I know 3 stars usually means you didn't exactly love something, but, as it is the case with The Great Gatsby, I actually kind of did. When I...more3.5 stars
I know 3 stars usually means you didn't exactly love something, but, as it is the case with The Great Gatsby, I actually kind of did. When I give a book a rating in Goodreads I try to strike a balance between my enjoyment of the book and the quality of the work. Now, these two don't always go hand in hand, for I sometimes may not like a book that I acknowledge was of quality and worth, just like I sometimes may love a book that I am fully aware is not exactly of the best quality. So, in the case of The Great Gatsby, I must say that, while I am in love with the quality of it, this is not a book I enjoyed that much, hence the 3 stars.
Fitzgerald's writing is undeniably beautiful, poetic and yet so incredibly profound. Almost every line inspired deep thoughts about our very own humanities and I don't think I've ever encountered an author with such an honest and profound conception of humanity. I loved the portrait he painted of the jazz era, the senseless debauchery and fickle way of life.
My problem with the novel is the representation of women in this novel. We get only three females in here and they are all shallow, untrustworthy, selfish and materialistic. The best of the three was Jordan and still her character lacked the depth Nick gave her in his eyes. Their characters never transcended and they were all punished in one way or another even for the mistakes their men did, even when they never did (especially Tom, for whom I continually wished bad, bad things). The story also took a while to pick up and it wasn't until the last 30 pages or so that I truly found myself transfixed by the story.
So, all in all, I understand why this novel is a classic. Nick's voice could've used a bit more personality, but I loved the way he saw the world and communicated it. The elements in the novel were marvelously constructed and Fitzgerald's writing is amazing. I had my issues with the characterization, but still, this is a wonderful book.(less)
Good story and truly stellar writing. The book is just so long and there were long passages were nothing happened and then there were even lo...more3.5 stars
Good story and truly stellar writing. The book is just so long and there were long passages were nothing happened and then there were even longer passages of flowery scenery descriptions. This is one to take slowly and with a big amount of paience. (less)
I liked the beginning of the story and I was very interested in the psychology behind Kurtz's character, but I am afraid the racism, stereotypes and m...moreI liked the beginning of the story and I was very interested in the psychology behind Kurtz's character, but I am afraid the racism, stereotypes and misogynistic themes of this book, although perhaps "appropriate" for that time, did not sit well with me and distracted the reader from the real point of the novel. (less)
I honestly didn't think I'd have this much fun reading The Way of the World. Fascinating, morally-ambiguous characters and a twisty, complex plot make...moreI honestly didn't think I'd have this much fun reading The Way of the World. Fascinating, morally-ambiguous characters and a twisty, complex plot makes this play a new favorite. (less)
It will never cease to baffle me how Romeo and Juliet is considered the greatest love story ever told. Of course, what kind of English Lit graduate wo...moreIt will never cease to baffle me how Romeo and Juliet is considered the greatest love story ever told. Of course, what kind of English Lit graduate would I'd be if I didn't believe in everyone's right to interpret a story and see whatever they want to see in it? Like Oscar Wilde said, "The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things." So, if people want to see this as a love story, then that's fine, but its reputation as the greatest love story is based almost entirely on hearsay and eye-roll inducing references to it, like those by a Swift song and Twilight, rather than actual and careful reading of the play. The love story is but the most basic of the play's elements, and for far too long this book has been twisted, it's message bastardized and whored to cater to the hopeless and tragic romantics. This book is not romantic and it's not about love. Quite the contrary, Romeo & Juliet is kind of a cautionary tale against the type of shallow, brief, lust-driven, and selfish young "love" that this novel is usually, - and ironically -, used to defend. Actually, both Romeo and Juliet are repeatedly told throughout the play that they are being kind of stupid and that they are confusing lust with love. Juliet was 13, for chrissakes, and Romeo had gone to the party at her house following another woman he claimed to love desperately, a woman he promptly forgets as soon as he sees Juliet and thinks her beautiful in his vaguely pedo way, and I don't think I need to point out that their very short lived romance had very dire consequences for several characters around them.
If you want a great love story written by Shakespare, check out Much Ado About Nothing. Romeo and Juliet have nothing on Beatrice and Benedict, mostly because Beatrice and Benedict are not two foolish pre-teens confusing hormones with ever lasting love and wreaking havoc on the lives of their loved ones and their own for it.
As far as Shakespeare's plays go, this is definitely not one of his best. Acceptable, of course, as are all pieces written by him, but hardly worthy of all the recognition it has as, most likely, Shakespeare's most well known work. I expected to hate it, and I was pleasantly surprised to see I'd enjoy it, even though I should've expected it considering how biased I am when it comes to Shakespeare. Romeo & Juliet is a nice enough play that's, sadly, been overdone and taken too far away from what it originally intended to be. (less)