F. Scott Fitzgerald’s All the Sad Young Men was his sixth book. The work was composed of nine short stories that had been published in magazines such as the Saturday Evening Post over the course of the previous year. The work was Fitzgerald’s third short story collection and followed the Great Gatsby in publication on the 26th of February 1926. To most, this book signaled Fitzgerald’s staying power as many of his seniors had believed that his initial success as a writer was lucky. They did not take Fitzgerald seriously as an author. On the whole, critics valued the work and praised some of the stories as the best Fitzgerald had written to date.
The collection of short stories in All the Sad Young Men included: “The Rich Boy,” “Winter Dreams,” “The Baby Party,” “Absolution,” “Rags Martin-Jones and the Pr-nce of W-les,” “The Adjuster,” “Hot and Cold Blood,” “The Sensible Thing,” “Gretchen's Forty Winks.” Of these, “Absolution” was widely considered to be the best as it was an artistic piece as opposed to the ones that the critics claimed Fitzgerald wrote to sell. “Absolution” is a story about an eleven year old boy and a priest; even those who did not like this collection wrote favorably about this story. One critic said of “Absolution,” “Yet, it must be said, immediately, that ‘Absolution’ is a penetrating and profound effort to articulate life in primal and dark conflict. It is simple and stripped of all artifice. The poet and humanist in Fitzgerald is in this counting of the search of a boy and an elderly priest for absolute truth, in the conflicting presence of the demands of daily life with its common everydayness of people and trivial affairs.” ...
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...cal jazz age mold and reached new audiences. Fitzgerald also received the common criticism that he was writing to sell; many critics felt that “Absolution” and “The Rich Boy” with a few others from the selection were the only works of merit.
ed. Bryer, Jackson R. F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Critical Reception. Burt Franklin & Co., Inc. 1978.
http://www.people.vcu.edu/~bmangum/asymcr.html. (This site is not very informative.)