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The Great Gatsby
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1001 book reviews > The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Hilde (hilded) | 355 comments The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Read June 2018 for my TBR challenge.
3,6 stars rounded up to 4 stars

The book is set in the Jazz Age in New York, where Jay Gatsby himself is the bright star of the Jazz Age with all that follows. The great parties, the distinctive clothes and the casual lifestyle. But this is only the backstory. Even though there is no doubt that Gatsby is the main character in the book, we meet him through the narrator and I-person Nick Carraway. Thus, it is with a certain distance that we are being introduced to Mr Gatsby, who in the beginning of the book is surrounded by mystery when he appears in his newly acquired and impressive summer palace outside New York in the spring of 1922, where the parties he invites to is nothing like the neighborhood has experienced before. The guests appear whether they are invited or not, and many of them haven’t even greeted the host, who is always in the background.

In the beginning, Jay Gatsby tries to convey an impression that he comes from a rich family, but eventually that appears to be false. He has also had a romance with Daisy, his great love, a few years earlier, that he, despite being married to the very wealthy Tom Buchanan, hopes to win back. In spite of the fact that both Tom and Daisy are born with a silver spoon in their mouths and as such have every opportunity to succeed in life, they are both unhappy in the marriage. Eventually Nick, who is Jay Gatsby's neighbor, will play a key role when Jay and Daisy meet, and during the summer, it will build a drama that will have fatal consequences for all the invaded.

While the plot evolves and unfolds to its fullest extent, we witness the overall cynicism and gratitude of the upper class when important values are at stake. The one we believed was the villain is in reality just a romantic dreamer, whereas those who appeared as victims, both directly and indirectly, are guilty of more than they care to admit. And Nick, who is in the middle of the firing line, gets his life and everything he believed on, inverted and stepped on.

The book is well written, flows easily and is quite entertaining once you are a bit into the book (I found the beginning to drag a little). If the book is great, such as the Great Gatsby himself, I’m not sure. But it is an important book that stands to be read more than once.

Kristel (kristelh) | 4255 comments Mod
read 2011, The book is a classic set in the roaring twenties. F.Scott Fitzgerald is a Minnesota born author. I've read this and two other works by the author. The Great Gatsby is short and filled with a lot of literary techniques and I can see why it may be assigned reading in school. This book is also famous for the dust jacket of the first edition, 1925. The story takes place after WWI and is told by a narrator, Nick Carraway, who is an impartial observer of Tom Buchanan and his wife Daisy. Gatsby lives next door to Nick. Gatsby is mysterious and no one knows how he has made his money. He has bought his home in West Egg across the water from Daisy where he can see the green light off her dock. He has met Daisy prior to his marriage and has never stopped pursuing her. He has done everything to impress Daisy, who he knows loves money and the appearance of wealth. Tom is wealthy and he takes Daisy for granted. He has multiple affairs and everyone knows about his affairs including Daisy. Gatsby has Nick arrange a tea party so he can meet Daisy again. Tom realizes that Daisy may love someone. He is hypocritical, judging his wife when has been unfaithful to her. On night the five some head into town. Daisy is flaunting her affection for Gatsby, Tom attempts to expose Gatsby for the fraud that he is. Gatsby doesn't realize he can't hold onto Daisy because Daisy will choose real wealth over the false wealth that Gatsby has put together in his attempt to capture Daisy's love. The book is a classic set in the roaring twenties. F.Scott Fitzgerald is a Minnesota born author.

Diane Zwang | 1314 comments Mod
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
3 ½ stars

This was a buddy read with my 11th grade son. This is the second book I have read by the author and his style of writing is easy to read. I was not in love with this book and neither was my son. I found it difficult connecting with the characters, they were all so self-centered except Nick Carraway.

“They were careless people, Tom and Daisy-they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made...”

Leni Iversen (leniverse) | 482 comments I think this book is possibly flawless, and as such I like it a bit less than I otherwise would. Which perhaps sounds a bit odd. There is so much symbolism and foreshadowing and ambiguity that the book can probably be read over and over and endlessly analysed, compared, and discussed. And it's all packed into a very short book. Impressive. In short, the book is as much of an over-achiever as its title character. Or maybe it's just a case of me not being able to connect with any of the bored, glitzy, sordid, entitled party people. Gatsby is too much of an enigma to connect with, and Nick is too bland. Actually Nick is a mystery too. He presents himself as the only honest man around, but he is so conflict shy that he glosses over anything troubling. He is a man of few words, but he waxes remarkably eloquent when he reminisces over hearsay from someone else's past.

The book is superbly crafted, and I think that the message in it is still valid. (I'd love to see a movie adaptation that is set to the 2020s because the underlying issues of the American dream and old vs new wealth are as on point today as a century ago.) The book also has one of the best final sentences ever. Really, I'm a sucker for a well crafted sentence, and I could linger on that final one for longer than the rest of the chapter. When I give it 4 stars instead of 5 it's because I could not get immersed in it, too caught up in noticing the instances of green and gold, and suspecting the narrator of not being all that reliable, and not being sure if I really cared at all that tragedy was impending and inevitable. Although I might have been more invested if I hadn't seen various movie versions and didn't know what was coming. Hard to say.

Ginny | 122 comments A short book with a lot to say. Well written and easy to read I give it 3 stars. As a fellow dreamer, I feel for Gatsby mixed up in a world of superficial characters only out to help themselves, but as other reviewers have mentioned the style of story-telling makes it very difficult to connect with any of the characters on a deeper level as they are all kept at a distance. Even the narrator doesn't really pull you in and I was left feeling pretty disconnected from the story in the end.

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