22 February 2016

Book Review: The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby

Title: The Great Gatsby
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Published: 11/04/2013, Picador USa
Pages: 240
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback

Rating: 3/5

"The exemplary novel of the Jazz Age, F. Scott Fitzgeralds' third book, The Great Gatsby (1925), stands as the supreme achievement of his career. T. S. Eliot read it three times and saw it as the "first step" American fiction had taken since Henry James; H. L. Mencken praised "the charm and beauty of the writing," as well as Fitzgerald's sharp social sense; and Thomas Wolfe hailed it as Fitzgerald's "best work" thus far. 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 remarked, "gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession," it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s that resonates with the power of myth. A novel of lyrical beauty yet brutal realism, of magic, romance, and mysticism, The Great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature."

I found The Great Gatsby to be quite a funny read (weird not haha) for me. I think I will definitely have to give it a reread at some point to fully understand the story. Don't get me wrong, it's an utterly brilliant written book. I just found that I had to reread paragraphs a lot.

The Great Gatsby isn't told from Gatsby's point of view either, but instead from the perspective of his new neighbour, Nick Carraway. This is something I didn't expect and it definitely gives an air of mystery to Gatsby's character. This also meant that it was never clear what would happen next. Everything was a surprise.

However, I did feel that the story dragged a bit in places. But I admit this is possibly due to me having to reread sections. I can also understand why The Great Gatsby is required reading in many schools. It sounds strange but it felt like I was reading a school book.

Unfortunately, I also felt quite detached from the characters. I just could not connect with any of them at all. And I'm not sure if it's meant to feel that way as Nick is new to the area so doesn't know everyone too well. Sure, Gatsby intrigued me and I did somewhat feel for Nick. And Daisy and Tom annoyed me. But these feelings felt quite mild compared to my connections with many other literary characters. However, the ending did bring a tear to my eye and it is an extremely poignant story.

As I said, I'm not too sure about my feelings for The Great Gatsby. I didn't fully understand it but I would definitely urge everyone to give it a go. I do hope and look forward to reading it again someday as I hope this will make everything clearer.

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1 comment:

  1. I really WANT to read the book but I just couldn't go on reading when I was halfway.

    Great review :)


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