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Trimalchio: An Early Version of The Great Gatsby
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Trimalchio: An Early Version of The Great Gatsby

4.42 of 5 stars 4.42  ·  rating details  ·  190 ratings  ·  30 reviews
For the legions of Great Gatsby fans and scholars, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s early version of his masterpiece provides a new understanding of Fitzgerald’s working methods, fresh insight into his characters, and renewed appreciation of his genius—now available in ebook for the first time.

Reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Trimalchio, an early and complete version of The Great Gatsby
ebook, 192 pages
Published February 24th 2014 by Scribner (first published April 1st 2000)
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Elizabeth Antoinette
I just heard of this title a week or so ago. With Gatsby being my favorite since I first read it at the age of fifteen (too long ago), and having seen the movie three times so far, I had to give this a go. I'm baffled that as an English major that I haven't heard of this version sooner, but I'm really glad I did. No one writes such whimsical worlds as Fitzgerald and this early version gave me even more insight to the world I wish I could live in. Some of the characters are down-right despicable, ...more
Steven Rhodes
Worth the price admission for chapters VI and VII alone. Nick is less likable in Trimalchio, and his affair with Jordan is drawn out a bit more fully (not that I really cared). Nick and Jordan, to quote the introduction "are more clearly complicit in Daisy's affair with Gatsby, and in the wreckage that follows."

Gatsby's admissions to Nick in Chapter VIII were waaaaay to explicit for my liking; Fitzgerald wisely chose which criticisms of his editor to follow and which to ignore.

All in all, a wort
This early version of The Great Gatsby provides an enlightening window onto FSF's practice of writing. While it is essentially the same book as Gatsby (the characters are drawn a little differently and the enfolding of the crisis scene between Gatsby and Tom et al in chapters six and seven occurs differently) the most remarkable feature of Trimalchio is the impression one gets that FSF wrote one of the most beautiful, truthful and sad books ever written in any language essentially in a single dr ...more
I wanted to read this, after reading that Baz Luhrmann used parts of it to make the movie. I found some of the "inconsistencies" with the version of the Great Gatsby that I'm familiar with that Luhrmann built into the movie. I didn't find it so terribly different-- we get more of Gatsby's back story, and it seems that Fitzgerald did intend Nick Carraway to be gay based on his deeper description of the relationship between Jordan and Nick.

All in all it was an interesting read-- I appreciated some
Considering that this sat amongst Fitzgerald's enormous collection (if there's one thing I've learned from all of the biographical info I've read about him it's that the man saved everything) for years, it's fortunate that this has been made available to the public after all these years. I've taught Gatsby for the last 7 years, and reading this earlier version provided a different insight into Gatsby and Daisy in particular. Chapters 6 and 7 were quite different from what's published in Gatsby, ...more
Sisi Yang
First off, let me say that The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite books. Maybe it's the fact that it's a literary treasure, or maybe it's that I read it four times within the span of three weeks last year while writing my final essay for high school and developed the book version of Stockholm syndrome for it. Who knows. Anyways, it took about 5 minutes after finding out that this book existed for me to order it on Amazon.

It was very fun and exciting to be able to re-read Gatsby but also have it
With all the excitement about the new Gatsby movie coming out, I stumbled across this title last week and I have to admit I like it better than the original. It is much more messy than the original and a little less vague with the supporting characters. Plus, I love seeing the corrections and the letters from Fitzgerald’s publisher. I would love to use it in a classroom.
Rachel Parker Martin
In a way, I liked this a bit better than the Great Gatsby because the humanity of Jay Gatsby shines through more so than his desire for a perfected life; Daisy appears to be more than just a trophy for his mantle, and his sorrow is much more palpable when at the moment of truth, his dream isn't actualized. In the same vein, he is much less coddling towards her in their encounter at the hotel with Tom; he wants his answer, the one that he feels he has been promised, earned. He is less apologetic ...more
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Although I still prefer the original, this was highly enjoyable. The differences were interesting to see. Check it out if you love the original.
The early version of The Great Gatsby. It was exactly what I expected. However this version was a bit darker than I expected. The way Fitzgerald describes the characters in the novel was misogynistic and anti-Semitic. With all that aside the early version was exactly the same as the TGG. I would recommend the this book if you really loved the Great Gatsby. It is more than a fairytale of a long lost love, but a dream and a passion colliding in slow motion watching as life slips through your finge ...more
such beautiful imagery and writing, but such a sad story.
This isn't exactly the version I read. The cover is identical, but the title is still "the great Gatsby" but it does have a lengthy introduction that includes notes about, and photos of, early drafts, etc.
It is "the Cambridge Edition of the Works of F. Scott Fitzgerlad edited by matthew J. Bruccoli.
But I chose this one because the cover illustration is identical and it is the closest to the version I read - from the library.
Jamison Spencer
What can I say about this one? I expected to mark it five stars for the chance to see Fitzgerald's process, even though it would really only be a three or four star book in its early, unimproved state, but I think it was already five star level at this point. There are noticeable changes in the finished Gatsby, and they were all improvements, but this would have been a great novel if it came out in this version.
This version wasn't as different from GATSBY as I expected -- many small variations, a few larger differences, but still beautifully written, deeply felt, and remarkably wise for such a young writer. TRIMALCHIO would be considered a masterpiece, if THE GREAT GATSBY didn't exist. The fact that Fitzgerald wasn't satisfied with it speaks a lot about his commitment to his art (at least, at that time).
I took my time to savor this early version of The Great Gatsby. It was revealing to read an early version of the story and see what Fitzgerald kept, moved around, and jettisoned. While I won't be throwing my copy of The Great Gatsby away, I definitely felt like I got to know the characters better by seeing them in a rougher version. As an appendix to The Great Gatsby, Trimalchio is phenomenal.
Beth Bedee
I believe I like this early version better that the final product. I feel like I need to re-read The Great Gatsby to make a full comparison, but I enjoyed the dialogue and sections that seem to have been omitted in the final edition. It's apparent that the Leonardo DiCaprio movie pulled quite a bit from this work.
It was interesting to read this and then read his editor's comments. Now I have to read the published version again, which I've already read a few times through the years, to see how it compares to this. I understand that Baz Luhrmann was inspired by this original version for his cinematic interpretation of The Great Gatsby.
It was really interesting to see the early version of Gatsby and read in the introduction how to find the differences between this and the final version. Of course it's hard to read the book fresh, since I already know what will happen next, but a great look at the publishing and editing process.
Nov 16, 2007 Aaron rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who like F. Scott Fitzgerald
I didn't find the book engaging. I was left with disgust for all of the characters. I never became emotionally attached to any of the characters. I felt disappointed with the corollary commentary on wealth and happiness.
It's not too different than the final publication of The Great Gatsby but it's still fascinating to see how subtle differences can have a great impact on a text. This is a great book for the study of revision.
This was interesting, but probably only to an avid Fitzgerald fan. The Great Gatsby is definitely superior.
Allison C. McCulloch
Probably won't read this, bc I'm not a fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald, but I'm adding it to the queue anyway.
Stephen Robinson
This was a wondrous discovery. Has anyone written anything so brilliant in just one summer?
Jan 21, 2008 Connie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves the roaring 20's
Recommended to Connie by: book club
This is a great book my second read was even better than the first time I read it.
Bill Clough
If you like Gatsby, you really should read this earlier version.
Tiffany B
Illuminates the characters of the The Great Gatsby.
For a change of pace.
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Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American writer of novels and short stories, whose works have been seen as evocative of the Jazz Age, a term he himself allegedly coined. He is regarded as one of the greatest twentieth century writers. Fitzgerald was of the self-styled "Lost Generation," Americans born in the 1890s who came of age during World War I. He finished four novels, left a fifth unfini ...more
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