Release Date: September 30th 2004
Summary: A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, The Great 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. 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 detached, cynical neighbor Nick Carraway acting as chorus throughout.
Review: The Great Gatsby has been on my list of must read books for a long, long time. Finally, I decided enough was enough. I had to read it, and I had to read it immediately. Luckily, I already had a copy on my shelf. So I opened the cover, and two hours later, I was wondering why I waited so long, delaying a life filled with all Gatsby-related greatness. Because The Great Gatsby is seriously great. It's phenomenal, confusing, and because it needs to be repeated, seriously great.
I found that this book was extremely straightforward but full of action. There were never any lingering sections, unnecessarily focusing on something of zero significance. Every sentence, every word, and every letter played an integral role to the making of the story of Gatsby.
The characters were so intriguing and in my opinion, I thought they were all extremely well developed with an air of mystery. If that makes any sense...
Anyway, I thought the concept of having Nick Carraway telling the story was a unique one. He was a very important character, but he was not one of the main people. Yet without him, the story of Gatsby would not exist. With this in mind, all character thoughts were unknown unless spoken aloud, voiced to the others. Only Nick Carraway's thoughts were depicted in the novel, but even then, it was minimal. After all, the story revolved around Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan.
And don't get me started on the setting. Holy smokes, everything sounded so posh and amazing, and I totally wished I was there. Good thing there's the movie, because that is something I definitely want to experience. Also, Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jay Gatsby in the movie, and he is completely, 100% Gatsby material. So, I suppose there's that deciding factor; I'm watching the movie as soon as possible!
I must say though, that the novel could be a bit confusing at times. Everything is a whirlwind something. A whirlwind meeting, a whirlwind party, a whirlwind affair... The entirety of The Great Gatsby was fast-paced, filled with commotion and excitement. And the ending. Oh, the ending. It was so, so good. It was something I should have expected, but didn't expect, and then it just happened, and oh my gosh. It was at this part, in the ending, that timing was great for me. I had to leave, but I only had ten pages left, and I just could not put the book down. I honestly think that if I had, I would've just committed some kind of a crime. So I did the obvious and finished the book in the elevator, because Gatsby is worth that kind of commitment.
Knowing what I now know, The Great Gatsby is a book that I truly regret not having picked up earlier. It's an easier read, and I found it to be extremely enjoyable. I will definitely be reading this again and again and again, because seriously, wow. This whirlwind of a book has caused a whirlwind of emotions in me, and all I can say is, read it, read it, read it. It's a classic and it is so completely and utterly great.