Like the best tabloid fodder, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald possessed great talent, lived large, and eventually flamed out in a most dramatic fashion. This take on the literary It Couple focuses on Zelda, who went from scandalizing her neighbors in Alabama to drinking with Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and Gertrude Stein as part of the 1920s creative elite. Fowler expertly depicts the rapture of the couple’s early love, and later, the bullying and sickness that drove them apart, but she softens Zelda to the point where she seems more like a generic unhappy wife than a renowned firebrand and flapper muse. Still, Z zips along addictively and exposes the dark side of artistic ambition. B+