Title: The Great Gatsby
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
My rating: 4/5
Goodreads rating: 3.87
Genre: Classic, Historical Fiction
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.
This is going to be a hard book to talk about. My feelings and thoughts are still a little messy with this novel. This is like up there with the classics that are classic if that makes sense. Like this book up there with Pride and Prejudice with books you should read. I know that I liked this book a lot but I’m still not sure why.
Nick Carraway is a guy who lives next to this rich guy named Gatsby. Gatsby holds these massive parties which Nick attends one evening which is the start of a whirlwind that Carraway gets sucked in. But Nick discovered that the world of glitz and riches isn’t always as straightforward when love is in the way and deception is on the table.
I think maybe my summary makes the novel seem more dynamic than it actually was. It feels like I have been sucked into the whirlwind too. The novel is only slightly over the a hundred page mark so no big plot turning points could really happen, but you really do look at the characters differently at the ending. All I saw at the start was the glitz and the champagne and the glamour and how great it must be to be in that social circle, but slowly you can see how rotten that circle is and how shallow the people are. I feel like I should of waited a bit before reading this book because literally in the next few weeks I will be having to write up some coursework on the roaring twenties. I think with some more context I would have maybe enjoyed the book more. The pacing of this book was really great and slow. You got the chance to suck up all of the decadence or just observe the characters through Nick.
The writing was surprisingly lovely! I really loved just reading this book just to read the writing of Fitzgerald. All of the decadence is described in a way that is very vivid and very shiny if that makes sense which made it really lovely to imagine. I felt like I time traveled while I was reading this book and I loved how Fitzgerald written this novel so fluidly. It felt smooth and continuous which is probably why I liked this book so much. There were no jarring no moments while reading this book.
How Gatsby was kind of built up and then teared down again was very good and helped add some dynamic to the story. I think that Gatsby represented the Elite lifestyle that was described and how hollow in a way it is.
‘If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him”
Nick Carraway was a really great narrator! As unreliable as he could be sometimes, I really enjoyed being in his mind and finding out about this other world. He is essentially lonely and when your’re lonely you try to squeeze yourself into a click. I don’t think he really likes it to be honest but somehow he gets sucked in. He recognises the many faults Gatsby and his group really has which reminds me that he still has his wits with him. Umm so he’s gay right? Or at least bisexual. You know it!
Gatsby…Gatsby,Gatsby,Gatsby! I couldn’t really say I liked his characters but I certainly did take pity on him. He was a man still trying to live a stale, old dream and only bad can come from that. Daisy was frustrating and rather shallow and foolish. Tom was not as annoying as I though he was going to be at the start. He was just laughable really with the stuff that comes out of his mouth.
What I liked:
- The writing was a joy to read.
- Nick was a lovely character to follow
- The whole atmosphere that Fitzgerald created
What I disliked:
- Not a lot of stuff happened to be honest. The book was like a drawn out note on a piano.
- More character development needed on characters in general.
Verdict: The Great Gatsby was a good book no doubt about it. It sent me on a glittering journey through the narration of Nick and introduced and tore down the elite circle that left us in a dizzy state afterwards. More ‘action’ needed though to make this book more alive and some character arcs wouldn’t of hurt too. All in all, I still recommend this book!