Pollopicu's Reviews > The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
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did not like it

This is my least-favorite classic of all time. Probably even my least favorite book, ever.
I didn't have the faintest iota of interest in neither era nor lifestyle of the people in this novela. So why did I read it to begin with? well, because I wanted to give it a chance. I've been surprised by many books, many a times. Thought this could open a new literary door for me.
Most of the novel was incomprehensibly lame. I was never fully introduced to the root of the affair that existed between Gatsby and Daisy. So they were in love...yeah..I've been in love too, who cares?
Several times I didn't even understand where characters were when they were speaking to each other. I also didn't understand the whole affair with Tom and Mrs. Wilson.. and something about her husband locking her up over the garage...? huh? then she gets run over by a car, then he sneaks in through the trees and shoots Gatsby? wha..? still..why am I suppose to care about all this?
Shallow and meaningless characters. Again, who cares?
I read this book twice. 2 times. I just didn't get it.
I can't believe this book is revered with the rest of the great classics. Truly unbelievable. Fitzgerald certainly kissed the right asses with this one.

What garbage.

Daisy quote:
“They’re such beautiful shirts,” she sobbed.… “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such—such beautiful shirts before.”
...sob..sob.. boo-hoo-hoo. oh Please someone shut her the fuck up.
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Reading Progress

September 29, 2009 – Shelved
October 24, 2009 –
page 23
October 24, 2009 –
page 38
October 24, 2009 –
page 61
October 24, 2009 –
page 81
October 24, 2009 –
page 97
October 24, 2009 –
page 113
October 24, 2009 –
page 0
October 24, 2009 –
page 23
October 24, 2009 –
page 39
October 24, 2009 –
page 61
Started Reading
October 25, 2009 –
page 81
October 25, 2009 –
page 136
October 25, 2009 –
page 150
October 25, 2009 –
page 163
October 25, 2009 –
page 180
October 25, 2009 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 102 (102 new)

trivialchemy I maintain that there is a valid criticism in this review, even if it may not be executed to your standards.

The criticism, in brief, is this:

Shallow and meaningless characters. again, who cares? [sic:]

It's hard to argue that Fitzgerald's characters aren't shallow. If you do make such a case, you at least must admit that their public behavior suggests shallowness, and you're then left arguing how the subjective attitudes of the characters belie their public presentations of themselves.

Now, most fans of Gatsby would have us believe that the book's merit emerges through this portrayal of shallowness. In other words, they would say that we're not supposed to be sympathetic to the characters necessarily, but that there's some subtextual commentary and tension that's an emergent property of Fitzgerald's presentation of them.

Fine, maybe that's true. But I think the criticism is this: I still don't want to read about unsympathetic, cocktail-quaffing, cold-hearted socialites sublimating their dubious ethics over 200 pages. Just like I don't want to read a manners piece about the inconsequential internecine politics of Yale alumni drinking martinis and playing tennis at a country club, no matter how revelatory the message it might yield.

trivialchemy I do like woman parts pretty well.

Robert Hmmm, you can't buy friendship or happiness? So glad you told me, F.Scott. Snooze - wuh, what? Oh, it's finished, has it? Pass the next book, please.

Jessica Coligny That stupid era! Why weren't they proactively trying to interest you ninety years ago in their lifestyles? What Jazz Age dumbasses.

- When did she say the era was stupid? She said that she wasn't interested in it. We aren't a hive mind. While you and I might find it fascinating, she doesn't, and that is perfectly fine. She brought it up in the first place because many people use that as a reason why it is a good book: "It opens up a window to another age." (How many times have I heard that? *sigh*)...an age the original reviewer isn't interested in.

You may or may not be interested to know that The Great Gatsby was not a success when it was first published and didn't find a larger audience until after Fitzgerald's ass-kissing lips were rigor mortised.

- Maybe it should have stayed that way. The book was garbage. Sorry if that makes you rage, but again, different people have different interests, likes, and dislikes. You like the book? Good for you. But a masterpiece to one is a piece of trash to another sometimes. A person learns to deal with that and not take it personally. This is the real world.

You're not. You're supposed to cut yourself off from all feeling and emotion. Go into your panic room now and lock the door. Caring is for pussies.

I couldn't connect to or care about any of the characters either. But how does that equate to being someone who feels like caring about things is for pussies?

Seriously, way to exaggerate and blow things out of proportion. It feels like that was all your response was. And it made you sound like nothing but an angry fanboy defending his choice of anime. Is that really how you want to come across?

Sydney I think the problem I had with this book was that I grew weary of Fitzgerald's need to cram several motifs and metaphors into every sentence. Though it resulted in a few truly magnificent paragraphs, other times it was just annoying (like the quote you mentioned above about the shirts). There are only so many times I can read about lights and yellow dresses and references to lights and Daisy's voice in one chapter before I keel over. :P

message 6: by max (new) - rated it 5 stars

max One of the things I most enjoy about FSF is his luscious prose. There are passages in this relatively brief novel that read like pure poetry. His use of figurative language is brilliant: there are numerous effective instances of paradox, oxymoron, anaphora, polysyndeton, litotes, metonomy, even more far out usages such as enallage. There is much, much more to this book than meets the eye. While serving somewhat as a Roman a clef it also brilliantly compresses into one work multiple genres, including romance, tragedy, satire, and comedy. The list of partygoers at Gatsby's house from East and Wet Egg in the opening of Chapter 4 is a hilarious parody of the Homeric catalog of ships. The degree to which you are manipulated by the unreliable narrator is astonishing. Daisy is Gatsby's ideal and Gatsby is Nick Carraway's.

message 7: by Amy (new)

Amy The shirts are representative of the great wealth that Jay Gatsby has obtained. Their relationship ended long ago because Daisy didn’t think Gatsby could support her. This novel is about Jay’s remarkable gift for optimism and the life he built for himself in order to achieve the epitome of his desires; Daisy. She was sobbing at the shirts because they were beautiful and symbolic. I’m sorry you were not able to appreciate this novel. I believe it to be truly beautiful.

message 8: by max (new) - rated it 5 stars

max Also, on a symbolic level, the shirts are empty, like Gatsby's house, his dream, and his life.

Kevin Ha, ha, ha! Yeah, lame.

Sfbooknerd "
Several times I didn't even understand where characters were when they were speaking to each other."

The points you mentioned aren't that hard to understand at all. The book is clearly way too complicated for you.

message 11: by Pollopicu (last edited Mar 23, 2012 11:20AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Pollopicu No, I had a pretty good understanding of the novel, I just saw it as pointless and dispassionate.
I'm sorry to say I don't respect the opinion of someone who is obviously consumed in the world of fantasy, anime, flying dragons and cartoons.

Wolvenkind I recognize my own experience in this review. I didn't care about this book at all, the story, the style, none of it. And spare me the cliché of 'you didn't get the story'. I don't understand what the fuzz is all about.

Rachael Wolfe I was utterly unimpressed with thus book. I had high hopes too...great American classic and all that. I agree with the original post; shallow characters and a dull story. I just couldn't bring myself to care.

message 14: by Mei (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mei Maybe wait a few years than try to read it again? Fitzgerald's writing is more flowery than most so you might have skimmed over the details. And regarding how Gatsby died, the husband of the women whom Daisy ran over with her car shot him. You're not supposed to like the characters, you're almost supposed to pity them and see them within yourself. I'm 15 and I can appreciate it... I'll admit thought its not intensely straightforward.

message 15: by Beth (new) - rated it 4 stars

Beth Chaplow I heard nothing but rapturous applause for this book so I couldn't help but feel disappointed after reading it, Fitzgerald seems to 'over-egg the pudding' when it comes to his writing, all the adjectives made the tone of the entire novel seem rather pretentious. Also, even though it was in the first person, the novel felt entirely impersonal for me, I don't know if anyone else felt this way?

Mikaela C. It's a fairly simple book to read and comprehend--even if you don't understand the deeper meaning, how inattentive do you have to be to not get at least the gist of the book? The point isn't "yeah, Gatsby and Daisy were in love, I've been in love too, big whoop." The point was what Gatsby did because he loved Daisy, did Daisy truly love Gatsby or did she love his wealth, does Tom love Daisy, who is Gatsby? From the color of Gatsby's cars to Jordan's haughty and dishonest nature, everything in this book is symbolic. The characters can be interpreted in different ways, but there is a lot of symbolism and hidden meaning in this book. Your inane response and misunderstanding of the book shows how that deeper meaning went right over your head. Twice. Congrats.

message 17: by Pollopicu (last edited May 20, 2013 01:52PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Pollopicu Can't say I really respect the opinion of those who hide behind their profiles.. Especially those who obviously aren't educated enough to appreciate the fact that everyone interprets literature in uniquely different way. You may think you've left a clever remark, but it's actually rather embarrassing that you're unaware of that little simple fact.

Next time, read only the 5 star reviews of your most precious novels, so as not to upset yourself so.

Georg I like to discuss books but I often wonder why so many discussions between readers are more emotional and heated than those between Arsenal and Manchester fans.

In my opinion a good book is not the right book for everyone and a bad one is not bad for every reader. Sometimes it just doesn’t work though the recipe was perfect.

It’s like jokes. You can’t explain a joke so someone who did not laugh with the effect that he laughs after the explanation. Nor is it possible to convince someone that (s)he laughed about a bad joke. I would not have a bad conscience when I could not laugh about a joke even if someone told me that it was the best joke ever told (with a 99.99 percent lol-rate). (But I would check if it’s possible I just didn’t get it…)

I don’t mean that you can’t discuss the quality of a book with reasonable arguments and that it’s sufficient just to say “I so much wanted to like this one but I couldn’t connect…” But there will always be something in a book that makes you love/not love it which is as difficult to explain as a good joke.

message 19: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim I honestly can't say why I love this book, but I think it's actually for the reasons that you don't like it. I think the point that Fitzgerald was trying to make with the book was that nobody cared, and that you could look at this woman who died and say "I don't really care," almost like a commentary on how we're all dissociated with those around us. We don't care, because we are too wrapped up in our own lives. It's really tragic that this poor woman died running out to try to get her lover's attention after being locked in an attic by her neglectful husband. But we just don't care about it. You see the same with Gatsby's death, in that everyone cared about him only because he gave great parties. The poor soul had only Nick and his father that cared enough to attend his funeral. Daisy didn't care, and not even his business partners. That's tragic too, but again, why should we care? We're the ones left without his parties.

But I see why you don't like it, and they are valid points. Why care about a book that doesn't compel us to care? It ends up reading like a random man is just telling us a story on a train, and then he leaves. I find that people seem to either love the book or hate it.

Chris Gordon daisy overreacting to the shirts was stupid in my opinion but I enjoyed the book. to each his own I suppose.

Brittany You surely offended people with this review, congrats!
Not I! I am 200% with you on this one.
I hate this damned book, never liked it nor understood why anyone did. I don't like his writing style either.

Tyler She cries over the shirts because she doesn't give a shit about Jay Gatsby or anyone else for that matter. Daisy only cares about the amount of money you have. That's why the dock light is green (the color of money).

Brittany The green dock light symbolizes hope, though.

Sofia Theos Brittany wrote: "The green dock light symbolizes hope, though."

It can symbolize many things. I think it symbolizes money and hope. The main theme of the great Gatsby is mostly money, and the hypocrisy of the 1920s

message 25: by Luann (new)

Luann Jung Daisy quote:
“They’re such beautiful shirts,” she sobbed.… “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such—such beautiful shirts before.”
...sob..sob.. boo-hoo-hoo. oh Please someone shut her the fuck up.

It is hard to understand exactly why Daisy is crying over Gatsby's display of his expensive tailor-made shirts. She realizes that he wanted to win her by becoming rich. She already came from a wealthy family. He voice "is full of money," as Gatsby says. She is married to a rich man, and she knows that wealth doesn't bring happiness, but you can't escape from wealth if you have it. And then by having it and making a conspicuous display of having it, you induce other people like Gatsby to try to emulate you. When he makes a rather vulgar display of his wealth with his shirts, he is doing what the old-money rich people do in a more subtle way. She sees that money can't really buy much but frivolous luxuries, and that she herself is one of those frivolous luxuries. This is part of the reason for her burst of tears, but there is a lot more behind them.

Selene I was so bored reading this book. I totally get it.

message 27: by Frank (new)

Frank Cascio Here's a great(if possible)idea for us modern literary armchair quarterbacks. "HEMINGWAY WRESTLES FITZGERALD ON PAY PER VIEW TV." Rules: Each contestant must guzzle a fifth of Jack Daniels before match. After that, No Holds Barred. Venue: Sloppy Joe's, Key West Fl. Hemingway picks up Fitzgerald and throws him 50 ft. up against the wall. Hemingway moves in for the kill. Fitzgerald pulls out a fountain pen and stabs Hemingway in the neck. Hemingway dies within minutes and Fitzgerald croaks from alcohol poisoning. Both authors literary output is argued to death by future generations. The winner? Whoever you prefer. Get it?

Phoebe Morgan Just because you didn't get it, doesn't mean the entire novel is garbage, a part of reviewing a book is showing respect to other people's views and not seeing them as a criticism of you but of your review, undermining their educational status and understanding is petty and only done by those who cannot take criticisms.

Pollopicu Please, not another bimbo with "thoughts"..

Roberto Rayo I find your view skewed well to some level. The part where daisy and the shirts that was her way of saying I love you I still love you. Perhaps the reason I love this book so much is that I can relate to it almost as if I were standing in front of a mirror.

message 31: by Tamerice (new) - added it

Tamerice Have to say after reading your review I feel a little normal now. I, just like yourself felt the same way. Do not understand the hype! I want to try and read it again, becuase I think I must of just completly missed the point of this novel, but, at the same time, i truly don't.

Karen Wilson locked Myrtle up because he suspected the affair, that's why he wanted to move away. He shot Gatsby because he thought Gatsby was driving the car that killed her. And we were certainly introduced to the Gatsby and Daisy affair. This was not a hard read. :)


Karen Owls, Avengers and Star Wars Oh My! wrote: "PLEASE CHILL"

We did chill-no comments since July

message 35: by Frank (new)

Frank Cascio I can't give an intellectual point by point reason why I don't like this book or Fitzgerald in general. I only know that for some reason I can't get past a couple chapters and I feel worn out. It just isn't enjoyable or inspiring. I find myself getting nervous which I don't need. Honestly I enjoy Pynchon much more which should wear me out but it doesn't. Who knows why we react the way we do. Life is too short to try and like a book because others say it's good. If it's not enjoyable then drop it and move on.

Kadie I suppose everyone has their opinions on different books, I saw it in a different light that you. Now that I look at it from the way you are speaking, I understand why you think some of it is silly. Maybe Fitzgerald wrote it to be silly and everyone took it way too seriously, reading into every little thing he wrote, meaning the 'beautiful shirts' and the 'green light'. I loved the book myself, but I definitely see what you mean. Makes me laugh at myself to look back and become so moved at some of the silliest parts of the book.

Laojimmy998 I liked it a lot. The characters were not meant for you to like them. They are all loathesome in their own personal way and I LOVE that. I didn't like a single character but I was interested in their lives and their affair and ultimately, in Gatsby's demise. I loved the symbolism and deeper meaning behind everything. I didn't know where half the characters were but that wasn't important to me. I love the story. But I like reading different opinions on books that I like. I agree someone should have put tape over Daisy's mouth because a lot of the things she said was stupid.

Isabel Same! However, I did kind of like Gatsby, however his death was almost totally his fault. Almost.

Farije Arifi God..and I thought I couldn't understand probably because of English being my 2nd language. I am glad there are other people that got lost reading.

Olivia I completely agree, it's one of the most overrated books of all time. It was also one of the dullest books, and the only pro to the author's writing was his advanced vocabulary, that made you feel he was an exceptional writer. But in reality, he didn't want to reveal his lack of creativity and shallowness.

Geisel Portales Totally took the words out of my mouth. I'm guessing the only reason this book is so loved and cherished by so many is because so many people out there want to be "cool" and rich like the people in these parties. But to me it was just a superficial book about superficial rich people (because Gatsby is also rich by the way) that do nothing with their lives except go to parties and get drunk. Like I said in my review: if you take away the money you pretty much got jersey shore.

Muneezashahtaj Khan You are so right!! It's highly over rated! But I liked the main point about you know...that you find out who your real friends are after death...

Alexandra I care about the shallow and meaningless characters. Great literature isn't for everyone. But try doing some ass-kissing yourself and see if your book could get the same success.

ᏒIᎪlᎥstᎥc No offense, but I think you didn't understand the book. The book isn't about love at all. It's about class and how it doesn't matter. Everything is symbolic, just the fact that you don't understand the shirts shows that this was too complicated. I don't usually attack people who don't like a book I did if they make legit points but your points show that you didn't get the point and you took it all literally. It's like me making a sarcastic joke and someone being offended.

Jessica ...She wasn't crying over the shirts. Sigh, someone sure can't read between the lines!

ᏒIᎪlᎥstᎥc Robert wrote: "Hmmm, you can't buy friendship or happiness? So glad you told me, F.Scott. Snooze - wuh, what? Oh, it's finished, has it? Pass the next book, please."

Again, the book is about class. You guys don't understand it. It's fine to dislike something, but don't say a book is bad when you don't understand it.

message 47: by Dani (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dani Wow, spoiler, thanks a lot.

Alexa I actually enjoyed this book. I think to fully appreciate it you have to get the message behind what Fitzgerald is saying about life and the American Dream in general. A lot of the things he writes about aren't to be taken seriously, they're more open to interpretation, like any book.

bitmaid The author is very, very, VERY MUCH self-absorbed. If you are not sucked in by his style of writing it's only normal that you find yourself stand aloof from it all. And yeah Daisy is depicted as a simpleton because he hated her (and loved her) at the same time.

message 50: by Alex (new) - rated it 5 stars

Alex You did not understand the book at all, sir, your ignorance bleeds through your words, it's pitiful, really.

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