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Synopsis

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.

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The Great Gatsby
Average rating
4.5 / 5
October 4th, 2013
I thought long and hard about what I wanted to say in regards to The Great Gatsby. When I closed the book last night, I knew that it had reserved a spot in my top five favorite books of all time, I just didn't understand why. When I compared it to what I consider to be my favorite book, The Stand, I couldn't put together a reason as to why it can stand on equal footing (no pun intended). The Stand is about 10 Gatsby's in length and is so thick with plot and sheer amount of characters that sticking it on the same proverbial shelf with such a smaller and much more simple book is mind boggling. Sure, it has a massive amount of critical praise and is widely considering one of the greatest American novels of all time but why? On it's surface, the story about a charismatic and mysterious millionaire didn't appear to be anything original. It also didn't help that almost nothing happens within the first 50 pages. However, both of those points did nothing to explain why I couldn't put it down. I thought about it for a while and decided that I'm simply going to have to blame Fitzgerald's writing. Anyone can write about parties, career choices and conversations over tea but to do it in a way that makes it hard to look away is wholly impressive. There were passages that I had to re-read and then re-re-read. The opener of this review may be one of my all time favorite quotes. Then again, I could always blame his characters. Nick Carraway is an every man that you can easily identify with. As he explains the grandeur and majesty of Gatsby's parties, the caliber of guests it draws and the overall atmosphere of a post-war America; he does so in a way that leaves you longing to visit the era yet refusing to oversell it. How in the world can someone do that? It's not as easy as telling someone about how historic an event is and following it up with, "Yeah.. it was OK, I guess." I could also throw blame in the direction of that scene in the Plaza Hotel. I'm not going to give anything away (and honestly, I don't think I could as I may be the last person to read this book) but the tension in that room was like nothing I've ever read. I almost couldn't deal with the awkward vibe that Fitzgerald projected here, especially when you consider the headstrong self-righteousness that Gatsby bases his whole existence on. Look, this is a great book and certainly a classic. I doubt I brought anything new to the table here with my thoughts but I think if you ever have any reservations about reading this, you should toss them right out the window. I have been consistently prodded to read this book over the last year and for whatever reason, it constantly moved down on my to-read list. What an error on my part!
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1 review
In love with Jay Gatsby @ the moment
June 17th, 2013
Gatsby's entire life was devoted to the faint hope of rekindling his old love affair with Daisy. He was a victim of unrequited love. Daisy just didn't reciprocate the way Gatsby expected or deserved for that matter. "Great Gatsby" ... in my eyes A " Gentle Giant" The book just brings u through a different journey with Gatsby. Loved it.
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1 review
The Great Gatsby
June 7th, 2013
I saw the movie before reading the book. Glad I did it in that order because I would have been disappointed in the movie.
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