The case of Benjamin Button is quite curious indeed. Instead of a sweet little 9-lb. baby boy, Mr. and Mrs. Roger Button find themselves the puzzled parents of a wrinkled, bearded 70-year-old man! It's 1860, and the Buttons of ante-bellum Baltimore cannot accept that their baby boy would rather read the Encyclopedia Britannica and smoke Havana cigars than play with his toys.
"Old fellows like me can't learn new tricks." - Roger Button, father
Can you imagine how strange it would feel going through life in reverse? Every life-changing event that Benjamin experiences is backwards - from starting Kindergarten to applying to Yale College ("The idea! A man of your age trying to enter here as a freshman.") to enlisting in the army. On the inside Benjamin feels young, but on the outside he looks as old as Methuselah. F. Scott Fitgerald (author of The Great Gatsby) tells this classic story of unusual ungrowth with wry humor. When Benjamin gets engaged to the lovely young Miss Hildegarde Montcrief of Baltimore, the rumors about the couple's age difference reach scandalous porportions. Ironically, as Benjamin grows younger and younger every year, people still talk about the difference in their ages - only for opposite reasons.
I have never seen the movie The Case of Benjamin Button starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, but I have heard that the film is quite different from the original novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) . That's too bad, because I found the novel, at only 64 pages, a quick and intriguing read.
For more classic literature, try A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry or Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (see links below).