Book Review

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald | Book Review

great gatsby

Pages: 180

 

Date Published:  Originally published April 1925- republished September 2004

Publisher: Scribner

Synopsis: On its first publication in 1925, The Great Gatsby was largely dismissed as a light satire on Jazz Age follies. Today, it is acknowledged as a masterpiece: a love story, an exploration of the American dream and arguably the greatest American novel of the 20th century. Narrator Nick Carraway tells the story of his neighbor Jay Gatsby, whose parties at his Long Island mansion are as lavish as his past is mysterious. Yet Gatsby cares only for one of his guests: his lost love Daisy Buchanan, now married and living across the bay. In Fitzgerald’s hands, this deceptively simple story becomes a near-perfect work of art, told in hauntingly beautiful prose.

Michael Dirda, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Washington Post, has written a new introduction for this edition. He writes, ‘While a great novel should possess many qualities, the most essential is certainly the ability to enchant, to cast a spell over the reader’ – an ability possessed in full by ‘this ever-fresh, this ceaselessly magical novel’. Our edition also features a two-page note by the director and screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola recalling his work on the 1974 film adaptation, in particular, his ingenious solution to the lack of dialogue between Daisy and Gatsby in the original novel. Sam Wolfe Connelly, a young artist based in New York, has created a series of color illustrations and the striking binding design. The metallic endpapers and slipcase are printed with a 1920s-inspired design by the artist. (Goodreads)

Review:

Hey Bibliomanics,

Welcome Back to another review. Today’s review is my thoughts on rereading “The Great Gatsby”. I remember when I first read this book back in highschool, I remember thinking that it was so thin for it to be a classic. And as one may assume, I didn’t enjoy it when I read it the first time. It still holds true that anything that has ever been assigned for school reading, I just don’t enjoy very much.

Fast forward to this year, I decided to reread it…

With the book only containing 180 pages, one may assume this book doesn’t get deep. But, thats were you are wrong. This is one of the most rawest books I have yet read. There is so much going on. I noticed that there was a common theme in the book of wealth and love.  Rereading, this novel made me realize that this is one tragic love story. But, although it is tragic, it is so beautiful.

The story takes place in the 1920’s. This is a time in American History were flappers were around, prohibition of alchol was happening, and the parties were wild. This book is set after WWI when the soldiers are coming home and everyone is basing the amount of wealth that they have on how much materal objects they own. In the novel, money is being thrown left in right. An example of this would be Gatsby, throwing huge parties in his manision. This is first evident in chapter 3, when Fitzgerald talks how most people that attended Gatsby’s gathering came without invitiation and that there were very few actually invited guests ( Fitzgerald, 45). Which, can send the message that Gatsby had enough money to accomodate anyone who stopped by his party.

My Thoughts:

This novel is enjoyable. I think that there is a lot of things that a person can connect with in this book. I really enjoyed seeing that all the characters in the book although they functioned together as a unit, they were all so flawed. Each of them was battling a personal demon. I think that a lot of the time they used money as an escapism. Essentially that was evident with Gatsby, he would throw extravagant parties in hopes of attracting Daisy in to coming to one of them on accident.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was a really long time since I read it. I think that the experience was even better because I marked up all my favorite qoutes and scenes that stood out to me.

This story is full of tragedy. And it really makes you value the things that you do have. I felt for Gatsby, as he explained how he tried to improve his life status in hopes of one day being reunited with Daisy and being able to impress her. I also think this novel is important to show that poeple are imperfect. The whole book has flawed characters as they are trying to survive but never truly living.

The characters in books are usually my favorite part, but these characters are so shallow. I loved Nick Carraway, whom I think is the only decent character in this book. Everyone else is obsessed with status and money that they put their most important relationships in jeopardy. Gatsby, does everything that he can in order to up his status in order to finally get a chance to be with Daisy. Yet, Daisy, is one of the most superficial characters I have ever read about. But, Gatsby’s love for her is so pure. Everything that Gatsby ever does is in hopes to win Daisy back.

This book is coated in symbolism. I came to really appreciate this. I loved how everything in this story tied up really nicely. There was no lose ends.  Which for a 180 page book, I really do appreciate.

If you have not read this book, I feel like you have to a least try it. If you read it in highschool, I encouarage you to read it again with a new persepctive. This story is tragic, honest and yet beautiful.

Contains Spoilers

I think that reading this as an adult, it makes a lot more sense to me and I can really make connections with the book that I wasn’t able to make as a sophmore. Some things that stood out to me, was the relationship between Tom and Daisy. I thought that it was one of those relationships that people are in because they don’t want to be alone. Tom is cheating on Daisy the entire time and he still gets angry at Daisy when she is being flirtaous in front of him with Gatsby. However, I honestly could not figure her out because she was claiming to love Gatsby and Tom at the same but yet she didn’t care if Tom saw her being affectionate toward Gatsby.

Another thing that stood out to me was the topic of wealth, how everyone in the book either wanted to be wealthy and tried to fit in with the wealthy crowd or they were wealthy and had no problem throwing their money around. Daisy and Tom, make it very apparent that they are wealthy and have money to throw around.

I found Daisy to be kind of a coward. She expresses how much she loves Gatsby and the book goes into an extensive story of how they first met. Yet, when she is asked to chose between Gatsby and Tom she doesn’t want to lose either of them and explains that she loves them both. This was one of the parts of the story that really made me upset because  the reader and Daisy both knows that Tom has been cheating on Daisy throughout the entire novel.

As one can tell I had an issue with Daisy!!!

If you read “The Great Gatsby” and you want to chat about it, leave a comment.

As per usual, with warm cups of tea and just a few more chapters, happy reading!!

Rina

Book Discussion

Book Discussion: Grey by E.L. James (Spoilers)

Grey, by GREYE.L. James took me off guard. It immediately sucked me into the story, mostly because I wanted to know more about Christian’s past. He was such a complex character and I couldn’t help but want to try to piece together why he acted the way he did. I will admit it did take me a while to get used to the pace of the book and the writing. I had so many emotions going through my mind while I was reading this book, from sympathy to anger, to sadness and happiness this book did it all for me.

This book was the retelling of “50 Shades of Grey,” from Christian’s perspective. He had a very interesting personality. He was a character who liked to be in control. Although, when I first read “50 Shades of Grey”, I didn’t have a clear understanding as to why he did things he did. I didn’t understand his need for control and at times from Ana’s point of view I found it a little shocking and sometimes felt uncomfortable with the amount of aggression that he showed toward her. But, getting to experience this story from Christian’s point of view gave me a clearer understanding to why he had the need for control and why he wanted women to submit to him. From a psychological view, Christian suffered from insecure attachment and passive parenting  as a child. This would explain why he would have a need for control. The insecure attachment made him want to chose who would be able to get close to him and who wouldn’t. This also allowed him to cut people out of his life as quickly as they came, which would explain why there several other submissive’s before Ana. The passive parenting, had an influence on him too. As a teen he seeked love from where he could find. He found affection from Elena, aka Mrs. Robinson. As a child of insecure attachment and submissive parenting it would make sense that he would accept any sign of affection towards him.  The fact that he was made into a submissive at an early age also, had an affect on his want for control because he didn’t want to feel vulnerable as he had as a submissive, therefore as a dominant he was able to be in control of the situation.

When Christian met Ana, he was taken out of his element. He and Ana’s had many firsts together- from Christian, taking Ana on a ride on the Charlie Tango to having a female sleep in his bed without any sexual interaction. Through out the book Christian fought the idea of being touched by Ana, which could be influenced by the abuse he endeared as a child from his mother’s acquaintances as well as the gain of control he possessed after he no longer was in the position of a submissive. There was a lot of trust building throughout the novel, which allowed Christian to unlock some barriers in himself in order to allow Ana to touch him.  He also came to terms with the idea of falling in love with Ana wasn’t as improbable as he imagined.

The book was a page turner. The story was told completely from Christian’s point of view with occasional flashbacks to his childhood. I really enjoyed seeing how Christian’s childhood effected his life as an adult. One thing that really stood out to me was that Christian worked really hard to improve the quality and quantity of food for those that were living in poverty because of the lack of that he had as child. Something else that also caught my attention his will of compromising with Ana, to create a relationship that wasn’t just based on sex as he was used too.  Ana, took him out of his element and turned his world upside down.

The ending was a cliff hanger, I would love to see the rest of the “50 shades of Grey Series” unfold in Christians point of view.