Monday, October 1, 2012

28/40: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great GatsbyThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

From Goodreads: It's also a love story, of sorts, the narrative of Gatsby's quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan. The pair meet five years before the novel begins, when Daisy is a legendary young Louisville beauty and Gatsby an impoverished officer. They fall in love, but while Gatsby serves overseas, Daisy marries the brutal, bullying, but extremely rich Tom Buchanan. After the war, Gatsby devotes himself blindly to the pursuit of wealth by whatever means--and to the pursuit of Daisy, which amounts to the same thing. "Her voice is full of money," Gatsby says admiringly, in one of the novel's more famous descriptions. His millions made, Gatsby buys a mansion across Long Island Sound from Daisy's patrician East Egg address, throws lavish parties, and waits for her to appear. When she does, events unfold with all the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama, with detached, cynical neighbor Nick Carraway acting as chorus throughout. Spare, elegantly plotted, and written in crystalline prose, The Great Gatsby is as perfectly satisfying as the best kind of poem.

I've never read The Great Gatsby and I'm very glad I have now. While I did find the language/writing difficult to understand in some parts and had to repeat reading some pages, I loved the story. I think this is definitely one of those books that gets better and better the more often you read it. For a book that was only 191 pages, that could be easily accomplished.

I started reading this book because of the movie coming out next year. Sad really. I'm reading a classic because of the movie. I know a lot of people read this when they were in grade school. I think reading it then and reading it now would be different. However, having to analyze the book for a class would have really got me more involved in it. When I started the book I was under the impression the story was going to be told from Gatsby's point of view. I was a little surprised when it wasn't. It gave it a very different feel.

Gatsby was an interesting character. I liked him, but have to question his level of crazy. I get that people will do anything for love, but I think he went a little overboard. There was such an air of mystery around him until his deepest desires are revealed and then he becomes a simple man, loving a woman from afar, for a long time. He seems like this incredibly secretive fellow, and really he's not. It's interesting to see the change.

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