Thursday, 26 May 2011

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
First published by ?? in 1925 (this edition by Harper Press in 2010)

Description: (from Goodreads)
After the war, mysterious Jay Gatsby, a self-made millionaire pursues wealth,riches and the lady he lost to another man with stoic determination. When Gatsby finally does reunite with Daisy Buchanan, tragic events are sent in motion. Told through the eyes of his detached and omnipresent neighbour and friend, Nick Carraway, Fitzgerald's succinct and powerful prose hints at the destruction and tragedy that awaits.

My thoughts:
I don't think I can remember the first time I heard about this book. But I was in a bookshop in Athens one day (about half a year ago) and I was trying to find some books to buy, when I found a series of Collins Classics book which only cost 4 euros each. Let me tell you, that's cheap... So I actually ended up buying 4 of them (The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Scarlett Letter, Moll Flanders and this one). Anyway, I only just got round to reading this one.

When I decided to read this book, I was rather glad of the fact that it's rather short. The book was very thin. Until I opened the book and saw the size of the font. It's tiny! I don't think I've ever seen such a tiny font in my life. No, scratch that, I have (in The Lord of the Rings edition that we have at home). Regardless, I found that The Great Gatsby is a very easy story to get into.

As suggested by the title, the book focuses on the life of a man called Jay Gatsby. The story is not told from his point of view, but rather from the eyes of his neighbour and 'friend', Nick Carraway. During the course of the story, many things happen, despite the small number of pages. At first, we meet Gatsby through the experiences of others, the stories people have heard about him. Then comes the point where the narrator, Nick, actually meets him in person and when the 'action' starts happening.

Nick is a very likeable character, who seems to me as if he's a little lost at times while everything is happening around him. Jay Gatsby is a rather distant character. He seems to be elsewhere - in a world of his own - during some of his encounters with Nick, but seems to come alive later on in the book. Daisy didn't strike me as a very strong character and I have to admit I didn't like her husband, Tom, probably because he was a cheater. A character I liked was Jordan Baker. She wasn't one of the main characters, but I liked her attitude and her carefree personality.

All in all, The Great Gatsby is a book worth reading. It's short and very well developed, with wonderful prose. I haven't read anything else by F. Scott Fitzgerald, but I am looking forward to picking up another one of his books.

Rating: 8/10

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born in Minnesota in 1896 and died in 1940. He was a writer of novels and short stories. During the course of his rather short life, he wrote 4 novels, left a fifth one unfinished and published a number of short stories. He is regarded as one of the greatest 20th century writers. Fitzgerald was of the self-styled "Lost Generation," Americans born in the 1890s who came of age during World War I.
His other works include:

Read for the: 100 Books In A Year 2011 Challenge


  1. I was just talking with someone about this book last night (well, the title was mentioned). Sounds like a good read but one I'd really have to prepare myself for. By that I mean that to read a classic (which in my head is anything written before the 1950's) I need to be mentally ready for it. Weird?

  2. Haha! Coincidence! No, it's not weird! I don't need to prepare myself mentally or anything, but they do take me longer to read than other books. Not really sure why, to be honest.


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