Sunday, 16 January 2022

The Great Gatsby

 As I mentioned in a previous post, I'd like to read some classics this year so with that in mind, the first one I picked up was The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

" 'I believe that on the first night I went to Gatsby's house I was one of the few guests who had actually been invited. People were not invited - they went there.'

Jay Gatsby's opulent Long Island mansion throngs with the bright young things of the Roaring Twenties. But Gatsby himself, young, handsome and mysteriously rich, never appears to his guests. He stands apart from the crowd, yearning for something just out of reach - Daisy Buchanan, lost years before to another man. One fateful summer, when the pair finally reunite, their actions set in motion a series of events that will unravel their lives, bringing tragedy to all who surround them.

Widely considered F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece, The Great Gatsby is a tale of excess and obsession, and a work of classic twentieth-century American literature."


I didn't read the synopsis before I picked up this book and as I haven't watched the films either, I hadn't a clue what it was about or what to expect. I have to say that the first half of the book had me wondering why it was considered a classic, but once I had read to the end, I could see that the beginning is merely setting the scene for what is to come.

I definitely found the the story a book of two halves. The second part of the book was infinitely more interesting, or to me at least, quicker paced and held my interest far more than the beginning. As for the characters, there was only one who I was remotely interested in, that of the narrator, Nick Carraway, and I suppose this is because he's more relatable than the rest who are self-absorbed socialites. I cared very little what happened to them. I do think you have to have some affinity with the people you're reading about, so perhaps the reason I'm not raving about this book is because I don't.

Although I wouldn't give this book a five out of five rating, I can see why some people would see it as a classic. As I said previously, it definitely improves in the second half, and I'd actually like to read it again at some point in the future as I think you often get a different feel for a book when you read it for a second time. I'd also like to see one of the films now too.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

15 comments:

  1. I haven't read the book but I have seen the film and didn't enjoy it. Sometimes you do wonder why something is a classic.

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  2. Interesting review Jo, I have to admit I have never read this but I do know vaguely what it's about, I don't think I would have the patience to read it because if the subject matter doesn't appeal I would just get bored with it. Have a lovely Sunday. xx

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  3. I'm not into classics, read too many when I was at school, but January is the month for reading.

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  4. I've seen the films with their beautiful costumes and locations but they didn't entice me to read the book.

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  5. I read it years and years ago but probably didn't understand a word of it - doesn't make me want to re read

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  6. I read that years and years ago. You are right -the latter part of the book was faster paced. I did enjoy the movie with Robert Redford---of course it was because HE was in it more than anything. lol.

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  7. Another old classic is A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. If you haven't read it -I think you would like it. I have read it twice.

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  8. I haven't read the book or seen the film, just wouldn't appeal to me.

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  9. Gatsby is a book I have considered reading. Even checked it out of the library once. But, I have to say, modern reviews of it have kind of put me off. Not sure many would still say it is a classic.

    I probably should power through and read it.

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  10. I am not sure if I have read this or another book that was set in a similar time period and had characters who were socialites or similar. I hear you on needing an affinity with the characters to care about them.


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  11. I'm like Poppypatchwork, I read several classics when I was at school and only really enjoyed a couple of them. I haven't read this one but from your description I know I wouldn't like it.

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  12. It's not a book that I've read, nor likely to. xx

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  13. Think I partially read it back when it was on the mandatory list, didn't like it so didn't finish it. Haven't ever thought about reading it since. Have seen parts of the movie, not the whole thing. Might want to watch the movie, since someone above reminded me that Robert Redford was in it.

    Having a connection or empathy with a character is why I didn't like Yellowstone. We watched it, we paid for it, but why it's so widely rated is beyond me. Not one single person in the show to like or to root for or side with. Not one redeemable character in the lot.
    <a href="https://4ccccs.blogspot.com/2022/01/yarn-and-audio-books-plenty.html>Sandy's Space </a>

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  14. Many thanks for your thoughts here Jo.
    This is not a book I've read, nor have I seen the film.

    Have a good week ...

    All the best Jan

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  15. I haven't read the book but loved the film starring Robert Redford.xxx

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