Book Review – The Great Gatsby

In 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald announced his decision to write “something new–something extraordinary and beautiful and simple + intricately patterned.” That extraordinary, beautiful, intricately patterned, and above all, simple novel became The Great Gatsby, arguably Fitzgerald’s finest work and certainly the book for which he is best known. A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author’s generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald’s–and his country’s–most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed, and the promise of new beginnings. “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter–tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…. And one fine morning–” Gatsby’s rise to glory and eventual fall from grace becomes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream.

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. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Robertson Dean’s rich, deep voice sweeps us into this classic with the same straightforward narrative elegance Fitzgerald gives his narrator, Nick Carraway. Dean manages to be moving without dramatic exaggeration, and to distinguish characters, male and female, without resort to stereotyping. He reifies Jay Gatsby in all his ambition and naïveté, and paints Fitzgerald’s complex picture of love, power, money, and hypocrisy with simple sonority. This audio is a wonderful experience for old fans as well as first-time Fitzgerald readers, and it comes with a companion e-book. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. –This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
From School Library Journal
Grade 9-12–Using a combination of live-action footage, animation, and colorful graphics, this interactive study aid guides students chapter-by-chapter through the text of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic (Scribner’s, 1925). Each chapter is broken down into easily manageable chunks, covering all of the characteristic items that come up on tests and are useful in writing essays: character development, thematic elements, pivotal plot points, and motivation. The analysis is followed by an interactive quiz for each chapter. This study guide differs from other text-based study aids by offering a fast-paced visual presentation. Although the interface is fairly intuitive, no information on how to navigate the DVD is included. There are about a dozen of these guides available for titles ranging from Macbeth to The Crucible to 1984. The guides are subtitled in Spanish. This useful and engaging study aid would be a good purchase for both school and public libraries.–Charli Osborne, Oxford Public Library, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. –This text refers to the DVD edition.
Review
James Dickey Now we have an American masterpiece in its final form: the original crystal has shaped itself into the true diamond. This is the novel as Fitzgerald wished it to be, and so it is what we have dreamed of, sleeping and waking
Book Description
This critical edition of The Great Gatsby draws on the manuscript and surviving proofs of the novel, together with Fitzgerald’s subsequent revisions to key passages to provide the first authoritative text of one of the classic works of the twentieth century. –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From the Publisher
Narrator Information: Alexander Scourby, veteran stage and screen actor, distinguished himself as narrator of many television specials, most notably The Body Human. He recorded more than five hundred audiobooks, including the Bible. –This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
From the Back Cover
The Great Gatsby is widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of American fiction. It tells of the mysterious Jay Gatsby’s grand effort to win the love of Daisy Buchanan, the rich girl who embodies for him the promise of the American dream. Deeply romantic in its concern with self-making, ideal love, and the power of illusion, it draws on modernist techniques to capture the spirit of the materialistic, morally adrift, post-war era Fitzgerald dubbed “the jazz age.” Gatsby’s aspirations remain inseparable from the rhythms and possibilities suggested by modern consumer culture, popular song, the movies; his obstacles inseparable from contemporary American anxieties about social mobility, racial mongrelization, and the fate of Western civilization. This Broadview edition sets the novel in context by providing readers with a critical introduction and crucial background material about the consumer culture in which Fitzgerald was immersed; about the spirit of the jazz age; and about racial discourse in the 1920s. –This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1896, attended Princeton University, and published his first novel, This Side of Paradise, in 1920. That same year he married Zelda Sayre and the couple divided their time among New York, Paris, and the Riviera, becoming a part of the American expatriate circle that included Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, and John Dos Passos. Fitzgerald was a major new literary voice, and his masterpieces include The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby, and Tender Is the Night. He died of a heart attack in 1940 at the age of forty-four, while working on The Love of the Last Tycoon. For his sharp social insight and breathtaking lyricism, Fitzgerald is known as one of the most important American writers of the twentieth century.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s