am 28. April 2000
I did not go to school in America, and read this book about a year ago, but for whatever reason, I ended up here, and have to write some kind of upbeat report on the Great Gatsby to try to balance the tide against all the revisionist critics.
The reason I mention school is that it would appear a lot of people have had traumatising experiences with classics being thrust down their throats. I do not know if it is a case of bad teacher, bad student, or simple incompatibility, but I would say this - if you really did not enjoy a book, DON'T TELL OTHER PEOPLE NOT TO READ IT! One of the most disappointing experiences of my literary career (if you can call it that) was when I recommended my girlfriend to read Catch-22, and had it metaphorically hurled in my face after "3 chapters". That's her right, but the negative reaction will always hurt more people than help them, whereas vice-versa for the positive one...especially since I have noticed that works that someone has always been attached to can still be reduced for them in the face of violent enough criticism. If you had a bad experience at school, it's fair enough to be upset about it...but this truly is a great book which should only have great things written about it.
Both of Catch-22 and the Great Gatsby have humour and grace, and not a little hidden dignity. But Gatsby is clearly the superior work for the symbolists and amateur students of literature. It is a period novel, but like all the greatest of these kinds of works of fiction, it reaches far beyond its time. The writing is timeless, and the mystery makes for a latter day Much Ado About Nothing - perhaps it is boring on the surface, but boring like tectonic plates: fundamental, dealing in huge issues in subtle and slow movements. Yet it is not even a particularly long novel - several hours of great entertainment and effort well expended.
I hate having to write prescriptively, but sometimes you can't help reacting, you know?
am 18. Oktober 1999
F. Scott Fitzgerald is a pure genius. The Great Gatsby was beatifully written and completely captured the 1920s and its American Jazz Age. On the surface, Fitzgerald's novel seemed simple, but after a months study on it the book revealed so much more. Only a literary mastermind could have come up with such a subtle novel that came to be more complex and insightful than expected. Fitzgerald's characters is what brought life to the book. Nick, being the narrator, showed sensibility in the novel. Although Nick represented the middle class people striving to upgrade their status, he maintained his ground. Through the experiences that he had gone through being with the high society, there was a major turning point for him. Nick realized that that corrupt and shallow class had absolutely no morals. From there he moved back West, too afraid that he may experience what Gastby had experienced. Jay Gatsby on the other hand, was somewhat of an honorable mystery. He was a mystery because he was never seen directly, but mainly through other peoples perceptions. Nobody really knew him as a person and nobody knew his identity. Although, Gatsby was on a quest in search of something that meant his whole life to him. He wanted to re-live the past that he had with Daisy and didn't stop for a second to come back to reality no matter what other people had told him. Now Daisy was simply a basketcase and represented her society quite well. She was materialistic and extremely shallow, thus the name Daisy. She had played with people's minds and seemed to play with her own mind at the same time. The novel just came together very well with the connection of the seasons to Gatsby's dream to even the slightest detailing of the colour of clothing and even the vehicle's interior. F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel was very insightful and well-crafted, but before making any first judgements after reading it thorough research will make you believe how great The Great Gatsby truly is.
am 17. Oktober 1999
The Great Gatsby, a book about love, wealth, triumph, and tragidy, was written by Scott F. Fitzgerald (1896-1940). Fitzgerald's original purpose for writing was to become wealthy and to impress his new wife, Zelda Sayre. Soon after his first book was published, he realized that he liked writing so much, he would make it his life-long profession.
The Great Gatsby is a book that tells us the way of life and love during the twenties. The book's main character, Nick Carraway tells of life, from his 30 year old male's perspective. Nick, living in the lower middle class, moved east to New York in search of riches, but what he finds, is an unexpected wealth that will change his view of life forever.
Fitzgerald wrote this book to present the Roaring Twenties or the Jazz Age. The twenties marked the decade where the American economy, and status levels, peaked. The rich were very rich, and the poor, very poor. Fitzgerald compared and contrasted these two groups very well. I believe what enabled him to do this was that during his life-time, he experienced both being rich, and being poor. Throughout the book, Fitzgerald contrasts the rich and the poor's status level. Through Nick, he talks about how the rich were looked up to and the poor were looked down on, with the exception of Nick's very wealthy next door neighbor, Jay Gatsby. Nick admire's Mr. Gatsby, he tells us this by writing about him, "He has an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again." In the same way, Mr. Gatsby treats Nick like he treats everyone. He is able to see past status and money, and look straight into the heart. As the story continues, Nick becomes Mr. Gatsby's best, and only true friend.
This book also illustrates the racism and rivalry between blacks and whites during this period. Nick tells us about this as he is driving in Mr. Gatsby's Rolls Royce. "As we crossed Blackwell's Island a limousine passed us, driven by a white chachauffuer, in which sat three modish negroes, two bucks and a girl. I laughed aloud as the yolks of their eyeballs rolled toward us in haughty rivalry." Fitzgerald emphasized the race struggle many times during the book. One time, near the end, a fight breaks out over love. Jordan, exasperated at the immaturity of the two men, intently said, "Come on, we're all white here!"
After Mr. Gatsby's death, Nick Carraway decided to travel back to his homeland in the west. As he was reflecting on the past few years, he suddenly realized that Mr. Gatsby had not only been a good freind, but also an excellent mentor. Mr. Gatsby had been trying to teach him by his example that money has little or nothing to do with wealth. Wealth comes from your heart, not your pocket.
Though I thoroughly enjoyed the book, Fitzgerald's writing was very new to me. At times, it was confusing or did not seem complete. I must say however, Fitzgerald did an excellent job at answering all of the many questions that were brought up during this story. I now understand why his books were chosen to "Speak for the 20's!"
am 2. Mai 1999
Looking over the other responses, I have to include my own two cents and agree with the reviewer who said that anyone who gave this book less than 4 stars is completely oblivious. I first read this book about 15 years ago - when I was 14 and had to read it for my junior high English class. At that time, I too didn't "get" the book, thought it was boring, and couldn't see what all the hype was about. Then I re-read it a few years ago. I was simply amazed at how well-crafted, insightful, and yet SUBTLE the book is. The reviewer who remarked that GG's structure is flawed is especially misguided and probably didn't pay enough attention while reading. In fact, the structure of this book is pretty close to being perfect. The reviewer thought the narration of the events through the point of view of the neighbor is a "crutch" and a worn-out device. Not so! The WHOLE POINT of the novel is NOT, in fact, Gatsby's pursuit of Daisy, as everyone seems to think, but the question: who IS Jay Gatsby? Not only literally, i.e., what is his identity, but also figuratively, who IS he as a person. The story is remarkable in that we never see Gatsby directly; instead, his character is filtered through the views of the people around him. Therefore, the narration of the neighbor fits in perfectly with the overarching theme of the novel: he is left to sort out his impressions of Gatsby much in the same way that the reader is. If the story were told from Gatsby's point of view, we would get too close, know too much about him, and the entire effect would be ruined. As it stands, however, the novel becomes a comment on identity: who we really are, and how other people perceive or misperceive us. (I won't spoil the ending for those who haven't read the book yet, but once you do read it, make this connection and you'll see how perfect the structure is.) That other reviewer also made the comment that a great work of art should cause us to think, question ourselves, etc., etc. GG does exactly this, but as I pointed out, Fitzgerald's technique is very subtle - with the result that some of the nuances may be lost on inattentive readers. To those who gave the novel less than four stars: read it again, and this time pay attention and look beyond the surface!
am 12. März 1999
Review of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby was written during the time of the roaring twenties. The novel has many themes, but the most dominating one is the death of the American Dream which died because of Jay Gatsby's involvement in organized crime. Nick Carraway is the narrator of the story. The story starts when he [Nick] is leaving the Mid-West to start a new life in New York. There is where he meets Jay Gatsby, who is a rich man and the protagonist of the novel. Gatsby is in love with Daisy Buchannan, who is coincidentally Nick's cousin. Even though Daisy is married to a man named Tom Buchanan, she is very much in love with Gatsby. Tom is the bad guy in the story or the antagonist. Tom is having an affair with a lady named Myrtle Wilson. He treats Myrtle very badly, but she puts up with it because of his wealth. Myrtle is married to George Wilson who is the hard luck guy in the novel who in the end takes out his revenge on someone that did not deserve it. Jordan Baker is the woman in brings Gatsby to Nick and consequently Gatsby to his long lost love Daisy. In the end it is revealed that Gatsby and Daisy are very much in love. When Tom finds out about this he gets very upset and tells George Wilson that Gatsby is having an affair with his wife. Raged, Wilson goes and murders Gatsby for something he did not do. The story ends tragicically because Myrtle and George are all killed in violently. Fitzgerald's main purpose of writing this novel was to briefly describe what it was like in the 1920's. In the critical essays that I read it seems that Fitzgerald's purpose in writing the essay was to relate himself to Gatsby. Gatsby is described as Fitzgerald which I don't believe is right because he [Gatsby] is described as the "victim" in the story when really he is not.
am 19. Dezember 1997
As I was reading through the other reviews, I noticed something. Nobody was able
to really say "why" they liked the book. The reason (as I believe it
to be) is that the Gatsby shows characteristics that we all
have inside of ourselves, that all our descendants will have, and that all our
ancestors had. We all have
a yearning to return to the past and to avoid the mistakes that we made. To return to the
Garden, and avoid giving into temptation. To find a new land
(i.e. America) and have a new beginning (as the dutch sailors
tried to do and as Gatsby fails at). We all believe in the Myth of Edenic possibilities
(the belief that one can return to his/her past and avoid the
mistakes that they made) and so does Gatsby. But that's not the
entire reason readers are fascinated with Gatsby. Throughout the entire novel, F. Scott
Fitzgerald debunks the American Dream of going west to start
over. He does so by having Gatsby go east, and making it so
that he can't be successful without going outside the law. But throughout the novel,
Gatsby never gives up. He's like the man who was standing
in the trash after one of Gatsby's parties. Just as this man
refused to acknowlege that he couldn't live in the past, so Gatsby refuses. Gatsby refuses to
acknowlege that he can't go back to when he first met Daisy, before she married
Tom. There is a lot more to this book than what others have
said, and there is still a lot more than what I have outlined. Although, I hope that this
will allow some people to realize that The Great
Gatsby is more than just a love story between two people. Every
time I read it (I've read it at least 5 times), I pick up new symbols and archetypes
which allow me to see this masterpiece through new lenses.
It truly is an American Classic, which everyone should read.
At the core of the book is Gatsby's infatuation with for Daisy Fay Buchanan, he projects everything in his heart and hios hopes on her so obviously she cannot live up to his high expectations. While most young people might read this novel as a love story and might anticipate a happy ending this obviously will not happen. Both Daisy and Gatsby are shallow characters who do not seem to be much interested in anything. After Daisy rejects Gatsby because he is poor and inestead marries the tough guy Tom, Gatsby uses all his vigor and energy to amass as much money as possible by whatever, possibly, illegal means. When the two meet again, Daisy just cannot live to Gatsby's expectation and it all comes crashing down.
This story is eloquently articulated by Nick Carraway, Gatsby's humble Long Island neighbor who becomes the closest Gatsby has a friend. Nick is instrumental in reuniting the lovers who meet again after five years after their short-lived romance. Gatsby now lives in a mansion – he could have offered it to her, but she chose Tom to live a life in affluence – she doesn't care about Tom emotionally. All the characters have meaningless affairs, the narrator Nick with the golf-pro Jordan, Tom with Myrtle – all affairs are rather joyless.
Even more than 90 years after of publöication the plot and the characters still hold the reader's interest – the conflict is timeless and much than the illustration of the American dream. Materialistic and selfish people are verywhere to be found.
am 20. April 2001
Dieses dramatische Kultwerk von F. Scott Fitzgerald beschreibt den Aufstieg und Fall des "großen Gatsby" im Amerika der ausgehenden 20er Jahre. Eine meisterhafte Schilderung der Gesellschaft dieser Epoche wird in wunderschönen Bildern, Symbolen und Personen charakterisiert, so dass auch heute noch mühelos ein Bezug zu dem Plot hergestellt werden kann.
Unbedingt empfehlenswert !
am 1. Juli 2000
Yes, this is a classic, but not everyone was required to read it in school. I wish I had been, since I would have discovered a wonderful, heart-wrenching, beautifully written novel much sooner than now, when I am in my late twenties. This book made me feel so much emotion, and every word Fitzgerald uses is brilliantly perfect. The story is very compelling as well, and it drew me in so much that I did not put it down on the second day I read it (the beginning drags just a tiny bit--keep reading! ) for a full eight hours until I finished it. If you have never read it thus far, DO...for the women, it has a touching, tear-jerking love story, and for men, all the violence and egotism you've come to expect from a good read. EVERYONE should read this excellent piece of literature.
am 31. Mai 2016
This comic by Nicki Greenberg is a great adaption of the classic by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
The 300 pages follow the original plot (and mostly the original text) with all its details - but also with a twist: all the characters are imaginary beings.
What's more, it looks like a 1920s style photo album, which makes it a unique reading experience like no comic I have read before.
I would recommend to read the novel before reading the comic.