The Great Gatsby

“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

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11 thoughts on “The Great Gatsby

  1. kainzow says:

    I really liked The Great Gatsby. The story was almost dream-like, the writing was stellar and Gatsby himself is a masterpiece. (That ‘Old sport’ thing is unforgettable once you’re done with the book)
    I have a friend who takes issue with the book though: the story is too banal for his liking. Likewise, it is a miss-or-hit with other readers, so you’re not the only one. ;)

    I’m currently reading Tender is the Night. It is quite similar to The Great Gatsby, in that there are cars, parties, people with dodgy past,etc. However it is also very different, for there are things you never thought Fitzgerald was capable of writing! So far, it’s a great book. The only issue I have with Fitzgerald’s writing is that sometimes he is so vague and elusive that you cannot really make out what is happening in a scene!

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    • Anastasia says:

      Dream-like indeed and it was that what I didn’t quite like. I think it’s funny calling this book “banal” because at least for me this was first book describing life in 1920s in Long Island, New York. I guess that alone adds value to this.

      Haha oh you have piqued my curiosity! I remember reading that Tender is the Night is one of the books “to-read” in French Riviera. I’d love to read more of Fitzgerald’s books at some point.

      Like

  2. bookheathen says:

    I didn’t like The Great Gatsby all that much. Perhaps because I have no personal experience of the world it depicts (and depicts well), I found it false and empty. I kept thinking – are we, is the world like that?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cary Mulligan says:

    I am a young person who read and absolutely loved this book, and I can most certainly say the same about this movie. I’ve discussed this book with a few others who have seen it, like my mom (who went with me to see the premiere of the movie I had talked about and anticipated for so long) and we both agreed Baz Luhrmann took a risk with the music, but we both agree that risk was well worth it. The modern music and soundtrack gave the movie (set in the ’20s) a nice modern flair that younger people would most certainly be able to connect to. I have absolutely no complaints about this movie, and I have referred to it to many people as “spot on” to the book. I chose to mark the “positive role models ” box, as Gatsby himself as well as Nick Carraway had qualities that inspire people to do kind things for people, and also to believe in themselves and in others. I also checked the “positive message” box, as this movie teaches children to believe in things out of the ordinary, especially things that aren’t necessarily very common to believe in, and no matter what other people believe of those things.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anastasia says:

      I haven’t seen the movie yet but I love your description of it! I’m glad it portrayed a positive message, reading the book I felt like the big part of Gatsby’s success and his charm was for the most part an act of deception.

      Like

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