“There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby is a 1925 novel written by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald that follows a cast of characters living in the fictional town on prosperous Long Island in the summer of 1922. The story primarily concerns the young and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his obsession for Daisy Buchanan.The Great Gatsby is said to create a portrait of the Jazz Age or the Roaring Twenties and it has been described as a cautionary tale regarding the American Dream.

I finished listening to Great Gatsby in June. I’m happy to have listened because it almost felt like I was in theater. Re-reading the book for this review has been going better because of that too.

Opening line. It was great. Plot wise there wasn’t much going on, I think Fitzgerald was more concentrated on building the characters and I think he succeeded well in that. There are three important characters in this book: Jay Gatsby, Nick Carraway and Daisy Buchanan. Nick Carraway has a singular place within The Great Gatsby, he is both narrator and participant in the story. In some sense, Nick is also Fitzgerald’s Everyman. He comes from “some money” but he’s not that wealthy.

“You see I usually find myself among strangers because I drift here and there trying to forget the sad things that happened to me.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Then novel’s greatest man is of course the mysterious Jay Gatsby. Rags-to-riches success story. First Gatsby claims he has inherited his wealth, however later on we learn that not everything he says is true. Then there is Daisy whom Gatsby is madly in love with. First reader is given an image that Daisy is very ideal person although later on we begin to question her character too.

“I hope she’ll be a fool,” she says, “that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Book describes well the concept of “new money, old money, some money, and no money”. Some people in Great Gatsby have had wealth in their families for decades, some had just acquired it and some have some money. Or no money.

Ending was well thought. I enjoyed the complexity of this novel’s characters and also what it came down to, what we leaned about Gatsby.  I can’t quite explain what but there was something I didn’t like about this novel. Maybe it was the style of the book, perhaps the atmosphere and the illusion of all the complicated parties. I wonder about the reasons why this book was unpopular and forgotten about for the first few decades after it was first published and I get that in a way. I don’t mean that in a bad way, however at times I felt like I was in a bit fuzzy dream. In general I guess I enjoy books with more thought and plot.

3,5/5 stars

“There is no confusion like the confusion of a simple mind…”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Tips

1. You can read the ebook for example here or via Project Gutenberg.
2.
This is very subjective, however I wouldn’t recommend this for youngest readers. (Easy to say because I first read this/listened to Great Gatsby when I was 22.) 
3.
Author’s background is interesting. Fitzgerald never owned a home. He was always kind of on the outside looking in type of person who hoped to get into Princeton and hanged with his wealthier Riviera friends. Some things about his life were similar to that of Gatsby’s.
4.
It’s a quite short book, only about 180 pages, however somehow it feels much longer because of all the descriptions and illusions.
5.
If you like history, I think this novel gives a nice touch to what life was in 1920’s and especially the concept of “American Dream” or “Roaring Twenties”.

Have you read The Great Gatsby? Thoughts?

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby