The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

A beautifully written snapshot of New York in the 1920s, old sport. gatsby1

The Great Gatsby is widely considered to be F. Scott Fitzgerald’s magnum opus, as well as a literary classic. I’m sure many people have studied this novel at some point during their school days!

It is narrated from the perspective of Nick Carraway who comes from a well-off Midwest family to New York in 1922. He becomes a mediator in the messy romance between his mysterious and fabulously wealthy next-door neighbour, Jay Gatsby, and his married cousin, Daisy. Daisy’s husband, Tom, is also having an affair and Nick spends most of the novel dating Jordan Baker,  who is a flapper and golf pro.

The Great Gatsby has become the quintessential novel of the 1920s, or the Jazz Age as Fitzgerald preferred to call it, and the decay of the American Dream. Jay Gatsby spent his entire adult life chasing the notion of the great American dream only to end up dead and alone, which implies that Fitzgerald believed it was a futile endeavour.

I believe the characters of Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway represent different aspects of how Fitzgerald viewed himself. Fitzgerald’s wife was similar to the character of Daisy and it is well-documented that he spent a great deal of effort to make a name and fortune to impress her, much the way that Gatsby does for Daisy. Nick is the part of Fitzgerald who sees through the snobbish veneer of New York’s elite, forever feeling like an outsider.

The Great Gatsby is another one of my all-time favourite novels. I love Fitzgerald’s beautiful writing style that encapsulates the 1920s perfectly. It was a tumultuous period and this novel provides a perfect snapshot of several of the major social issues of the time: bootlegging, consumerism, social climbing, snobbery, fast cars, and reckless behaviour. The original cover is possibly my favourite book cover ever!

I can’t think of a David Bowie song that fits with The Great Gatsby, but I’m open to suggestions. As an outsider who made New York his home, I can see why Bowie listed this book as one of his favourites. I think he led the Gatsby lifestyle for quite some time before he realised the silliness of it all.

EDIT 31/01/16 I’m so silly! Fame is the perfect Bowie song for The Great Gatsby.

Fame, makes a man take things over
Fame, lets him loose, hard to swallow
Fame, puts you there where things are hollow
Fame
Fame, it’s not your brain, it’s just the flame
That burns your change to keep you insane
Fame
Fame, what you like is in the limo
Fame, what you get is no tomorrow
Fame, what you need you have to borrow
Fame
Fame, “Nein! It’s mine!” is just his line
To bind your time, it drives you to, crime
Fame
Could it be the best, could it be?
Really be, really, babe?
Could it be, my babe, could it, babe?
Really, really?
Is it any wonder I reject you first?
Fame, fame, fame, fame
Is it any wonder you are too cool to foolFame
Fame, bully for you, chilly for me
Got to get a rain check on pain
Fame
Fame, fame, fame, fame, fame, fame, fame, fame, fame,
fame
Fame, fame, fame, fame, fame, fame, fame, fame, fame,
fame
Fame, fame, fame
Fame
What’s your name?

[whispered:]

Feeling so gay, feeling gay?
Brings so much pain?


Description

THE GREAT GATSBY, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. 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 noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.

The Great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature.

Details

Title: The Great Gatsby

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Published: 1925

ISBN: 0743273567 (ISBN13: 9780743273565)

Genre: Classics, Literature, Fiction

Pages: 192

Source: I own my copy

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Amazon US

Amazon UK

The Book Depository

Goodreads

This book is part of the David Bowie Reading Challenge #DBowieBooks

Books Read: 2/100

1984

The Great Gatsby

 

 

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21 thoughts on “The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

  1. When I first read The Great Gatsby I loved it and it was one of my favorite books for a long time. However, I have to admit that I barely remember it now. I really should it again and hope that I still love it. Ah! Your review makes me want to read it again so much!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great book and great blog post; like you, I see why it appealed to David Bowie. So many of his songs became anthems to outsiders and his glamour was like nothing we’d ever seen before. Will try and think of the perfect song …

    Liked by 2 people

  3. One of my favorite books of all time. I really want to reread it this year. A little scared to ruin the magic and nostalgia though. I read The Great Gatsby in a dingy cafeteria under the sultry, dusty Jakarta sun. But so powerful and transportive is The Great Gatsby that I never felt the heat. I hope rereading will yield the same magical feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I only read The Great Gatsby for the first time a couple of years ago, and fell in love with it instantly. This is a very thoughtful review, and echoes many of my own thoughts. Ah, the futility of trying to be someone you are not, in order to gain the love of a person who will never love you back. So sad.

    Like

  5. Have you read Zelda Fitzgerald’s Save the Last Waltz? It is her novel about the life she and her husband led. Honestly, I prefer F. Scott’s writing, but it must be said that Zelda also wrote very well herself, and it is interesting to get her side of the story.

    When she was writing the novel, rumor has it that F. Scott was furious with her and demanded she stop, because he was in the midst of doing the same thing via writing The Great Gatsby.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I enjoyed reading your review of “The Great Gatsby.” I did read it in school, but didn’t find it as fascinating as you. Your take that “Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway represent different aspects of how Fitzgerald viewed himself” is an interesting take that I never saw. I guess knowing aspects of the writer’s life helps to enhance the reading experience. I do have a copy of the novel at home, and will read it again with adult eyes and a sharper mind. Thanks for visiting and following my blog. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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