Published by Scribner on April 10th 1925
Genres: Classics, Contemporary, Romance
The exemplary novel of the Jazz Age, F. Scott Fitzgeralds' third book, The Great Gatsby (1925), stands as the supreme achievement of his career. T. S. Eliot read it three times and saw it as the "first step" American fiction had taken since Henry James; H. L. Mencken praised "the charm and beauty of the writing," as well as Fitzgerald's sharp social sense; and Thomas Wolfe hailed it as Fitzgerald's "best work" thus far. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when, The New York Times remarked, "gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession," it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s that resonates with the power of myth. A novel of lyrical beauty yet brutal realism, of magic, romance, and mysticism, The Great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature.
This is the definitive, textually accurate edition of The Great Gatsby, edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli and authorized by the estate of F. Scott Fitzgerald. The first edition of The Great Gatsby contained many errors resulting from Fitzgerald's extensive revisions and a rushed production schedule, and subsequent editions introduced further departures from the author's intentions. This critical edition draws on the manuscript and surviving proofs of the novel, along with Fitzgerald's later revisions and corrections, to restore the text to its original form. It is The Great Gatsby as Fitzgerald intended it.
One of the great classics of the 20th century… well, a statement like that will definitely get anyone interested in reading it. Many of you read this in school, but naturally I missed out on this one as well. This one is not only on the BBC Book List but the 1001 books to read before you die.
’For a moment the last sunshine fell with romantic affection upon her glowing face; her voice compelled me forward breathlessly as I listened – then the glow faded, each light deserting her with lingering regret like children leaving a pleasant street at dusk.’
I thoroughly enjoyed the writing of F. Scott Fitzgerald; it was by far the best part of the book. I had a major disconnect with the characters as I found them to be quite shallow and pretentious. The whole story seemed off for me, but I think that was just the overall oddness of the characters themselves. My impression going into this book was that it was to be a great love story… how Gatsby loved Daisy but the war came between them. Daisy, becoming tired of waiting for Gatsby to return, marries Tom who’s a loaf of a man that cheats on her quite openly.
Now I understand this is a book not set in the 20th century and women were supposed to all be stay out home mothers who took care of the house and the children and kept their mouths shut so I naturally didn’t expect her to get fed up with his cheating and hit him over the head with a dinner plate, but I really did expect more. By the end, it all felt a tad anticlimactic and there was a resounding ‘So… what was the point?’ floating through my head.
All in all, I’m glad to have read it so I can now say that I’ve read it, but that it’s definitely not going down as one of my faves.