Guardian Newspaper 1000 Novels discussion

The Great Gatsby
This topic is about The Great Gatsby
Monthly Book Reads > February 2014: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 103 comments Mod
Appropriately for February, we are reading from the category 'Love', and for this 'The Great Gatsby' by F. Scott Fitzgerald won the vote. Please share your thoughts on this book with the group.

Do bear in mind the advice on spoilers

message 2: by Jazzy (last edited Feb 04, 2014 02:00AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jazzy Lemon (jazzylemon) Re-read that for the book club this summer. I really couldn't get past the racist references enough to actually like the book.

message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 103 comments Mod
Thank you for that quick response Jazzy!

I hadn't realised that the book had content such as that. A favourite of mine, Wind Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery has just one line that is offensive but it was a shock, and a disappointment.

message 4: by Jazzy (last edited Feb 04, 2014 02:08AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jazzy Lemon (jazzylemon) It's because of the time it's written in, you know. It really sets a little background for why people thought it acceptable to treat other people the way they did.

Debbie Hi, finally got round to reading The Great Gatsby, thanks for the nudge.
I was disappointed in the characterisations, I wasn't really that interested in what happened to any of them. I found Tom and Daisy utterly repellent, just breezing through life and being completely unaccountable for the consequences of their actions. The only one with any redeeming qualities was the narrator, Carraway. He seemed have a bit of integrity about him.
However, I adored Scott Fitzgerald lyrical writing. It was hauntingly beautiful. He created the scenes perfectly and I was whisked right back to 1920's America. I will definitely read more of his novels.

Debbie Anya wrote: "Hi Debbie, I also didn't like all of the characters except Gatsby, but I think that's the intent- to show us how empty and vapid these people are (who represent the 'American Dream' for Gatsby and ..."

I agree, you're completely right on the intent of his portraits of the characters. I just found myself despairing at the transient relationships between such vacuous people. I think the depiction of Gatsby highlights the loneliness of such lives. I did think it was a good read though.

message 7: by Phil (last edited May 30, 2014 11:49AM) (new) - added it

Phil (lanark) | 433 comments I'm always amazed when people don't like Gatsby (although I should know by now that it resides with Catcher in the Rye as one of the books that people DO often take against). I re-read this over summer 2013, so I'm pasting here my GR review from last year.


Five stars 5/5
Like "The Catcher in the Rye" this was a book that I'd read many years ago and was coming back to at a time in which it seems to have slipped down the critical scale - no longer the automatically accepted "classic" it once was. So I wonder if what I remembered matched what I'd read this time around.

But I needn't have worried. The Great Gatsby is one of those perfect gems of a novel - like Jane Austen and her "square inch of ivory" it places a tiny portion of American society under a microscope and exposes its hollowness, its futility and its savagery. Gatsby, appearing from nowhere, is feted and surrounded by glamour and vitality and music and excitement, but ultimately left with nobody and nothing. His vision, his dream, of an ideal love that's driven him through so many years of work and acquisition so he felt he could justify that love, is proved to be simply a worthless paste, stage jewel. In this glittering, jittery world of the Jazz Age nothing is worth anything other than money and the next drink and party: not learning, not spirituality, not honesty and certainly not love.

The language of the book is sheer perfection. Every word, every sentence, every analogy is perfectly placed and phrased. It's in its brevity, its utter (deceptive) simplicity that its greatness lies. It's not about a love affair gone bad, it's about loneliness, dreams, perception, the futility of glamour, masks, ambition, lies, - it's about so much, in so few pages, and with so little actually happening. I was entranced right the way through.


Lauren | 15 comments The Great Gatsby is beautifully written and really evokes the time and place in which it is set. I always feel like having a martini and a cigarette whenever I read it...and I don't even smoke! I agree that the characters are difficult to like, but that's the genius of it. It is like watching a house on fire - awful but fascinating at the same time. Tigers In Red Weather by Liza Klaussman reminds me a bit of The Great Gatsby. Read it and tell me if you agree.

back to top