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Trimalchio: An Early Version of The Great Gatsby

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  333 ratings  ·  45 reviews
This is the first edition ever published of Trimalchio, an early and complete version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald wrote the novel as Trimalchio and submitted it to Maxwell Perkins, his editor at Scribner's, who had the novel set in type and sent the galleys to Fitzgerald in France. Fitzgerald then virtually rewrote the novel in galle ...more
Hardcover, The Cambridge Edition of the Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald, 192 pages
Published April 13th 2000 by Cambridge University Press (first published April 1st 2000)
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The Blabbing Bibliophile
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 appr
Steven Rhodes
Jan 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Michelle Prendergast
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
Jul 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am a Great Gatsby nerd. I have been involved in several discussions, for several years, regarding the nature and messages of this book. I try to find out everything I can about F.Scott Fitzgerald, his motivations, his wife Zelda, US history as it pertains to this story, etc. My goal is always to try to get to deeper meanings and read between the lines of this short book, which I do consider to be an almost perfect novel.

The original title of The Great Gatsby was "Trimalchio". And this book is
Dante Rassler
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing

[Next review contains spoiler about both Trimalchio and The Great Gatsby]

I'd say I'm started as a dreamer, just as Gatsby did. I did believe in most of the charming ornaments at both side of the path that we both were walking through. But right in this moment, I'm just disgusted as Nick.

Reading Trimalchio just revived all the magic that I felt in the original Gatsby. And, as I don't think I reviewed Gatsby yet, I'll just tell what I did love of him. I first watched the movie, and all the magic an/>[Next
Kristin Bateman
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not going to lie that it took me a little bit to get through this, but once I hit Chapter 3 (A.K.A. the first Gatsby party), it flew. To be honest, Gastby is a 4 star, top novel for me, but I actually loved this more. I have more insight on Nick, Jordan, and Daisy. I hate them more, and I love them more.

Chapter 7 is a freaking game-changer on the plot.

Honestly, I think I'd prefer to teach "Trimalchio" over Gatsby.
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished, own
Consider this a behind-the-scenes look at “The Great Gatsby.” The novels differ significantly, though the central plot is the same. “Trimalchio” gives a deeper back story of each character, which helps me understand everyone’s behavior in “Gatsby.” If you love “Gatsby,” you have to read “Trimalchio.” I’ve read “Gatsby” repeatedly, but I’ve always still had questions, and “Trimalchio” answers some of them.
Apr 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Rodrigo Zavala Molina
A masterpiece! Read it if you want to kmon Gatsby deeply.
James Maskell
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you've only read The Great Gatsby once or twice, or haven't read it in several years, Trimalchio doesn't have much to offer you. However, if you really know the ins and outs of The Great Gatsby, this book will be entertaining to you. Most of the edits that resulted in the final publication make sense, and it's fun to see how little revisions like when Gatsby decides to reveal that he didn't graduate from Oxford, and to whom he reveals this actually alter the readers' perception of the charact ...more
Darren Tang
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Can you repeat the past? Who knows. But for as much as he wanted, and for as close as he was, ultimately Gatsby could not.
Feb 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was probably one of the most intriguing and interesting books that i've read in a while because of how simple and complex it can be at the same time. The premise of the story is following Nick's point of view, the main character, as he gets to know his new neighbour, Jay Gatsby. Mr. Gatsby is a very mysterious figure and as we read we try to figure out who this man is, where he came from, what he does etc. No other character seems to know him well either, many of them even questioning how h ...more
John Vanderslice
Aug 04, 2015 rated it liked it
I read this less for personal than academic reasons. I'm teaching novel revision in the fall and wanted to expose my students to an early draft of a novel they all know. (Or might all know.) Trimalchio, though advertised as an "early version" of the Great Gatsby didn't seem that early to me. There was one chapter that simply does not exist in Gatsby and never could exist. Another chapter reads a bit differently, but not in ways that are crucial and fundamental. Many of the remaining seven chapte ...more
Cheryl Yang
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Rachel Parker Martin
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-2014
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
May 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 lib
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
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).
Jamison Spencer
Nov 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
May 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 20th-century, classic
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.
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
May 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Nov 16, 2007 rated it did not like it
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.
Ally McCulloch
Nov 30, 2012 marked it as to-read
Probably won't read this, bc I'm not a fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald, but I'm adding it to the queue anyway.
Shyamjith Kiran
Sep 04, 2013 marked it as to-read
Stephen Robinson
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a wondrous discovery. Has anyone written anything so brilliant in just one summer?
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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 unfinished, and ...more