Saturday, January 28, 2012

Review: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Title: The Great Gatsby
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Publisher: My version was published by Scribner.
Publish Date: Originally published 1925
Source: Owned

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • It's a classic. Do you need another reason?
What's the Story?:

From "In 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald announced his decision to write "something new--something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and intricately patterned." That extraordinary, beautiful, intricately patterned, and above all, simple novel became The Great Gatsby, arguably Fitzgerald's finest work and certainly the book for which he is best known. A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author's generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald's--and his country's--most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed, and the promise of new beginnings. "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning--" Gatsby's rise to glory and eventual fall from grace becomes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream.
It's also a love story, of sorts, the narrative of Gatsby's quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan. The pair meet five years before the novel begins, when Daisy is a legendary young Louisville beauty and Gatsby an impoverished officer. They fall in love, but while Gatsby serves overseas, Daisy marries the brutal, bullying, but extremely rich Tom Buchanan. After the war, Gatsby devotes himself blindly to the pursuit of wealth by whatever means--and to the pursuit of Daisy, which amounts to the same thing. "Her voice is full of money," Gatsby says admiringly, in one of the novel's more famous descriptions. His millions made, Gatsby buys a mansion across Long Island Sound from Daisy's patrician East Egg address, throws lavish parties, and waits for her to appear. When she does, events unfold with all the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama, with detached, cynical neighbor Nick Carraway acting as chorus throughout. Spare, elegantly plotted, and written in crystalline prose, The Great Gatsby is as perfectly satisfying as the best kind of poem."

My Two Cents:

The last time that I read this book, I was in high school. This was one of the books that I read in school that I absolutely loved. I was excited when Unputdownables named it as their January Read-along book. It is so hard to get back to reading a book that you've already read. My TBR is massive that I almost feel a little guilty going back and reading some of my old favorites. The read-along gave me a perfect opportunity to read this old favorite!

It's easy to see why this book is a classic. Fitzgerald paints a picture of the roaring 20s. This isn't really a happy book but Fitzgerald does such a fantastic job with writing his characters that you can't help but to be pulled in. The characters are also not all that likable. They're forced together by fate and everyone seems to have their own connection with all of the other characters. This is the sort of book that shows you that you don't have to necessarily like the characters to enjoy the book.

This is definitely a classic that should be on your list!


  1. I haven't read this since high school or maybe junior high. I remeber liking this one too, but I haven't reread it since. I should.. Especially now it's the movie being made!!

    1. I'm really excited for the movie! I love Baz Luhrman's other movies (Moulin Rouge is my fave) and I'm really excited to see what he does with Gatsby.

  2. We've been in Great Gatsby fever in Sydney as much of the filming was done here. I believe Balmain & Mosman folk were able to spot Leo & Joel out for lunch, walking the local streets in between shoots. Love the book, so hope the movie does it justice. I love that your page has an art deco style - goes with this post very nicely!

  3. I love me some F. Scott Fitz! The Great Gatsby is fantastic, but my fave of his is Tender is the Night :)


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