experience.

It made me think that it might be nice at book club events for an animated reader to take on reading a page or so from the selected book, or even from the next month's upcoming title. There is an art to reading aloud, and it's not well done by everyone. I know since there are some authors who have not charmed me by their readings at store and book fair events. But there also have been some wonderful moments when an author has taken me someplace special reading their own words when they were a gifted read-aloud reader.

One more note. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button screenplay was written by the same man who wrote Forrest Gump, Eric Roth. On the car ride home Cory gave us a number of parallels between the two movies (Forrest Gump is one of his favorite films), which was quite fun. If you see the movie and know Gump see how many similiarities you note.

Good reading...good viewing....