The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is an American classic. Written in 1925 by someone who lived the prosperous, party lifestyle depicted in the novel.
I enjoyed this novel. I had somewhat expected it to be narrated by the title character, but I was not displeased to find otherwise. The story was a captivating mash up of an exaggerated romance, a mysterious biography, and wondrous Gatsby parties. This was an exciting look into this era, yet I have no idea whether it even resembles what it really felt like.
None of the characters were too believable nor too fictitious. I never desired, liked, or envied any of them. When discovering someones deceit it wasn’t a painful betrayal I felt along with the character, it was merely something that occurred during the story that I went along with. The reason I didn’t get into it like I could have was the writing style. It isn’t that it’s poorly written, it’s just… not my style. I can see how this can be made into a wondrous movie as director Baz Luhrmann clearly intends to do, but this book and the characters and their fates never grabbed out at me with intrigue. The most enjoyable trait this novel possesses is it’s descriptions of the lavish lifestyle these well-to-do characters have. The glitz and the glamour, the marvel and the mischief, that was what kept my attention and what excites me most about the Luhrmann adaptation coming out later this year.
I knew almost nothing of this novel when I picked it up to read. I’ve heard it mentioned so often that I felt I should read it, and with the upcoming release of The Great Gatsby (d. Baz Luhrmann) in Christmas 2012 I decided this was as good a time as any. From Midnight in Paris (d. Woody Allen) I ascertained it was set in 1920s America, and from the trailer of Luhrmann’s movie it seemed to be a mess of lights and parties and craziness. Before reading the book, the trailer looked positively deranged. The stylization by Luhrmann was incredible, and the strangeness of what I was seeing didn’t become a cohesive storyline until having read the book and rewatching the trailer. Suddenly I knew exactly what part of the book every scene in the trailer belonged to, and how it would all come together. No longer being a blur, this movie looks incredible, following in the Luhrmann style which makes me very excited.
My Rating: 7/10
Although I was never captivated by the characters or Fitzgerald’s writing style, I enjoyed the book and would read it again. Many beautiful quotes can be found from this novel and the lifestyle pulled from the pages can turn into something magical.
What did you think of the book?