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Nick Carraway kommer till New York för att bli aktiemäklare. Han flyttar in i en villa på Long Island och börjar umgås med det flärdfulla paret Tom och Daisy Buchanan. Till granne får han en ytterligt gåtfull och kolossalt förmögen man som ger storslagna fester, oftast utan att själv visa sig. Grannens namn är Jay Gatsby.

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30 review for Den store Gatsby

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nataliya

    Oh Gatsby, you old sport, you poor semi-delusionally hopeful dreamer with 'some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life', focusing your whole self and soul on that elusive money-colored green light - a dream that shatters just when you are *this* close to it. Jay Gatsby, who dreamed a dream with the passion and courage few possess - and the tragedy was that it was a wrong dream colliding with reality that was even more wrong - and deadly. Just like the Great Houdini - the association the Oh Gatsby, you old sport, you poor semi-delusionally hopeful dreamer with 'some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life', focusing your whole self and soul on that elusive money-colored green light - a dream that shatters just when you are *this* close to it. Jay Gatsby, who dreamed a dream with the passion and courage few possess - and the tragedy was that it was a wrong dream colliding with reality that was even more wrong - and deadly. Just like the Great Houdini - the association the title of this book so easily invokes - you specialized in illusions and escape. Except even the power of most courageous dreamers can be quite helpless to allow us escape the world, our past, and ourselves, giving rise to one of the most famous closing lines of a novel. 'Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther... And one fine morning —— So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.' Dear Gatsby, not everything I liked back when I was fourteen has withstood the test of time¹ - but you clearly did, and as I get older, closer to your and Nick Carraway's age, your story gathers more dimensions and more tragedy, fleshing out so much more from what I thought of as a tragic love story when I was a child - turning into a great American tragedy.¹ I hang my head in shame at my ability to still belt out an enthusiastic (albeit poorly rendered) version of '...Baby One More Time' when it comes on the radio (provided, of course, that my car windows are safely up). I blame it on my residual teenage hormones. Jay Gatsby, you barged head-on to achieve and conquer your American dream, not stopping until your dreams became your reality, until you reinvented yourself with the dizzying strength of your belief. Your tragedy was that you equated your dream with money, and money with happiness and love. And honestly, given the messed up world we live in, you were not that far from getting everything you thought you wanted, including the kind of love that hinges on the green dollar signs. And you *almost* saw it, you poor bastard, but in the end you chose to let your delusion continue, you poor soul. Poor Gatsby! Yours is the story of a young man who suddenly rose to wealth and fame, running like a hamster on the wheel amassing wealth for the sake of love, for the sake of winning the heart of a Southern belle, the one whose 'voice is full of money' - in a book written by a young man who suddenly rose to wealth and fame, desperately running on the hamster wheel of 'high life' to win the heart of his own Southern belle. Poor Gatsby, and poor F. Scott Fitzgerald - the guy who so brilliantly described it all, but who continued to live the life his character failed to see for what it was. The Great Gatsby is a story about the lavish excesses meant to serve every little whim of the rich and wannabe-rich in the splendid but unsatisfying in their shallow emptiness glitzy and gaudy post-war years, and the resulting suffocation under the uselessness and unexpected oppressiveness of elusive American dream in the time when money was plenty and the alluring seemingly dream life was just around the corner, just within reach. But first and foremost, it is a story of disillusionment with dreams that prove to be shallow and unworthy of the dreamer - while at the same time firmly hanging on to the idea of the dream, the ability to dream big, and the stubborn tenacity of the dreamer, 'an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again' . This is why Gatsby is still so relevant in the world we live in - almost a hundred years after Fitzgerald wrote it in the Roaring Twenties - the present-day world that still worships money and views it as a substitute for the American dream, the world that hinges on materialism, the world that no longer frowns on the gaudiness and glitz of the nouveau riche. In this world Jay Gatsby, poor old sport, with his huge tasteless mansion and lavish tasteless parties and in-your-face tasteless car and tasteless pink suit would be, perhaps, quietly sniggered at - but would have fit in without the need for aristocratic breeding - who cares if he has the money and the ability to throw parties worthy of reality show fame??? Because in the present world just the fact of having heaps of money makes you worthy - and therefore the people whose 'voices are full of money', who are 'gleaming like silver, safe and proud above the hot struggles of the poor', people who genuinely believe that money makes them worthy and invincible are all too common. Tom and Daisy Buchanan would be proud of them. And wannabe Gatsbys pour their capacity to dream into chasing the shallow dream of dollar signs, nothing more. '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.' This book somehow hit the right note back when I read it when I was fourteen, and hit even truer note now, deeply resonating with me a decade short of a hundred years since it was written. If you read it for school years ago, I ask you to pick it up and give its pages another look - and it may amaze you. Five green-light stars in the fog at the end of a dock.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    The Great Gatsby is your neighbor you're best friends with until you find out he's a drug dealer. It charms you with some of the most elegant English prose ever published, making it difficult to discuss the novel without the urge to stammer awestruck about its beauty. It would be evidence enough to argue that F. Scott Fitzgerald was superhuman, if it wasn't for the fact that we know he also wrote This Side of Paradise. But despite its magic, the rhetoric is just that, and it is a cruel facade. Be The Great Gatsby is your neighbor you're best friends with until you find out he's a drug dealer. It charms you with some of the most elegant English prose ever published, making it difficult to discuss the novel without the urge to stammer awestruck about its beauty. It would be evidence enough to argue that F. Scott Fitzgerald was superhuman, if it wasn't for the fact that we know he also wrote This Side of Paradise. But despite its magic, the rhetoric is just that, and it is a cruel facade. Behind the stunning glitter lies a story with all the discontent and intensity of the early Metallica albums. At its heart, The Great Gatsby throws the very nature of our desires into a harsh, shocking light. There may never be a character who so epitomizes tragically misplaced devotion as Jay Gatsby, and Daisy, his devotee, plays her part with perfect, innocent malevolence. Gatsby's competition, Tom Buchanan, stands aside watching, taunting and provoking with piercing vocal jabs and the constant boast of his enviable physique. The three jostle for position in an epic love triangle that lays waste to countless innocent victims, as well as both Eggs of Long Island. Every jab, hook, and uppercut is relayed by the instantly likable narrator Nick Carraway, seemingly the only voice of reason amongst all the chaos. But when those boats are finally borne back ceaselessly by the current, no one is left afloat. It is an ethical massacre, and Fitzgerald spares no lives; there is perhaps not a single character of any significance worthy even of a Sportsmanship Award from the Boys and Girls Club. In a word, The Great Gatsby is about deception; Fitzgerald tints our glasses rosy with gorgeous prose and a narrator you want so much to trust, but leaves the lenses just translucent enough for us to see that Gatsby is getting the same treatment. And if Gatsby represents the truth of the American Dream, it means trouble for us all. Consider it the most pleasant insult you'll ever receive.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Pollopicu

    This is my least-favorite classic of all time. Probably even my least favorite book, ever. I didn't have the faintest iota of interest in neither era nor lifestyle of the people in this novela. So why did I read it to begin with? well, because I wanted to give it a chance. I've been surprised by many books, many a times. Thought this could open a new literary door for me. Most of the novel was incomprehensibly lame. I was never fully introduced to the root of the affair that existed between Gatsb This is my least-favorite classic of all time. Probably even my least favorite book, ever. I didn't have the faintest iota of interest in neither era nor lifestyle of the people in this novela. So why did I read it to begin with? well, because I wanted to give it a chance. I've been surprised by many books, many a times. Thought this could open a new literary door for me. Most of the novel was incomprehensibly lame. I was never fully introduced to the root of the affair that existed between Gatsby and Daisy. So they were in love...yeah..I've been in love too, who cares? Several times I didn't even understand where characters were when they were speaking to each other. I also didn't understand the whole affair with Tom and Mrs. Wilson.. and something about her husband locking her up over the garage...? huh? then she gets run over by a car, then he sneaks in through the trees and shoots Gatsby? wha..? still..why am I suppose to care about all this? Shallow and meaningless characters. Again, who cares? I read this book twice. 2 times. I just didn't get it. I can't believe this book is revered with the rest of the great classics. Truly unbelievable. Fitzgerald certainly kissed the right asses with this one. What garbage. Daisy quote: “They’re such beautiful shirts,” she sobbed.… “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such—such beautiful shirts before.”...sob..sob.. boo-hoo-hoo. oh Please someone shut her the fuck up.

  4. 4 out of 5

    svnh

    After six years of these heated and polarized debates, I'm deleting the reviews that sparked them. Thanks for sharing your frustrations, joys, and insights with me, goodreaders. Happy reading! In love and good faith, always, Savannah

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kemper

    Jay Gatsby, you poor doomed bastard. You were ahead of your time. If you would have pulled your scam after the invention of reality TV, you would have been a huge star on a show like The Bachelor and a dozen shameless Daisy-types would have thrown themselves at you. Mass media and modern fame would have embraced the way you tried to push your way into a social circle you didn’t belong to in an effort to fulfill a fool’s dream as your entire existence became a lie and you desperately sought to re Jay Gatsby, you poor doomed bastard. You were ahead of your time. If you would have pulled your scam after the invention of reality TV, you would have been a huge star on a show like The Bachelor and a dozen shameless Daisy-types would have thrown themselves at you. Mass media and modern fame would have embraced the way you tried to push your way into a social circle you didn’t belong to in an effort to fulfill a fool’s dream as your entire existence became a lie and you desperately sought to rewrite history to an ending you wanted. You had a talent for it, Jay, but a modern PR expert would have made you bigger than Kate Gosselin. Your knack for self-promotion and over the top displays of wealth to try and buy respectability would have fit right in these days. I can just about see you on a red carpet with Paris Hilton. And the ending would have been different. No aftermath for rich folks these days. Lawyers and pay-off money would have quietly settled the matter. No harm, no foul. But then you’d have realized how worthless Daisy really was at some point. I’m sure you couldn’t have dealt with that. So maybe it is better that your story happened in the Jazz Age where you could keep your illusions intact to the bitter end. The greatest American novel? I don’t know if there is such an animal. But I think you'd have to include this one in the conversation.

  6. 5 out of 5

    emma

    DAISY BUCHANAN IS A GIFT TO READERS EVERYWHERE AND THE HERO OF THE GREAT GATSBY, FOR SURE, NO QUESTIONS, FIGHT ME IN THE COMMENTS IF YOU THINK YOU’RE BOLD: A Thinkpiece by Me https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co... I’ve known that Daisy effin’ rocks since I first read this book. (Fun fact: my first read of this took place in the back of the family minivan when I was 13, on a roadtrip to, like, Disney World or something. While thoughts of princesses and mouse-shaped ice cream bars danced in my sib DAISY BUCHANAN IS A GIFT TO READERS EVERYWHERE AND THE HERO OF THE GREAT GATSBY, FOR SURE, NO QUESTIONS, FIGHT ME IN THE COMMENTS IF YOU THINK YOU’RE BOLD: A Thinkpiece by Me https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co... I’ve known that Daisy effin’ rocks since I first read this book. (Fun fact: my first read of this took place in the back of the family minivan when I was 13, on a roadtrip to, like, Disney World or something. While thoughts of princesses and mouse-shaped ice cream bars danced in my siblings’ heads, I was reading about moral corruption in the Jazz Age.) (All because I saw online that if a college interviewer asks what your favorite book is, you should say The Great Gatsby. And for some goddamn reason, I was like, Yeah, it’s definitely urgent that I, an eighth grade student, be prepared to have a college interview at any moment.) (I only ever had to do one college interview anyway, because only one was required and of COURSE I didn’t opt into the non-mandatory ones because CANYOUIMAGINE. Guess what? The interviewer did ask me what my favorite book was. Guess what I didn’t say? The Great f*ckin’ Gatsby! I panicked and, I think, said All the Light We Cannot See, because it was the first non-embarrassing book that came to mind. My life is just one mistake after another.) Anyway. I loved Daisy then. I loved her two years later, when my English class read it and it was VERY clear that I was “““supposed””” to not like her, and, like, fawn over Gatsby’s childish ass instead. Which, no. Picture this: fifteen-year-old me, who has Just Decided she’s going to be cool now (a process which involved wearing 15 layers of mascara and no other makeup - neither an exaggeration nor a good look) in a room of twenty fifteen-year-olds, including cool ones, all VEHEMENTLY AGREEING ON SOMETHING. But I still stood up for Daisy. Because I have PRIORITIES. My senior year of high school, my morals and soul and ability to empathize were challenged by six students and a teacher in AP Lit. But I won the award for being the best English student in my graduating class, so honestly I think that’s an indication that I also won that argument. And now here I am today, prepared to make the same argument to you all. And win. Obviously. But let’s get into this. Here is why Daisy is not only innocent to the VILLAINOUS charges that have been placed upon her, but also the best character in this book and an absolute angel/joy/gift from the heavens. (Does that mean F. Scott Fitzgerald is God?) Also, this has literally all of the spoilers. And is long. But THOROUGH AND WORTH IT. Maybe. One: What was she SUPPOSED to do? So put yaself in Daisy’s shoes, yeah? Let’s take it allllll the way back. You’re a teenage girl who is the hottest sh*t in all of Louisville. (This is a big deal, apparently.) You have SIX DATES A DAY! The phone never stops ringing!!! You have nothing but options!! Kidding, kidding. You only have one option, really, and that’s marrying a rich guy. Don’t we love historical gender expectations? I know I do! So then one day, this guy who’s fiiiiine as hell shows up. And you guys start hanging out all the time, and he’s so charming and hot and you guys get along like a house on fire. You have a really great kiss. The guy’s a captain in the army, and he implies he’s supes well off financially. It’s perfect. It’s the best case scenario for you. (This guy’s Jay Gatsby, by the way. In case I haven’t made that clear.) Then the guy has to go off to war. It sucks, sucks, sucks. You two write letters back and forth, but all the while your family is pressuring you. Society is pressuring you. Your friends are making backhanded comments about how you’re still unmarried. The war ends. Sweet relief! Jay’s coming home! Except no. He’s at Oxford, for some reason? And he tells you he can’t come home? And your letters get sadder and sadder, because you’re out of time. The war ended, and you have nothing to tell your parents. So those six dates a day start back up. And then this guy pops up in town. He’s reallyyyy rich. And buff. And a real society man. And he’s not from Louisville - he’s a way out. You can see the world with him. Best of all, he’s obsessed with you. (This guy is Tom Buchanan.) So what do you do? You can’t do anything. You have to marry him. And when you get a letter from Jay “Too Little Too Late” Gatsby, you scream and cry and try to stop the wedding, but there’s nothing you can do. Ya hafta marry Tom “Seems Okay” Buchanan. Two: Now That’s What I Call “Whoops” The OTHER fun thing you get to do, in this life as Daisy Buchanan, is have children whether you want them or not. For awhile you don’t mind Tom. In fact, you really love him for a bit. He does nice stuff like carry you so your shoes don’t touch the ground, and the honeymoon’s great, etc etc. So even though you don’t have one mother-effin’ ounce of an option in whether you want kids or not, when ya get pregnant, you think maybe it won’t be that bad. And then Tom turns out to suuuuuck. You have to leave these places you love, where everyone is full-on obsessed with you, and you have friends and family and as close to a life as you can get, you have to leave because Tom is f*cking everything with girl parts and a ditzy 1920s accent. BUT NOW YOU HAVE A DAUGHTER. AND YOU LOVE HER SO MUCH. AND YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT WILL BE FOR HER, BECAUSE SHE’S GOING TO HAVE THE SAME LIFE AS YOU. And all you can hope is that she’ll be a beautiful fool, like Tom’s girls, so she’ll be silly enough to be satisfied with life’s inability to give her much of anything. And Daisy might be beautiful, but she’s sure as sh*t no fool. Three: Ho-ly shit wait...does life not suck? Is there such a thing as a second chance? So you’ve got this new life in New York, and you’ve got a BFF from Louisville (Jordan Baker), and yes, Tom is cheating on you, but if he maybe just didn’t answer the goddamn phone during dinner for once you could just forget about it for literally one freaking second. And then GUESS WHAT? Your old pal Nick Carraway is back! A friend, how amazing! HURRAY! And kinda strange, Nick wants you to get a weird one-on-one tea party on with him, but it’s like, whatever, Tom’s cheating anyway and you’re not interested in Nick like that but he’s a fun guy and you can just reject him. But waitholdupWHOA what a wild coincidence! The guy who was lowkey the love of your life, Jay Gatsby, is also here! How, well, coincidental! You can play catch up and see his bougie-ass house and whatnot. And cry over the fact that he’s such a horrific asshole that he would leave you totally in the dust without contacting you for years and then all of a sudden appears and is like “I am very rich as promised I live right across the water from you I can see your house let’s get together here are all my fancy shirts I will throw them at you. So glad Nick is here for some reason let's keep on not letting him leave.” Plus life with Tom, as mentioned, is not extremely great. So it’s like, yeah, perfect, okay. Let's get some Gatsby on. Four: No. No, there is not a chance of life not sucking. Life is terrible and so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into a gUY WHO IS JUST AS BAD. GUESS WHAT WASN’T A COINCIDENCE? ANY OF THAT. All along, even the people you trusted most - Nick, Jordan, Gatsby - have been manipulating you. There have been secret plans and lies and tricks and all of these things just to get you to f*ck a guy. And if you think about it, Gatsby is not nice or romantic or kind or fair to lil ol Daisy. At all. His expectations are insane. He got to leave her and build a life for himself and live as he wanted and travel and make up this story and be wealthy and throw parties, while she lived with a cheating husband. And after all that, if she wants admission into the life that being with him might give her, she has to say no, she wasn’t ever happy, there wasn’t a moment she loved Tom. Ridiculous. And when she plaintively says, “I love you now. Isn’t that enough? I can’t help the past,” she’s just begging Gatsby to accept her. How absolutely tragic. Tom cheats on her, Gatsby expects so much - she’s never been fully, truly, without-exception loved. Five: Gatsby literally sucks oh my god DAISY IS JUST A SYMBOL OF GATSBY’S ABILITY TO CONQUER THE SOCIOECONOMIC CASTE SYSTEM OF THE 1920S. Like, if he can “get” Daisy (literally an object), that’s not even enough. He has to have HAD DAISY FOREVER. Because then he’s beaten Tom, the symbol of old money. He’s so gross, literally. Here are 2 quotes on Gatsby’s “““feelings””” for Daisy which illustrate how much he sucks. “It excited him, too, that many men had already loved Daisy. It increased her value in his eyes.” Her VALUE. Like she is an OBJECT. Because OTHER MEN were not enough, so he is THE BEST MAN. Daisy must’ve fallen short of “the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man can think up in his ghostly heart.” So he made her into this manic-pixie-dream IDEA of a person, and we’re supposed to be mad at her for not living up to it? Nah. Nope. Not going to happen. Gatsby sucks. Six: It’s called the responsible choice, you raging dingbats So AFTER she’s already been pressured by Gatsby to act as though entire swaths of her life didn’t happen, she finds out Gatsby has been lying to her all along - keeping the truth from her in order to protect this psychotic fairytale concoction of a totally goddamn made up story. Like! A! Total! Freak! What the f*ck would you do? If you were going to leave your sh*tty gross husband for what seems like a better life, but really has always been a lie - and a totally full on creepy one at that. And what if you had a daughter, who it’s made OVERWHELMINGLY CLEAR you love and worry about and she loves you too, so much. You’d just leave her in the care of that sh*tty creepy cheating disgusting husband, who couldn’t care less and would not be at all above using her as a chess piece??? You’d leave her when everything you thought you knew was completely made up???? When it’s just been your dearest loved ones manipulating you all along??? No, the f*ck you wouldn’t. Daisy’s choices were protecting her daughter, and sexy times with a con man. There’s no goddamn choice. She’s great and smart and responsible. It couldn’t have been easy for her to stay with Tom, who SUCKS. She says to his face that he’s “repulsive.” But it was the grown-up option. TALK ABOUT A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE. She is such a queen. Seven: Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot THE LAW THAT MARRIED COUPLES ARE EXACTLY THE SAME IN LEVELS OF BAD-NESS you fools Tom sucks. We know this. He’s a racist cheating bastard, and he’s gross, and he hits Myrtle. He does plenty a’ terrible thing. But guess who is not automatically responsible for his actions??? Daisy, b*tch. She totally roasts him up for his Rise of the Colored Empires pseudo-science racism. She simply does not treat people in the same way Tom does. She’s not him. I don’t get the grouping of them both together like it’s her fault. She’s totally trapped. Eight: Do we know that she knows that Gatsby died? Do we really, really, reallyyyyy know? When Nick calls her house, she’s gone. Like, do we honestlyyyyyy think that the dude who picked up the phone is actually going to tell her he called? Would you be rearing to go if a person you trusted who TOTALLY ACTUALLY MANIPULATED YOU hit you up after ignoring you for weeks like YOU ARE THE VILLAIN? Honestly, there’s no real sign that Daisy knew he died, but literally what did she owe him anyway. He manipulated her, lied to her, treated her like an object and nearly ruined her life. Totally made a terrible existence into full on garbàge. Whatever, man. Nine: The car thing She was traumatized. Gatsby orchestrated the whole cover-up. He took the wheel, he drove away, he hid the car. She had no clue the whole thing would go horribly wrong. He’s the one who made all the choices in the aftermath. Duh. God this was so long. I’m tired. And apologetic. Toward you, for having read a very long thing that I wrote, and toward myself, because I had to write it. This should certainly be enough to prove that Daisy Buchanan is a victim to her circumstances and otherwise noble and great and trying her goddamn best in a world in which everyone treats her like the beautiful fool she is totally not. Plus her voice is full of money. Now go off in your new happy life of being utterly enamored with Daisy Buchanan. -------------------- pre-review Daisy Buchanan Is The Real Hero Of The Great Gatsby: A Thinkpiece will be dropping my pièce de résistance soon (this is my attempt at a fun way of saying, "review to come and that review will blow your mind and make you realize that daisy is the best part of this book")

  7. 4 out of 5

    Inge

    There was one thing I really liked about The Great Gatsby. It was short.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    Over drinks, I’ve observed—like so many smart alecks—that much of The Great Gatsby’s popularity relies heavily on its shortness. At a sparse 180 pages, Fitzgerald’s masterpiece could be argued to be the “Great American novella.” Gatsby, like so many other short classics, is easily readable, re-readable, and assessable to everyone from the attention-deficient young to mothers juggling a kid, a career, and a long-held desire to catch up on all those books “they should have read but haven’t gotten Over drinks, I’ve observed—like so many smart alecks—that much of The Great Gatsby’s popularity relies heavily on its shortness. At a sparse 180 pages, Fitzgerald’s masterpiece could be argued to be the “Great American novella.” Gatsby, like so many other short classics, is easily readable, re-readable, and assessable to everyone from the attention-deficient young to mothers juggling a kid, a career, and a long-held desire to catch up on all those books “they should have read but haven’t gotten around to yet”. I’ve now read Gatsby three times, and I admit that on my first reading during (like handfuls of others) my senior year English class, I wasn’t particularly fond of the book; I believe I used the adjective “overrated” on numerous occasions. Daisy Buchanan seemed like a twit of a woman, and I found Jay Gatsby to be pathetically clawing in his attempt to attain her. Nick, my guide, only annoyed me further with his apparent hero-worshiping of a man I found one-dimensional and his adoration for the kind of woman I’ve seen other men purport to be goddesses, but in fact, are dim-witted simpletons with nice figures. Over my two subsequent readings—pushed along by friends whose judgment I trusted and who swore the book was “so funny and ironic”—I discovered within Fitzgerald’s fable a sardonic social wit and a heavily layered critique of the American Dream: the poor, working (wo)man rising above his or her social situation to discover money conquers all. Fitzgerald has a discerning ability for sharp critiques of the economically privileged and, like Jane Austin, has an ear for realistic, bantering dialogue. Through Nick’s narration, we see a world that so many Americans dream of (its enviableness only further accentuated by our open disdain for it): a life of endless parties, delicious food, beautiful clothes, and Paris Hilton. Nick who’s paradoxically drawn to his cousin, Daisy’s, and her husband, Tom’s, lifestyle with gloating contempt echoes the contemporary American idolization of an elite lifestyle that none but a select few attain. We watch Daisy with her voice that “sounds of money” flit about with uncompromising shallowness and vivacious school-girl frivolity, and through her, see so many of the inconsequential remarks and actions others (as well as ourselves) have made for the sheer sake of “having a good time”. In spite of her frivolity and weak disposition, we become, like Gatsby, “overwhelmingly aware of the youth and mystery that wealth imprisons and preserves, of the freshness of many clothes, and of Daisy, gleaming like silver, safe and proud above the hot struggles of the poor.” Through Gatsby’s veneration of Daisy, we not only imagine what so many Americans desire (success), but also we see the goal and glittering fixation of all humanity: beauty. And like many Americans in the throes of Capitalism, Gatsby believes that money can buy beauty as well as love. Fitzgerald articulates this disillusion with haunting force, particularly voiced through Nick’s obsessive repulsion with the extravagant society his social status has allowed him and the sadness he finds while watching a “working man” attempt to enter it. One critique of The Great Gatsby, which could also be argued as a positive, is the limited scope of action and themes Fitzgerald chooses to encapsulate. We only see the wealthy elite (or people wanting to be the wealthy elite), and only Nick really has any depth of characterization. Unlike a tome, such as War and Peace, Gatsby fails to have numerous interwoven plotlines within a grand historical context. Yes, the Jazz Age is the novel’s backdrop, but Fitzgerald fails to engage in any discussion beyond a summer among the wealthy youth partying into the wee hours of the night in the West Egg. Yet, the control with which Fitzgerald expresses his limited themes makes the novel’s lack of scope forgivable. Gatsby is short and easily accessible, and I have no doubt these aspects of the novel do lend to its everlasting popularity. At the same time, it should never diminish its truly admirable ability to tease apart some of the most confounding qualities American culture values: money, beauty, youth, hard work, and the ever effusive, love.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    Casual, self-absorbed decadence, the evaporation of social grace, money calling all the shots and memories of the past holding people hostage from the future that lies before them. Yes, Mr. Fitzgerald has nailed it and written one of THE great American novels. This book was a surprise. I LOVED it and all of the deep contradictions swimming around its heart. At once a scathing indictment on the erosion of the American Dream, but also a bittersweet love letter to the unfailing optimism of the Ame Casual, self-absorbed decadence, the evaporation of social grace, money calling all the shots and memories of the past holding people hostage from the future that lies before them. Yes, Mr. Fitzgerald has nailed it and written one of THE great American novels. This book was a surprise. I LOVED it and all of the deep contradictions swimming around its heart. At once a scathing indictment on the erosion of the American Dream, but also a bittersweet love letter to the unfailing optimism of the American people. Call it dignified futility…obstinate hopefulness. Whatever you call it, this novel is shiny and gorgeous, written with a sort of breezy pretension that seems to mirror the loose morality of the story. Rarely have I come across a book whose style so perfectly enhances its subject matter. Set in the eastern United States just after World War I, Fitzgerald shows us an America that has lost its moral compass. This fall from grace is demonstrated through the lives of a handful of cynical “well-to-dos” living lavish but meaningless lives that focus on nothing but the pursuit of their own pleasures and whims. Standing apart from these happenings (while still being part of them) is our narrator, Nick Carraway. As the one honest and decent person in the story, Nick stands in stark contrast to the other characters. “Everyone suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known.” Nick relays the story of the summer he spent in Long Island’s West Egg in a small house sandwiched between the much larger mansions of the area. His time in Long Island is spent with a group that includes his second cousin, Daisy Buchanan, and her rich husband Tom who live in Long Island’s East Egg. At one point in the story, Nick provides the following description of the pair which I do not think can be improved upon: 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. In addition, we have Jordan Baker who is a poster child for the pretty, amoral, self-centered rich girl whose view of the world is jaded and unsentimental. Basically, she’s a bitch. The most intriguing character by far is Jay Gatsby himself, both for who he is and for how Fitzgerald develops him through the course of the narrative. When we are first introduced to Gatsby, he comes across as a polite, gracious, well-mannered gentleman with a magnetic personality who our narrator takes to immediately. He had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself. However, from that very first encounter, Fitzgerald slowly chips away at the persona and peels back the layers of the “Great” Gatsby until we are left with a flawed and deeply tragic figure that in my opinion ranks among the most memorable in all of classic literature. Nick’s journey in his relationship with Gatsby mirrors our own. “It is invariably saddening to look through new eyes at things upon which you have expended your own powers of adjustment.” Through a series of parties, affairs, beatings, drunken escapades, the lives of the characters intermesh with terrible consequences. I don’t want to give away major parts of the story as I think they are best experienced for the first time fresh, but at the heart of Fitzgerald’s morality tale is a tragic love that for me rivaled the emotional devastation I felt at the doomed relationship of Heathcliff and Catherine in Wuthering Heights. In general, Fitzgerald’s world of excessive jubilance and debauchery is a mask that the characters wear to avoid the quiet torments that haunt them whenever they are forced to take stock of their actions. Rather than do this, they simply keep moving. "I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others--young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life." In the end, Fitzgerald manages the amazing feat of creating a sad, bleak portrait of America while maintaining a sense of restrained optimism in the future. Both heart-wrenching and strangely comforting at the same time. I guess in the end, this was a book that made me feel a lot and that is all I can ever ask. I’m going to wrap this up with my second favorite quote from the book (my favorite being the one at the very beginning of the review): And as I sat there, brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out Daisy's light at the end of his dock. He had come such a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close he could hardly fail to grasp it. But what he did not know was that it was already behind him, somewhere in the vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night. 5.0 stars. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!

  10. 5 out of 5

    LooseLips

    The eh Gatsby Classic. Yes. THE great American novel. Hmph, so I heard. I suppose it should make one more interested, or at least feel more compelled to read something (or re-read as is the case here) when it has "classic" and "everyone else loves it!" stamped all over it. And has a movie made out of it, though what beloved novel hasn't these days? Of course, I originally read FSF's Gatsby because I was expected to for a high school English class. So, even though I was never the type to do homewo The eh Gatsby Classic. Yes. THE great American novel. Hmph, so I heard. I suppose it should make one more interested, or at least feel more compelled to read something (or re-read as is the case here) when it has "classic" and "everyone else loves it!" stamped all over it. And has a movie made out of it, though what beloved novel hasn't these days? Of course, I originally read FSF's Gatsby because I was expected to for a high school English class. So, even though I was never the type to do homework, I read The Great Gatsby because it had a neat cover, Fitzgerald is fun to say, and, of course, the legend of Zelda. Unfortunately for Meredyth, my thoughts on Gatsby 10 years ago are pretty similar to the thoughts I have on it today: How pretty. Pretty decedant. How drippy. How zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. It's not that I was completely uninterested. It's that my interest was never piqued to the point of really giving a shit. Sure, who doesn't love a hot mysteriously wealthy man with serious heart ache for a serious material girl? What about those rich dudes who may be crooks but no one can figger out how crooked they are exactly because how crooked can you be if you throw such mean hoedowns?! Oh, and I love a good morally ambiguous-protaganist/narrator-who-hates-parties-and-society-but-just-can't-seem-to-stay-away as much as the next person, but Nick, our hero, just wants to be liked so very much, and unfortunately, he reads like a sap. And when all the other characters are unforgivable bores, I would prefer that my ambiguous, socially mandated narrator manage to keep me awake. What about those three stars? You ask. Well I can't lie. I do think Fitz had a way with words. I did find that those subtle nuances of the variations in lifestyle during the depression to be very much in effect, and I would be happy to visit any fictional small town called West Egg. Or East Egg for that matter. And I get the kind of crazy he was going for in his more psychopathic character, George Wilson, who, because he was in love, becomes the bastiOn of normalcy even when he is driven to murder and his own suicide. FSF did manage to be believably compassionate towards his seemingly less insane characters, (who are all on the brink of insanity) (but still made me drowsy). There is definitely a part of me that sees how one could be drawn into the twinkly lit world FSF created, supposedly, out of his own reality, and I have noted his passion for the beauty of the unfolding story, such as it is. But I was disappointed 10 years ago by the story's inability to convince me it wasn't nap time, its unwillingness to point out the the relevance of the individual over society, and the irrelevance of the world Gatsby inhabits, and I was disappointed again this past week. In summation, be sure to keep an eye out for this writer. Once he writes something more appealing to the masses he's sure to bust out onto the scene soon. You heard it here first.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bookdragon Sean

    This is a good book, though it is so ridiculously overrated. There are so many great books out there that will never get the attention they deserve. They will be forgotten and their wisdom heard by only a select few who are willing to go looking for it. So it annoys me when books like this are acclaimed by critics and readers alike as the best pieces of fiction in existence (when they are not.) There’s so much more out there! Anyway, rant over. The thing I like most about The Great Gatsby is the This is a good book, though it is so ridiculously overrated. There are so many great books out there that will never get the attention they deserve. They will be forgotten and their wisdom heard by only a select few who are willing to go looking for it. So it annoys me when books like this are acclaimed by critics and readers alike as the best pieces of fiction in existence (when they are not.) There’s so much more out there! Anyway, rant over. The thing I like most about The Great Gatsby is the language, the subtlety’s and the suggestions, the things that are not directly said but are said nevertheless. It’s a true feat of writing and at times it reminded me of a stage piece. The dialogue does not give the answers, but it is the character’s actions and movements (so fantastically narrated) that give the game away: it reveals their internal worlds. As such this is a book that can easily be skimmed over. The plot is basic and relatively unengaging and consequently I think an inattentive reader has a lot to miss here. It’s all about illusions and false appearances just like real life. The way people perceive us is not how we truly are and sometimes individuals actively work towards creating a desired appearance for the outside world. It’s easily done with enough time, effort and money. What Gatsby creates for the outside is a dream, an ideal life that looks perfect. However, scratch the surface and it is so very, very, clear that not everything is perfect. His supposed “happiness” is hollow and dictated by the whims of society. It is fickle, egotistical and driven by status and all the silly little symbols that go with it. His success is what society demands success to be; thus, he positions himself into a place where he can chase his true dream. In doing so Gatsby shows us that not everything is as simple as it appears, and that society driven by such monetary values is a dangerous thing because everybody is so detached from what really matters in life. (The object of his affections, for example.) I enjoyed The Great Gatsby though I certainly did not love it. Its popularity baffles me to a degree, I can think of books from the same era that deserve far more attention. Still, I enjoyed reading it and I’m glad I finally did so.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Huda Yahya

    ترتبط هذه الرواية في ذهني بذكريات جميلة ودافئة فلقد درستها في عامي الأول في الكلية وكنت أقرؤها بلذة خالصة لن يعرفها من يقوم بقرائتها مترجمة لا أجد رواية تقوم بتجسيد الحلم الأمريكي كهذه الرواية وعليك أن تقارن فكرة الحلم الأمريكي في بدايتها بفكرة الحلم الإنساني ككل هذا الشبق العظيم للوصول إلى القمة الحصول على كل شيء النجاح العظيم والحرية المطلقة فكرة الحلم الأمريكي ترجع جذورها إلى البدايات لحظة توقيع إعلان الاستقلال والذي يجعل الرجال جميعهم متساوين في الحقوق حيث خلقوا جميعاً من ربّ واحد بحقوق مستحقة لاحظ هنا ترتبط هذه الرواية في ذهني بذكريات جميلة ودافئة فلقد درستها في عامي الأول في الكلية وكنت أقرؤها بلذة خالصة لن يعرفها من يقوم بقرائتها مترجمة لا أجد رواية تقوم بتجسيد الحلم الأمريكي كهذه الرواية وعليك أن تقارن فكرة الحلم الأمريكي في بدايتها بفكرة الحلم الإنساني ككل هذا الشبق العظيم للوصول إلى القمة الحصول على كل شيء النجاح العظيم والحرية المطلقة فكرة الحلم الأمريكي ترجع جذورها إلى البدايات لحظة توقيع إعلان الاستقلال والذي يجعل الرجال جميعهم متساوين في الحقوق حيث خلقوا جميعاً من ربّ واحد بحقوق مستحقة لاحظ هنا أن توماس جيفريسون ذكر All men are created equal وإن كانت لفظة men تعني الإنسان في وقت ما إنما استخدام اللفظة عامة جعلها تحتكر الحرية على الذكور فمازالت المرأة وقتها تعامل على أنها مواطن من الدرجة الثانية وربما إلى الآن يرسم فيتزجيرالد أبطاله بعناية يدقق في تفاصيلاتهم الخاصة يأخذك في دواخلهم ويداعب ملامحهم بلغته الماكرة الممتعة ~~**~~ ابتسم بتفهّم بأكثر من مجرّد تفهم وكانت واحدة من تلك الابتسامات النادرة التي تحمل صبغة طمأنينة أبدية فيها والتي قد تأتي عبر أربع أو خمس مرات في الحياة لقد واجهت أو بدى أنها واجهت العالم بأكمله في لحظة ومن ثم ركزت على روحك بمحاباة لا تقاوم في صالحك لقد تفهّمتكْ قدر ما تريد أنت أن تكون مفهوماً آمنت بك بالقدر الذي تريد أنت به الإيمان بذاتك و طمأنتك بأنها تأخذ نفس الانطباع الذي قد تودّ إعطاءه عن نفسك في أقصى طموحاتك ~~**~~ كانت طريقة الكاتب في الوصف هي الآسرة هُنا فالقصّة ذاتها إن تجرّدت من سردها القيّم ستبقى عادية جداً وتافهة لدى البعض رجل فقير يحاول قدر ما يحاول إثراء ذاته للوصول إلى قلب المرأة التي أحبها والتي تتصف بانتهازية ووقاحة وأنانية تجعلك تود سحقها احياناً القصة لن تتفهمها جيداً إلا إذا كنت مهتماً ببدايات الحلم الأمريكي وبدراسة تلك الفترة من عمر أمريكا القصير فالرواية تدور في عصر الجاز وتلقي الضوء على أوقات قريبة من بداية الكساد الكبير و في وقت كان الإتجار بالخمور ممنوعاً والذي انتشر فيه بيع وشراء الخمر بنهم كبير في السوق السوداء تنقل الرواية المشاعر الإنسانية في أوجها تجدها متجسدة في الحروف تكاد تنطق بطريقة شديدة الخصوصية وبمهارة أدبية عظيمة القصة أكثر من مجرد شباب وفتيات يعيشون المتعة واللهو فهي تصور حيرة جيل مجنون بأكمله يعاني الاغتراب والملل والجهل يحاول الوصول إلى فكرة مستحيلة إلى ثراء ومجد وحرية حتى يتساقطوا واحداً تلو الآخر من التعب وخيبة الأمل فكل واحد فيهم أراه قد مات في نهاية الرواية بطريقة أو بأخرى بحيث لم يبقى ممن قد بقى سوى أشباح لم تعد قادرة حتى على التفاهات اليومية التي يغرقون أنفسهم بها هناك أكثر من فيلم شاهدته عن الرواية ولم يعجبني أي منهم ولكنني أنتظر الفيلم الجديد وأشعر أنه سيكون مختلفاً وممتعاً متعة الرواية تقل كثيراً في الترجمة فالرواية الأمريكية تحتاج لقراءتها كما كتبت وبنفس الروح و لقد تمتعت بدراستها ،وحصلت على تقدير جيد جدا سنتها :D ولذا تبقى في ذهني مرتبطة ببعض قطرات من سعادة وبأوقات حلوة لا تُنسى

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    Most Americans are assigned to read this novel in high school. Few American high schoolers have the wherewithal to appreciate this novel in full. I certainly did not. It is on a shortlist of novels that should, every 5 years starting at age 25, return to any American's required reading list. First things first: The opening of The Great Gatsby -- its first 3-4 pages -- ranks among the best of any novel in the English language, and so too does its ending. Both for their content and for their prose, Most Americans are assigned to read this novel in high school. Few American high schoolers have the wherewithal to appreciate this novel in full. I certainly did not. It is on a shortlist of novels that should, every 5 years starting at age 25, return to any American's required reading list. First things first: The opening of The Great Gatsby -- its first 3-4 pages -- ranks among the best of any novel in the English language, and so too does its ending. Both for their content and for their prose, the latter of which is stunning and near perfect throughout the novel. As for that between the novel's opening and conclusion, two things first. (1) History is fairly clear that the term "the American Dream" did not exist at the time Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby, and regardless it almost certainly did not exist in the popular consciousness. (2) Few great American novelists after Fitzgerald have not attempted to write "the great American novel". Most of these efforts are absurdly long and often tortured. The Great Gatsby, on the other hand, is relatively short, fluid, and of seemingly effortless yet pristine expression. At a point in history where Fitzgerald's express focus could hardly have been a tale regarding "the American dream" per se or the writing of "the great American novel", Fitzgerald nevertheless crafts the definitive tale of "the American Dream", as well as, his successors' endeavors aside, "the great American novel". Period. In not so many pages, Fitzgerald paints a brilliantly cogent picture of the potential pleasures, joys, and benefits an individual might deem achievable -- uniquely so -- in an America filled with possibilities. Paired with that picture, Fitzgerald besprinkles The Great Gatsby with the numerous pitfalls and evils that both stand as a barrier to what's imagined achievable in America, and threaten to accompany that which is achieved. Neither the quest for, nor (if possible) the achievement of, the American Dream is a thing untainted. Nor, in Fitzgerald's view, can it be. Fitzgerald, frankly, writes all that need be written on this subject; whatever his successors' ambitions may be. And he writes it in prose so perfect, so impressive, and so beautiful, I occasionally find myself at a loss to name a novel in the English language constructed with greater skill, and apparent ease thereof. In short: The Great Gatsby is an inimitable wonder of American fiction. And, for lack of a better word, an "application" of the English language that has few equals. The novel is astounding.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Luca Ambrosino

    English (The Great Gatsby) / Italiano «In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”»The Great Gatsby, the book that most of all I postponed the reading. There was something in the title that didn't excite me, that didn't pass the smell. I was wrong.The narrator, Nick Carra English (The Great Gatsby) / Italiano «In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”»The Great Gatsby, the book that most of all I postponed the reading. There was something in the title that didn't excite me, that didn't pass the smell. I was wrong.The narrator, Nick Carraway, lives in a house across the street of the luxurious villa of Jay Gatsby, the embodiment of the American Dream. Nick is affected by Gatsby straight away, and starts a friendship with him, helping him to win back the love of an old flame, that is married by now.The novel is poetic at times, often cynical, with an enjoyable style of writing. The lesson is ruthless: the American Dream is exactly what it is. It is not real, it's only a dream.Vote: 8 «Nei miei anni più giovani e vulnerabili mio padre mi diede un consiglio che non ho mai smesso di considerare. “Ogni volta che ti sentirai di criticare qualcuno,” mi disse, “ricordati che non tutti a questo mondo hanno avuto i tuoi stessi vantaggi”»Il Grande Gatsby, il libro che più di tutti non mi decidevo a leggere. C'era qualcosa nel titolo che non mi entusiasmava, non mi ispirava. Avevo torto.Il narratore Nick Carraway vive in un villino di fronte la sfarzosa dimora di Jay Gatsby, l'incarnazione del sogno americano. Ne subisce fin da subito l'influenza ed intreccia con lui un rapporto di amicizia, durante il quale cercherà di aiutarlo a riconquistare una vecchia fiamma di lui, oramai sposata.Romanzo a tratti poetico, a tratti cinico, dallo stile più che gradevole. La morale è crudele: il sogno americano è proprio quello che è, solo un sogno.Voto: 8

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Masterson

    I just spent three days being read to by Jake Gyllenhaal and it was absolutely wonderful! I took Jake with me for long Summer walks, to the grocery store, Trader Joe's, and let me not forget the ten minutes I spent driving around the parking lot of Target, not for a better parking space, but to listen to Jake read "The Great Gatsby" to me! My only regret is that this fabulous experience is over. Sigh... I've read the book and watched both versions of the movie but this is by far my favorite exper I just spent three days being read to by Jake Gyllenhaal and it was absolutely wonderful! I took Jake with me for long Summer walks, to the grocery store, Trader Joe's, and let me not forget the ten minutes I spent driving around the parking lot of Target, not for a better parking space, but to listen to Jake read "The Great Gatsby" to me! My only regret is that this fabulous experience is over. Sigh... I've read the book and watched both versions of the movie but this is by far my favorite experience with this novel! Highly highly recommended!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Orsodimondo

    COSÌ CONTINUIAMO A REMARE, BARCHE CONTRO LA CORRENTE, SOSPINTI SENZA POSA VERSO IL PASSATO Romanzo che mi è parso molto, molto cinematografico (anche se non credo Fitzgerald avesse ancora incominciato a lavorare a Hollywood quando Gatsby fu pubblicato). Ma il cinema per gli US (e per noi italiani) è la forma d’arte esportata meglio nel corso del Novecento, quella che si è diffusa di più, è diventata più famosa. Fitzgerald anche in questo seppe cogliere l’aria del tempo (e poi restare eterno come COSÌ CONTINUIAMO A REMARE, BARCHE CONTRO LA CORRENTE, SOSPINTI SENZA POSA VERSO IL PASSATO Romanzo che mi è parso molto, molto cinematografico (anche se non credo Fitzgerald avesse ancora incominciato a lavorare a Hollywood quando Gatsby fu pubblicato). Ma il cinema per gli US (e per noi italiani) è la forma d’arte esportata meglio nel corso del Novecento, quella che si è diffusa di più, è diventata più famosa. Fitzgerald anche in questo seppe cogliere l’aria del tempo (e poi restare eterno come solo i classici possono). Il primo adattamento per lo schermo apparve a un solo anno di distanza dalla prima pubblicazione, 1926, film muto, con Warner Baxter nel ruolo del titolo, Lois Wilson in Daisy, e Neil Hamilton in Nick. La regia di Herbert Brenon. Il film fu un fiasco, come tutti gli altri che seguirono nel tempo. Fitzgerald e sua moglie Zelda detestarono questo primo adattamento e uscirono dalla sala prima della fine della proiezione. Di questo film è rimasto solo il trailer, il resto si è dissolto. Cinematografico non solo nell’attenzione alle luci: le finestre, aperte e chiuse, i controluce, i colori (il verde della luce del faro, il giallo della macchina e degli occhiali, il rosa e l’oro degli abiti di Gatsby, l’oro della ricchezza, l’azzurro dei prati, l’argento della luna…) - pure se all’epoca la pellicola era ancora in bianco e nero, la realtà ricostruita nei set era ovviamente colorata. Squisitamente cinematografica la prima apparizione di Gatsby, in silhouette, uscito per decidere quanto gli spettasse del nostro cielo, protende il braccio verso la luce verde al di là della baia, il faro davanti alla casa di Daisy (questa luce verde ritorna più volte nel romanzo, diventa il simbolo della ricerca di Gatsby, del sogno individuale e collettivo, infatti è lo stesso verde che appare ai primi marinai che raggiunsero la costa americana, loro sì inseguirono il sogno diretti da est a ovest). Ma, l’effettiva entrata in scena di Gatsby è articolata in un crescendo, per i primi due capitoli e metà del terzo, come l’ingresso della primadonna. Preparata dalle voci (…è parente del Kaiser… ha ucciso un uomo… è cugino di secondo grado del diavolo…), dalle chiacchiere, dai mormorii, la curiosità sale nel protagonista io narrante e nel lettore (sicuramente nel sottoscritto lettore). E poi, colpo di genio, Gatsby all’improvviso è già in scena: niente occhio di bue, niente rullo di tamburi, accanto a Nick, il nostro Virgilio in questa divina tragedia americana, è seduto un uomo di qualche anno più grande di lui, che parla con cura e formalità, probabilmente un ex commilitone durante la Grande Guerra. Ed è proprio lui, Gatsby, il mitico grande Gatsby, colui che dispensava la luce delle stelle a falene indifferenti. Sempre in bianco e nero, ma in sonoro, si comincia a entrare nel mito, con Alan Ladd nella parte di Gatsby, Betty Field per Daisy, e Macdonald Carey che fa Nick. Dirige Elliott Nugent. È il 1949, e anche questo film incassa male, la maledizione di Gatsby contagia lo schermo. Esistono molti tipi di sorriso: quello di Gatsby però è unico, e FSF lo descrive a meraviglia. Dimentica tuttavia di dirci la cosa che spiega tutto: non basta scrivere che era uno di quei rari sorrisi capaci di rassicurazione eterna, come si incontrano quattro o cinque volte nella vita - il sorriso di Gatsby era uno di quei sorrisi che ti fanno sentire importante. Prima di tutto proprio per il fatto che sia uno come Gatsby a sorriderti. Quel genere di sorriso che si accompagna quasi sempre a laconicità. Perché a quel sorriso si affida l’essenza della comunicazione. Ed eccoci alla versione del 1974, con la star delle star, Robert Redford [che quest’anno ne fa ha 81, e quando lui non ci sarà più, per me non esisterà più neanche Hollywood], Mia Farrow, Sam Waterston, Bruce Dern, Karen Black, Lois Chiles. Firma Jack Clayton, che rifiuta la sceneggiatura di Truman Capote e opta per quella di Francis Ford Coppola. Il film finalmente incassa, ma l’alchimia Redford-Farrow è sotto zero. Clayton non raggiunge purtroppo le vette di The Innocents (in italiano: Suspense, 1961), l’adattamento di ‘Giro di vite’ di Henry James. Sempre per restare nell’ambito cinematografico, Nick, l’io narrante è al contempo regista e interprete/testimone, racconta ciò che vede, assiste e partecipa, ma anche ciò che ha sentito, ricostruendo l’intreccio per noi lettori come farebbe una voce fuori campo. Fitzgerald glielo lascia fare in modo che la storia e il personaggio principale siano costruiti su vuoti ed ellissi, elementi strutturali quanto mai filmici – alcuni degli eventi fondamentali del romanzo non sono messi in scena, non sono rappresentati: per esempio, l’incontro tra Gatsby e Daisy, l’investimento di Myrtle, la morte di Gatsby, tutti momenti clou che rimangono per così dire ‘fuori campo’. Nick è il punto di vista dominante, ma è qualcuno che ammette di essere allo stesso tempo dentro e fuori i fatti, è qualcuno che ci dice esplicitamente quanto il suo racconto sia in soggettiva piuttosto che oggettivo - per questo non si trattiene dal manipolare il piano temporale dei fatti, l’ordine degli eventi, spostandosi avanti e indietro nel tempo, proprio come farebbe un regista in fase di montaggio. E proprio come un regista che interviene sulla lente e gioca con la messa a fuoco, la percezione visiva di Nick è spesso annebbiata, distorta, come sottolineano i molteplici riferimenti alla vista, allo sguardo, al punto di vista, all’illusione ottica (lo stesso passato di Gatsby riassume in sé contorni sfumati e incerti). In contrapposizione allo sguardo del grande manifesto pubblicitario che ritorna più volte, quello del dott. J.T. Eckleburg, che dietro i giganteschi occhiali nasconde quasi sicuramente gli occhi miopi di dio (metafora della cecità eterna, la pubblicità mercifica il divino). Questa versione nasce modesta, destinata alla tv: è il 2000, Toby Stephens interpreta Gatsby, Mira Sorvino Daisy e Paul Rudd Nick. Dirige Robert Markowitz. Alla ricerca dell’ultima frontiera, il confine da Ovest si è spostato a Est, e in questa terra di conquista dove il sogno di felicità e redenzione è universale ed eterno, in questa vicenda semplice, per certi versi addirittura banale, eppure complessa e intricata come solo i grandi classici possono essere, in queste pagine che sono simboliche e mitiche, americane al cento per cento (Under the Red, White, and Blue sembra che fosse il titolo preferito da Fitzgerald, lo propose all’editore troppo tardi, l’opera era già in stampa) ma universali, il sogno è destinato a fallire. Gatsby è un cavaliere medioevale senza armatura che insegue il suo sogno, il suo Santo Graal che si chiama Daisy, ma si chiama anche successo, perché senza successo Daisy non si trova, non arriva. Il sogno americano è già marcio negli anni Venti del Novecento, quando è ambientato questo romanzo: il proibizionismo stimola e diffonde corruzione, il successo arriva in fretta con metodi spicci, non serve più il duro lavoro. Anche se si arriva in cima, ci si muove in una terra desolata come quella che circonda il drugstore del marito di Myrtle, dove la donna viene travolta e uccisa, mischiando il suo sangue alla cenere, e in ultima analisi all’immondizia. Proprio come Lancillotto, il più celebre cavaliere medievale, Gatsby conosce l’amore sia romantico che fisico (non credo di aver mai letto una scena d’amore più erotica di quella descritta da Chrétien de Troyes tra Lancillotto e Ginevra). On Sunday morning while church bells rang in the villages along shore the world and its mistress returned to Gatsby’s house and twinkled hilariously on his lawn. Un esempio dell’incanto che è una grande scrittura. Nel 2002 ci fu uno strano tentativo, Gatsby diventa nero in questo insolito remake che trasporta la storia al terzo millennio: si intitola semplicemente G, dirige Christopher Scott Cherot, e Richard T.Jones interpreta il protagonista Summer G. Esperimento curioso, ma non indimenticabile. Nel 1922, quando iniziò a pensare al romanzo che ultimò e fu pubblicato tre anni dopo, Fitzgerald scrisse al suo editor: Voglio scrivere qualcosa di nuovo - qualcosa di straordinario, di bello e semplice e dalla struttura intricata. Parole che sono cronaca di un capolavoro annunciato. Figlio di Henry James, o come disse T.S.Eliot, il primo passo in avanti fatto dalla narrativa americana dai tempi di Henry James, mi piace pensare che Fitzgerald battezzò la sua non eroina ispirandosi proprio alla Daisy Miller di James. Figlio della grande tradizione, dove Nick sopravvive alla morte di Gatsby per raccontare la storia proprio come Ismael sopravvive alla tragedia di Achab, Fitzgerald seppe spostare l’asticella più in alto, più avanti. Così in alto e così avanti che un altro sommo scrittore, J.D. Salinger, fa pronunciare al suo incomparabile personaggio, Holden, catcher in the rye, parole di lode per Fitzgerald e il suo Gatsby (Mi fa impazzire, Il Grande Gatsby. Il vecchio Gatsby. Vecchio mio. Mi fa morire, capitolo 18). E come Nick alla fine del romanzo pulisce una parola oscena scritta sui gradini della villa di Gatsby, così Holden cancella le oscenità scritte sui muri della scuola della sorellina. A questo punto mi piace citare Calvino, le cui parole trovo particolarmente adatte a questo capolavoro: un classico è un libro che non ha mai finito di dire quel che ha da dire - Di un classico ogni rilettura è una lettura di scoperta come la prima - I classici sono libri che quanto più si crede di conoscerli per sentito dire, tanto più quando si leggono davvero si trovano nuovi, inaspettati, inediti - Un classico è un'opera che provoca incessantemente un pulviscolo di discorsi critici su di sé, ma continuamente se li scrolla di dosso… Ed ecco l’ultima leggenda, Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan in Daisy, e Tobey Maguire fa Nick. La regia è affidata al geniale Baz Luhrmann. Siamo nel 2013. Il risultato non è memorabile. Tentai poi di pensare a Gatsby per un momento ma lui era già troppo lontano. Probabilmente non avevo diciotto anni quando ho letto Fitzgerald per la prima volta. I 28 racconti. Il primo, ‘Il diamante grosso come l’Hotel Ritz’, mi fulminò e mi conquistò col suo finale: I don't know any longer. At any rate, let us love for a while, for a year or so, you and me. That's a form of divine drunkenness that we can all try. There are only diamonds in the whole world, diamonds and perhaps the shabby gift of disillusion. Well, I have that last and I will make the usual nothing of it." He shivered. "Turn up your coat collar, little girl, the night's full of chill and you'll get pneumonia. His was a great sin who first invented consciousness. Let us lose it for a few hours. Chiarendo e stabilendo per me sin da allora che l’adolescenza non è un periodo della vita, ma uno stato dell’anima.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ian "Marvin" Graye

    The True Value of Monopoly Money Capitalism tends towards monopoly. No capitalist welcomes a competitor or rival. Having attained wealth, the desire is to retain it, not to concede it; to increase it, not to share it. A competitor is perceived as a threat, and will be treated like a virus invading an otherwise healthy, but vulnerable, body. The Great American Dream "The Great Gatsby" is often described as a paean to the Great American Dream. This Dream supposedly sustains the average American. It of The True Value of Monopoly Money Capitalism tends towards monopoly. No capitalist welcomes a competitor or rival. Having attained wealth, the desire is to retain it, not to concede it; to increase it, not to share it. A competitor is perceived as a threat, and will be treated like a virus invading an otherwise healthy, but vulnerable, body. The Great American Dream "The Great Gatsby" is often described as a paean to the Great American Dream. This Dream supposedly sustains the average American. It offers the opportunity to achieve success, prosperity and happiness, regardless of class, status, background or wealth. It contains a promise of upward social mobility, a reward that will be ours if we work hard enough. We all have an equal opportunity to transcend our current circumstances. Implicitly, if we fail to transcend, we have only ourselves to blame. We didn't take sufficient advantage of our opportunity. Everybody is responsible for their own failure. The Great American Dream isn't far from the Objectivist Philosophy of Ayn Rand. Stars and stripes and silhouettes and shadows. Jay Gatsby Most readers think of Jay Gatsby as someone who took advantage of his opportunity, and made it. In that sense, he's the epitome of the Great American Dream. He has amassed enormous business wealth. He owns a colossal mansion on West Egg, Long Island. Every week, he holds a lavish party attended by all and sundry. The parties are the ultimate in Jazz Age glamour. Gatsby has achieved everything material an American could want. He has realised the Long Island real estate mantra, "Vocation, Location, Ovation". The Green Light So what's Gatsby's problem? Every night, Gatsby looks across the sound to a green light on a porch, where Daisy lives in her more prestigious East Egg mansion with her husband, Tom Buchanan. Daisy is the one thing for which Gatsby yearns. She is the one thing he has sought after since he met and fell in love with her five years earlier at age 25. "The Great Gatsby" revers that small green light. What we never see is what Gatsby's mansion looked like from Daisy's perspective at home. We aren't expressly offered a vision of Gatsby's fully-lit mansion as a counterpoint to Tom's, but that is what it is. The point is Gatsby's achievement of the Great American Dream was not the end, as it is with most Americans, it was the means to an end, and that end was winning the hand in marriage of Daisy. The most important thing about Gatsby's mansion, from Gatsby's point of view, is what it would look like to one woman across the sound. Love's Labours Retrieved Gatsby has already lost Daisy once, in 1917, when as a destitute young officer during the war, he was unable to marry her, because he could not offer her a financial security that was acceptable to her wealthy mid-west family. Since then, he has acquired wealth, by whatever means necessary, to win her away from Tom and marry her. The wealth was nothing to him, the parties were grotesque bonfires of vanity, designed with one thing in mind: to attract Daisy's attention and bring her, curious, within his reach. Then, having got her within his sphere of influence, he could win her back. "The Great Gatsby" is really about the love a man had for a woman, how he lost it and what he did to regain it. At one point, Gatsby talks about repeating the past. I don't see him as repeating it, so much as regaining it, making up for lost time, retrieving what he felt should have been his. "The Great Gatsby" is not so much about repetition, as it is about retrieval; not so much a remembrance of things past, as a resumption of a journey from a point in the past when the journey was broken. Carey Mulligan as Daisy (Courtesy: The Telegraph) The Pursuit of Another Man's Wife At its heart, Gatsby engages in adultery with Daisy, with a view to convincing her to divorce Tom and marry him. Many might find his conduct objectionable, except that he is young, elegant, good-looking, fabulously wealthy and, most importantly, in love with the slender Daisy. In contrast, Tom is a brute of a man, he is an ex-champion footballer, hard and cruel. Most importantly, he has cheated on Daisy many times and now has a mistress, the stout, but sensuous, Myrtle Wilson. Tom comes from an extremely wealthy mid-western family. Money is no object to him. Daisy might have the voice of money, but Tom has the demeanour and arrogance of not just money, but old money. When Tom learns of Daisy's infidelity and Gatsby's takeover bid, he goes into typical capitalist mode in order to defend his wife, his asset, his marital property. He researches Gatsby's past and theorises about how he has made his new money. He plans his counter-attack. The narrator, Nick Carraway, watches on, not just witness to a battle between Good and Evil, but in reality a battle between two degrees of bad. Black and white portrait of Isla Fisher as Myrtle Wilson Tom's Defence Strategy In the realm of love, as between two rival men, there can be no such thing as a friendly takeover bid. There is no suggestion that Tom can allow Gatsby to have Daisy, so that he can settle for Myrtle. The latter is just a plaything, something he spends time on, because she is available and he can have her without effort. All Myrtle ever wanted from her own husband was a gentleman with breeding. He turns out to be a mere mechanic and car salesman. He doesn't have the right status. Equally, although he is content to have her as his mistress, Tom doesn't see Myrtle as having the right status for marriage either. Ultimately, the role of marriage is not to perpetuate love and happiness. Tom's task is to bond together two wealthy establishment families and their riches. A merger of two capitalist families moves them that much closer to monopolistic power, in the same way that the intermarriage of royal families once cemented international power. Tom's goal is so important that it can accommodate his cruelty and infidelities, at least in his eyes. Moreover, it allows Tom to prevail over Gatsby, who, despite his war record, his partly-completed Oxford education, his wealth, his glamour, and his apparent achievement of the Great American Dream, is not "one of us". Ultimately, coincidence, accident and fate intervene on behalf of Tom, almost comically if it was not so sad, and he resists Gatsby's takeover bid. Nick, the observer, the witness, the audience of this tragedy, is left disgusted. Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker The Great American Paradox "The Great Gatsby" is a short novel. At times, there is more telling than showing. At times, the description is too adjectival or adverbial for the dictates of current style manuals. Take away the mansion, the parties and the glamour, and what remains comes close to the dimensions of film noir like "Double Indemnity". While the novel is perceived as hailing the Great American Dream, the paradox is that it highlights how great are the forces that are lined up to resist the efforts of a man who aspires to the Dream, especially if that man is a trespasser who covets another man's wife, even if he loves her and she loves him. There are flaws in Fitzgerald's writing, but they are tolerable. The story is magificent, even if, when laid out methodically, it might appear cliched. The characters, while realistic, are detailed and larger than life, certainly detailed enough to withstand the scrutiny when they are projected onto the silver screen. They are portrayed acting out their emotions in exactly the same way that we might in the same circumstances. However, in the long run, what makes "The Great Gatsby" great is Fitzgerald's ability to both adulate and perpetuate the Great American Dream, while simultaneously subverting it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    699. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby is a 1925 novel written by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald that follows a cast of characters living in the fictional town of West Egg on prosperous Long Island in the summer of 1922. The story primarily concerns the young and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his quixotic passion and obsession for the beautiful former debutante Daisy Buchanan. Considered to be Fitzgerald's magnum opus, The Great Gatsby explores themes of decadenc 699. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby is a 1925 novel written by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald that follows a cast of characters living in the fictional town of West Egg on prosperous Long Island in the summer of 1922. The story primarily concerns the young and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his quixotic passion and obsession for the beautiful former debutante Daisy Buchanan. Considered to be Fitzgerald's magnum opus, The Great Gatsby explores themes of decadence, idealism, resistance to change, social upheaval, and excess, creating a portrait of the Jazz Age or the Roaring Twenties that has been described as a cautionary tale regarding the American Dream. Characters: Nick Carraway, Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan, Tom Buchanan, Jordan Baker, Myrtle Wilson, Meyer Wolfsheim, George Wilson. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه سپتامبر سال 2002 میلادی عنوان: گتسبی بزرگ؛ اثر: اف. اسکات فیتزجرالد (فیتس جرالد)؛ مترجم: کریم امامی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، انتشارات نیلوفر، 1379؛ در 288 ص نخستین بار با عنوان: طلا و خاکستر گتسبی بزرگ؛ با ترجمه کریم امامی در تهران توسط انتشارات فرانکلین در سال 1344 در 204 ص منتشر شده است مترجمین دیگر این اثر بزرگ خانمها و آقایان: فهیمه رحمتی؛ نفیسه رنجبران؛ مهدی سجودی مقدم؛ عباس کرمی فر؛ فاطمه جمالی؛ محمدصادق سبط الشیخ؛ رضا رضایی؛ مهدی افشار؛ معصومه عسگری؛ هستند نقل از متن: آنگاه کلاه طلائی بر سر بگذار، اگر برمیانگیزدش، اگر توان بالا جستنت هست، به خاطرش نیز به جست و خیز درآی، تا بدانجا که فریاد برآورد: عاشق، ای عاشق بالا جهنده ی کلاه طلائی، مرا تو باید. نقل از «تامس پارک دنویایه».؛ انگار هر کتاب نامدار را، که در این مورد در عنوانش نیز، واژه «بزرگ» خودنمایی میکند، بیشتر باور داریم. پیشتر، چندبار خوانده بودم، دوستی نگارگر در دو واژه، همین نویسنده را ستوده بودند، آن دو واژه چشمم را گرفت، و این بار آخر، که کتاب را برداشتم، ساعت سه صبح روز سیزده مهرماه 1392 هجری خورشیدی بود که به انتهای راه خوانشش رسیدم، و بسیار هم خوش بگذشت، این بار مدهوش شخصیت پردازیها، و صحنه آرائیها شده بودم، سخن شخصیتها یادم میماند، تند و تند میخواندم، تا به جاهایی برسم، که نگارنده با واژه ی «دی زی» صحنه را بیاراید، میدانم که باز هم خواهم خواند. ا. شربیانی

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And then one fine morning— So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past”

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cecily

    I don't know if my appreciation of this should be tempered by the fact I was about three quarters of the way through before I realised I'd read it before (though I think it was many years ago)! PLOT It is (mostly) set in Long Island in summer of 1922, amongst the young, idle, amoral rich, playing fast and loose with their own lives and indeed, those of others. All very glamorous, self-centred, and shallow, but the possibility of darker things lurking holds interest and tension. CHARACTERS Even if y I don't know if my appreciation of this should be tempered by the fact I was about three quarters of the way through before I realised I'd read it before (though I think it was many years ago)! PLOT It is (mostly) set in Long Island in summer of 1922, amongst the young, idle, amoral rich, playing fast and loose with their own lives and indeed, those of others. All very glamorous, self-centred, and shallow, but the possibility of darker things lurking holds interest and tension. CHARACTERS Even if you like celebrity parties, there are no good, pleasant characters; it may start off glamourising such lives, but things are very different by the end. "They were careless people... they smashed up things and creations and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness... and let other people clean up the mess they had made." (This even applies to children: only one is ever mentioned, but is then oddly forgotten, perhaps reflecting the sadness of how irrelevant she is to everyone.) Nick, the narrator, is the odd one out in that he actually has to work for a living. Also, perhaps because he nurses a secret (view spoiler)[is he in love with Gatsby, or merely dazzled by him (hide spoiler)] ? Nick is also the most honest and honourable one (or perhaps the least dishonest and dishonourable, though the fact he explicitly mentions his reputation for honesty (more than once) does bring Lady Macbeth to mind). He reconnects with his cousin, Daisy, who is married to Tom, and dips his toe in their social set. Always the outsider, yet somehow inside, and thus surely culpable for things that happen, at least to some extent. Daisy is perhaps the most significant character, though more words are written about others. Her name is unlikely to be a coincidence: daisies are robust and wild; they don't need or want hothouse pampering - despite appearances to the contrary. The host with the most is the mysterious Jay Gatsby, who throws lavish parties for people he barely knows (albeit with an ulterior motive). Like all the main characters, he is a westerner who moved east. Nick (and therefore Fitzgerald) seems to think this is significant, though as a Brit, it is somewhat lost on me. ARTIFICE Some people see through the artifice: "She was appalled by West Egg [the village], this unprecedented 'place' that Broadway had begotten upon a Long Island fishing village - appalled by its raw vigour that chafed under the old euphemisms and by the too obtrusive fate that herded its inhabitants along a short-cut from nothing to nothing." RELEVANCE TODAY Americans often have strong feelings about this book because of the way it explores (and, initially at least, admires) The American Dream. However, as a modern Brit, with no emotional attachment to the concept, it still feels relevant. The message is about the power - and danger - of chasing dreams, without giving thought to the wider ramifications. Extravagance and superficiality lose their lustre after a while. Perhaps the "celebrities" who currently fill the pages of glossy magazines such as Hello and OK should take note: there are many similarities. Or maybe it's about the overwhelming force of love - its costs and consequences - and the pain that hope bestows. Especially secret, forbidden love. Can you be true to yourself, or one you love, if you are dishonest in other realms? There are some wonderful descriptions and images: * One such couple "drifted here and there unrestfully wherever people played polo and were rich together". * At times, it is almost Wildean, "I drove... to see two old friends whom I scarcely knew at all" and "I like large parties. they're so intimate. At small parties there isn't any privacy." * "It was the kind of voice that the ear follows up and down, as if each speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again." * Chat that "was as cool as their white dresses and their impersonal eyes in the absence of all desire". * "The last sunshine fell with romantic affection upon her glowing face... then the glow faded, each light deserting her with a lingering regret, like children leaving a pleasant street at dusk." * "Her eyebrows had been plucked and then drawn on again at a more rakish angle, but the efforts of nature toward the restoration of the old alignment gave a blurred air to her face." * "trousers of a nebulous hue" * "the moon soaked with wet light his tangled clothes upon the floor" * "Drowsiness closed down upon some vivid scene with an oblivious embrace... these reveries... were a satisfactory hint of the unreality of reality, a promise that the rock of the world was founded securely on a fairy's wing." * Regarding a college, "dismayed at its ferocious indifference to the drums of his destiny". * "his eyes leaking isolated and unpunctual tears" There were also a couple of startlingly awkward phrases, one on the first page. No one is perfect, but given how much Fitzgerald is lauded for the perfection of his writing, they surprised me: * "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had." * "A sudden emptiness seemed to flow now from the windows and the great doors, endowing with complete isolation the figure of the host, who stood on the porch, his hand up in an informal gesture of farewell." Also, is "the day... was pouring rain" (not "with rain") common in American English?

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Terrington

    My essay on The Great Gatsby and reification What is there to love about The Great Gatsby? F.Scott Fitzgerald’s writing here leaves only a little to be desired. The characters themselves seem shallow and empty, lacking in morality and you could take all this into consideration and instantly report: ‘well that’s a shallow book if ever I’ve heard of one.’ However it can also be seen that, The Great Gatsby is a scathing social commentary that explores the fruitlessness of pursuing dreams. Particularl My essay on The Great Gatsby and reification What is there to love about The Great Gatsby? F.Scott Fitzgerald’s writing here leaves only a little to be desired. The characters themselves seem shallow and empty, lacking in morality and you could take all this into consideration and instantly report: ‘well that’s a shallow book if ever I’ve heard of one.’ However it can also be seen that, The Great Gatsby is a scathing social commentary that explores the fruitlessness of pursuing dreams. Particularly dreams that are nothing more than shadows. To that end The Great Gatsby is a brilliant piece of fiction designed to criticise the lack of morality among its rich and selfish inhabitants who parasitically devour the work of the poor. One of the most beautiful elements in this novel is the depiction of the Valley of Ashes, which ultimately all the characters pass through regardless of being rich or poor. It is a place of equality and reminds one of the idea of the ‘Valley of the Shadow of Death’ mentioned by the Psalmist David, and in the novel itself Wilson relates those giant eyes to the eyes of God, a God who sees all that men do. Which is such a brilliant image to present to the reader. It is imagery like this that haunts one far after finishing this novel. Imagery remembered emphatically. It is also the language of Fitzgerald’s work that draws one in. It may not always be flawless writing but it is vivid and alive. Fitzgerald’s is essentially thoughtful writing. It is the language of quotes that act as prison bars to keep the reader enthralled by the novel. “In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. ‘Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.’” Of course The Great Gatsby will always be a polarising text due to its characters and the debate about whether it is truly a novel about the American Dream. It is a polarising effect that stems from the allure of the book – the way in which the novel hauntingly hints at something greater while remaining so brilliantly flawed. One certainly cannot fully explain their own fascination with the book, save that it does that rare thing that strong literature should do. It serves, as Franz Kafka said, to be “the axe for the frozen sea within us.” An axe in a forest of frozen dreams – poetically carving up a vision of one man forever haunted by the failings of his own dream. The rest of this review has been moved over to my website, click right here if you would like to read the rest of the review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    İntellecta

    „Der große Gatsby" is a truly brilliant and dazzling masterpiece. The book is written in such a way you cant stop reading it, because the language and presentation are stylistic and atmospheric. But you should read this book carefully. I am enthusiastic about the verbosity of this writer. Overall, the characters were very successful and unique. This story was definitely a highlight for me. Its story and a character which I absolutely like. Almost quietly and calmly, he brings us closer to the mi „Der große Gatsby" is a truly brilliant and dazzling masterpiece. The book is written in such a way you can´t stop reading it, because the language and presentation are stylistic and atmospheric. But you should read this book carefully. I am enthusiastic about the verbosity of this writer. Overall, the characters were very successful and unique. This story was definitely a highlight for me. It´s story and a character which I absolutely like. Almost quietly and calmly, he brings us closer to the milieu of the rich people and shows us the decadence, debauchery and, consequently, the inner emptiness and boredom of the protagonists. Without a doubt this book is considered as one of the greatest novels of his time and offers an exciting view of former times and the people who lived in it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Claudia Ramírez

    Se me olvidó actualizar la info de este libro en GR, oops. Luego dejo un review por acá, aunque ya expliqué mi sentir en el Wrap up de Los Juegos de Booktube, en el canal. OH, y no estoy segura del rating que le puse al libro, en estos días pensaré si debo subirlo o bajarlo, sigo muy pensativa al respecto.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    This is an all right-ish kind of novel, I suppose, but I always preferred Fitzgerald’s little-known prequel The Average Gatsby, although some people found the vision of Mervyn Gatsby, Jay’s obscure brother, living a reasonably okayish life as the manager of a carpet and upholstery warehouse in Des Moines a trifle dispiriting. I quite agree that The Bad Gatsby was a shameless self-ripoff which did Fitzgerald no favours. (The threesome scene between Warren Harding, John Dillinger and Gatsby was in This is an all right-ish kind of novel, I suppose, but I always preferred Fitzgerald’s little-known prequel The Average Gatsby, although some people found the vision of Mervyn Gatsby, Jay’s obscure brother, living a reasonably okayish life as the manager of a carpet and upholstery warehouse in Des Moines a trifle dispiriting. I quite agree that The Bad Gatsby was a shameless self-ripoff which did Fitzgerald no favours. (The threesome scene between Warren Harding, John Dillinger and Gatsby was in poor taste and I do not see how it got past the censor. I have never been able to look at a set of deer antlers without blushing ever again.) And I must say that these new franchised-out novels like The Late Gatsby (Jay as vampire, inevitable I suppose), The Grape Gatsby (must be aimed at the vegan crowd) and The Lesbian Gatsby (in which – surprise – he never was a man), followed up by The Straight Gatsby - and The Groped Gatsby in which he was recovering from sexual abuse at the hands of Warren Harding - what can one say - The Ingrate Gatsby (in which he doesn't get rich and is really bitter) - must have literature fans gnawing each other’s kindles in sheer angst. They’re a disgrace. I have even seen a superhero graphic novel called Batgatsby. Or did I dream that. Hmm. Maybe there isn’t a Batgatsby. I wonder if it would sell… I bet it would. Batgatsby.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Henry Avila

    Jay Gatsby, is a mysterious young man, who gives extravagant parties on Long Island, New York, outside his palatial mansion , in the warm, lazy, summer nights. That he doesn't know the people he invites, not to mention the numerous gatecrashers, might make it a little strange, but this being the roaring 20's, anything goes, rumors abound about Gatsby, bootlegger ? Who cares, as long as the free liquor flows, the great food served, and the beautiful music, continues playing. Finally attending one Jay Gatsby, is a mysterious young man, who gives extravagant parties on Long Island, New York, outside his palatial mansion , in the warm, lazy, summer nights. That he doesn't know the people he invites, not to mention the numerous gatecrashers, might make it a little strange, but this being the roaring 20's, anything goes, rumors abound about Gatsby, bootlegger ? Who cares, as long as the free liquor flows, the great food served, and the beautiful music, continues playing. Finally attending one of his own gatherings, we discover that he's after Daisy, a lost love, she's married, which complicates the delicate situation. Nick, Daisy's cousin, arrives in town and through him, reunites Gatsby with his former girlfriend, she enjoys luxury, which is why Daisy married rich Tom and not poor Jay. A catastrophic car accident kills Tom's girlfriend, yes, he's a creep but a wealthy one, it's vague who's responsible, but her husband thinks he knows. Death in a swimming pool, ends this tragedy and symbolizes the Jazz Age ... Thoughts: Gatsby was a tortured, lonely man, even shy, who tried to become a member of the establishment. He, with all his riches, needed to enter it, to become part of it, to feel alive but could never remove the dirt and his lowly, and embarrassing origins. They (the upper class), used him and laughed at the stranger behind his back, and the illusions about Daisy , a woman who never really existed, except in his distorted mind. The truth shocked Gatsby, the pretend gentleman but he could never let go of the mirage, if he did, there would be nothing left of his soul.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joey Woolfardis

    Read as part of The Infinite Variety Reading Challenge, based on the BBC's Big Read Poll of 2003. I am a Classics person, but not a Modern Classics reader. I prefer the Victorian and pre-Victorian Classics and Modern Classics have never really interested me. However, even before I began this Reading Challenge I knew that I needed to change that. I'm still not overly enamoured with Modern Classics (though they tend to be a lot shorter than Victorian Classics are, which can come as a relief) but I Read as part of The Infinite Variety Reading Challenge, based on the BBC's Big Read Poll of 2003. I am a Classics person, but not a Modern Classics reader. I prefer the Victorian and pre-Victorian Classics and Modern Classics have never really interested me. However, even before I began this Reading Challenge I knew that I needed to change that. I'm still not overly enamoured with Modern Classics (though they tend to be a lot shorter than Victorian Classics are, which can come as a relief) but I am thoroughly enjoying the journey through the genre. This book was quite a disappointment and not a surprise at the same time. I knew I wasn't going to love it before I went in to it, though I don't know why. I had no preconceptions of this book: I've never seen the film and I haven't ever read a blurb about it. My copy doesn't have one. I just knew I wouldn't love it. I didn't think I wouldn't like it, though. I can't really think of any specifics, I just didn't like the plot, the characters or the setting at all. There were some fun moments, some dire moments and just a whole lot of dullness going around. It's hard to really enjoy something if you don't feel any sympathy or empathy with the characters, not even mentioning that ever-present idea that we need to identify with characters, too. I also found that this book wasn't particularly American, or particularly 20s, or particularly anything at all, really. It was just a kind of story with a kind of moral to it. The one thing I will say about this: F. Scott is a wonderful writer. I kind of thought this before I went in, but I never really knew until I found I was re-reading sentences over and over again just to re-live them. Not what they were saying, or what they were telling, or showing, or portraying, or anything like that, but just the words used and in which order. Sometimes it felt like magic. I will definitely read more F. Scott, but this one really isn't great at all. But that's okay. Most Classics aren't that great, anyway, we just pretend they are most of the time. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | Shop | Etsy

  27. 5 out of 5

    karen

    i love this book. yes, it is a story about vapid and shallow people who live selfish and hedonistic lives and treat other people like playthings, but there is an elegance, a restraint to the prose that manages to discuss, in the same tone, both doomed love and the breakdown of the american dream. and it is masterful. some may say the great american novel. and so this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OULhla... makes me want to tear my eyes out with my hands and stomp on them forever and ever. yeah, yo i love this book. yes, it is a story about vapid and shallow people who live selfish and hedonistic lives and treat other people like playthings, but there is an elegance, a restraint to the prose that manages to discuss, in the same tone, both doomed love and the breakdown of the american dream. and it is masterful. some may say the great american novel. and so this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OULhla... makes me want to tear my eyes out with my hands and stomp on them forever and ever. yeah, you thought this was going to be a book review, didn't you? and maybe goodreads will choose to make this a "hidden" review under their new policies, but i don't care, because it makes me so angry that this is happening in this way that i have to scream about it, even if no one hears me, and there isn't enough room in a status update for me to vent my rage, and this is a book community, and i feel like you should all feel and share my outrage... WHO THOUGHT LEONARDO DICAPRIO WOULD MAKE A GOOD GATSBY?? AND WHY DOES IT LOOK LIKE HE IS IN THE GAP WHEN HE IS FLINGING ALL THOSE CLOTHES AROUND??? it is unbelievable. i haven't read this book in years, but i know that it did not take place in some art deco-themed casino in vegas. and i assume the commentary on over-the-top consumption is just as relevant to our times as fitzgerald's, and the makes-you-squint way it is shot and the soundtrack (what is that soundtrack all about???) is a modern-day reinterpretation of jazz-age glam; a reversal of the futuristic sci-fi films of the seventies, but it is making me puke and i want to stop puking, please. this is not my american dream.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brian Yahn

    Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan are two of the most memorable characters in literature. F. Scott Fitzgerald weaves them tragically together in this perfectly plotted masterpiece. Every scene is unforgettable--so distinct and unique--from the grandest party ever recorded, to the most tense fight ever written, to the most perfectly dark twisted love affair of all time, to the most pathetically sad funeral imaginable. When people say this is the best book ever written, they're not kidding. It's so good Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan are two of the most memorable characters in literature. F. Scott Fitzgerald weaves them tragically together in this perfectly plotted masterpiece. Every scene is unforgettable--so distinct and unique--from the grandest party ever recorded, to the most tense fight ever written, to the most perfectly dark twisted love affair of all time, to the most pathetically sad funeral imaginable. When people say this is the best book ever written, they're not kidding. It's so good that almost daily I wish I could experience this for the first time again. What really makes The Great Gatsby unique is that EVERYONE at some point in life wants to be great in just the way that Jay does--for reasons more or less the same. We all have this implicit desire to get the validation from others that we're acceptable, and so at some point most of us turn to wanting to be "great"--but just for the sake of it. Combine that with the fact that all the characters are despicable--but so well written that you can't help but root for them and grow emotionally attached to them--and also how effortlessly the words transport you back in time, and The Great Gatsby truly becomes a one-of-a-kind story. Then there's the love story in which someone as mystically personable as Jay Gatsby falls for someone as pathetically self-centered and stupid as Daisy Buchanan. It's equal parts realistic, depressing, twisted, and somehow reassuring. We've all fallen for that one person we know there's no reason. This is the greatest case of that ever devised. How F. Scott Fitzgerald accomplishes all this in such few pages is truly astounding.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    There once was a man they called Jay, A symbol of Jazz Age decay. And just as Scott held a Fixation for Zelda, Jay’s Daisy dream sure made him pay!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rolls

    "The Great Gatsby" is considered by many to be the zenith of American fiction writing in the last century. I won't say that it is the best American novel I've read but I will say it is probably the most perfect. Along with J.D. Salinger, Fitzgerald has got to be my favorite writer of fiction. As opposed to Hemingway's bluntness, and Faulkner's artiness, Fitzgerald's prose seems(to paraphrase Michael Chabon) to rain down from style heaven. His style in fact is like the ladies he writes about: cool "The Great Gatsby" is considered by many to be the zenith of American fiction writing in the last century. I won't say that it is the best American novel I've read but I will say it is probably the most perfect. Along with J.D. Salinger, Fitzgerald has got to be my favorite writer of fiction. As opposed to Hemingway's bluntness, and Faulkner's artiness, Fitzgerald's prose seems(to paraphrase Michael Chabon) to rain down from style heaven. His style in fact is like the ladies he writes about: cool, lean and absolutely enchanting. He would never dream of overwriting and knows exactly when to hold back for maximum effect. His use of the language is assured and consequently eminently readable. For that alone this should be considered the Mona Lisa of prose. What is astounding though is how he puts his sparsely elegant style to use giving his characters shade and depth. Fitzgerald is a true student of humanity and his skills of observation are razor sharp. He sums up his characters in sentences that read like aphorisms bulging with truth about the human condition. There's not a page goes by I'm not gasping at the depth of his vision and the economy he uses to express it. So far I've dwelt on how he wrote and not on what he wrote. People who'd back another nag in the Great American Novel derby knock Fitzgerald's sophomoric (their word not mine) obsession with romance between men and women. They reduce his works to the level of melodramatic tear jerkers. This is a gross simplification of his talents. Yes "Gatsby" focuses on a doomed love affair but it does so to illustrate the errors in thinking that he felt marred his generation. Gatsby is about the hollowness of the American dream as dreamt in the twenties. Fitzgerald looked around him (and in the mirror)and saw men and women locked in a frenzied and ultimatley doomed race for speed, money and sin. Gatsby and Daisy's love is doomed because their values have been distorted by money and comfort and opulence. They cannot see the depths because they are too easily distracted by shiny surfaces. When Daisy cries as Gatsby shows off his elegantly tailored shirts because she has never seen clothes so beautiful sums up perfectly how for her exteriors matter most. This is at the heart of the tragedy that unfolds before us in this delicious little novel. There is no denying this is one of the GREAT BOOKS. If you haven't read it do so. I dare you to not fall in love with it.

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