The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Posted October 8, 2013 in Book Review / 1 Comment

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Published by Scribner on 2004 (first in 1925)
Genres: Adult fiction, Classics
Pages: 180
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed
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one-star

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.
The Great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature.

Main Points

Writing Style
I cannot help but compare Fitzgerald to Hemingway because they are both in the same time period and were both in Paris at the same time. And were friends. And so, while I did not enjoy Hemingway very much, I must admit I have no quarrel with Fitzgerald’s writing. He may be a bit over-descriptive at times, but the story/dialogue changes pace so frequently that it’s fun to see where it’s going, rather than confusing. Not very much is straightforward (unlike Hemingway), not even Gatsby’s death at the end. I must confess I got nearly the end before I realized he had died. But his descriptions are very good and while I usually don’t enjoy too many, I liked his.
Content 
Let me first just say this: I hated The Great Gatsby. It was horrible. I like Fitzgerald, don’t get me wrong. His short stories are pleasant (and he frequently writes about golf, which I find interesting). But this classic I consider a failure. The characters (except Nick) were awful in every way, and the whole story just seemed wrong. It had an ok premise, but then as it progressed it got worse and worse. With all the drama, all the death…it was just too much, too fast.
Characters
As I mentioned earlier, all but Nick are very, very wrong.
Nick: I liked him. He seemed like the only sane one in the whole story.
Daisy: very vacuous. Insipid. VAGUE. She had no substance, and it was a little bit scary.
Tom: violent and combustible. Frankly, dangerous. Did not like him.
Jordan: A little off, but not too unusual. Did not like how she treated Nick.
Myrtle: A bit whiny and annoying.
Wilson: Justified, if crazy by the end. He could have been all right but for Tom.
Gatsby: Too obsessed. That is really all there is to say on the matter.
Movie
The movie was the most glorious thing to ever bless the big screen. I loved it. It makes me want to reread the book ’cause obviously I missed something.

Bottom Line

I was not entirely pleased with this. If you are a fan of books from the Jazz Age of Paris, or from the Lost Generation, then this would be a nice read. However, if you don’t like tons of drama, death, and annoying characters (not to mention unhappy endings), then I would advise you to stay away from this. Will I be reading more of Fitzgerald? I think not. Would I recommend this book to others? Not likely.

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1 Comment on "The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald"

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Pamela D
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The Great Gatsby definitely has a lot of annoying characters.

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