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The Great Gatsby

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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.

(from the back cover)

180 pages, Paperback

First published April 10, 1925

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About the author

F. Scott Fitzgerald

1,708 books23.7k followers
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American writer of novels and short stories, whose works have been seen as evocative of the Jazz Age, a term he himself allegedly coined. He is regarded as one of the greatest twentieth century writers. Fitzgerald was of the self-styled "Lost Generation," Americans born in the 1890s who came of age during World War I. He finished four novels, left a fifth unfinished, and wrote dozens of short stories that treat themes of youth, despair, and age. He was married to Zelda Fitzgerald.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 105,522 reviews
Profile Image for Nataliya.
846 reviews14.1k followers
March 17, 2023
Oh Gatsby, you old sport, you poor semi-delusionally hopeful dreamer with “some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life”, focusing your whole self and soul on that elusive money-colored green light - a dream that shatters just when you are *this* close to it.

Jay Gatsby, who dreamed a dream with the passion and courage few possess - and the tragedy was that it was a wrong dream colliding with reality that was even more wrong - and deadly.

Just like the Great Houdini - the association the title of this book so easily invokes - you specialized in illusions and escape. Except even the power of most courageous dreamers can be quite helpless to allow us escape the world, our past, and ourselves, giving rise to one of the most famous closing lines of a novel.
“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther... And one fine morning ——

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
Dear Gatsby, not everything I liked back when I was fourteen has withstood the test of time¹ - but you clearly did, and as I get older, closer to your and Nick Carraway's age, your story gathers more dimensions and more tragedy, fleshing out so much more from what I thought of as a tragic love story when I was a child - turning into a great American tragedy.
¹ I hang my head in shame at my ability to still belt out an enthusiastic (albeit poorly rendered) version of '...Baby One More Time' when it comes on the radio (provided, of course, that my car windows are safely up).

I blame it on my residual teenage hormones.

Jay Gatsby, you barged head-on to achieve and conquer your American dream, not stopping until your dreams became your reality, until you reinvented yourself with the dizzying strength of your belief. Your tragedy was that you equated your dream with money, and money with happiness and love. And honestly, given the messed up world we live in, you were not that far from getting everything you thought you wanted, including the kind of love that hinges on the green dollar signs.

And you *almost* saw it, you poor bastard, but in the end you chose to let your delusion continue, you poor soul.

Poor Gatsby! Yours is the story of a young man who suddenly rose to wealth and fame, running like a hamster on the wheel amassing wealth for the sake of love, for the sake of winning the heart of a Southern belle, the one whose “voice is full of money” - in a book written by a young man who suddenly rose to wealth and fame, desperately running on the hamster wheel of 'high life' to win the heart of his own Southern belle. Poor Gatsby, and poor F. Scott Fitzgerald - the guy who so brilliantly described it all, but who continued to live the life his character failed to see for what it was.

The Great Gatsby is a story about the lavish excesses meant to serve every little whim of the rich and wannabe-rich in the splendid but unsatisfying in their shallow emptiness glitzy and gaudy post-war years, and the resulting suffocation under the uselessness and unexpected oppressiveness of elusive American dream in the time when money was plenty and the alluring seemingly dream life was just around the corner, just within reach.

But first and foremost, it is a story of disillusionment with dreams that prove to be shallow and unworthy of the dreamer - while at the same time firmly hanging on to the idea of the dream, the ability to dream big, and the stubborn tenacity of the dreamer, “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” .

This is why Gatsby is still so relevant in the world we live in - almost a hundred years after Fitzgerald wrote it in the Roaring Twenties - the present-day world that still worships money and views it as a substitute for the American dream, the world that hinges on materialism, the world that no longer frowns on the gaudiness and glitz of the nouveau riche.

In this world Jay Gatsby, poor old sport, with his huge tasteless mansion and lavish tasteless parties and in-your-face tasteless car and tasteless pink suit would be, perhaps, quietly sniggered at - but would have fit in without the need for aristocratic breeding - who cares if he has the money and the ability to throw parties worthy of reality show fame???

Because in the present world just the fact of having heaps of money makes you worthy - and therefore the people whose voices are “full of money”, who are “gleaming like silver, safe and proud above the hot struggles of the poor”, people who genuinely believe that money makes them worthy and invincible are all too common. Tom and Daisy Buchanan would be proud of them.

And wannabe Gatsbys pour their capacity to dream into chasing the shallow dream of dollar signs, nothing more.
“They were careless people, Tom and Daisy — they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”

This book somehow hit the right note back when I read it when I was fourteen, and hit even truer note now, deeply resonating with me now, almost a full century since it was written. If you read it for school years ago, I ask you to pick it up and give its pages another look - and it may amaze you.

Five green-light stars in the fog at the end of a dock.

Also posted on my blog.
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,122 reviews46.6k followers
September 16, 2021
This is a good book, though it is so ridiculously overrated.

There are so many great books out there that will never get the attention they deserve. They will be forgotten and their wisdom heard by only a select few who are willing to go looking for it. So it annoys me when books like this are acclaimed by critics and readers alike as the best pieces of fiction in existence (when they are not.) There’s so much more out there!

Anyway, rant over. The thing I like most about The Great Gatsby is the language, the subtlety’s and the suggestions, the things that are not directly said but are said nevertheless. It’s a true feat of writing and at times it reminded me of a stage piece. The dialogue does not give the answers, but it is the character’s actions and movements (so fantastically narrated) that give the game away: it reveals their internal worlds.

As such this is a book that can easily be skimmed over. The plot is basic and relatively unengaging and consequently I think an inattentive reader has a lot to miss here. It’s all about illusions and false appearances just like real life. The way people perceive us is not how we truly are and sometimes individuals actively work towards creating a desired appearance for the outside world. It’s easily done with enough time, effort and money. What Gatsby creates for the outside is a dream, an ideal life that looks perfect.

However, scratch the surface and it is so very, very, clear that not everything is perfect. His supposed “happiness” is hollow and dictated by the whims of society. It is fickle, egotistical and driven by status and all the silly little symbols that go with it. His success is what society demands success to be; thus, he positions himself into a place where he can chase his true dream. In doing so Gatsby shows us that not everything is as simple as it appears, and that society driven by such monetary values is a dangerous thing because everybody is so detached from what really matters in life. (The object of his affections, for example.)

I enjoyed The Great Gatsby though I certainly did not love it. Its popularity baffles me to a degree, I can think of books from the same era that deserve far more attention. Still, I enjoyed reading it and I’m glad I finally did so.


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Profile Image for Alex.
7 reviews173 followers
March 10, 2008
The Great Gatsby is your neighbor you're best friends with until you find out he's a drug dealer. It charms you with some of the most elegant English prose ever published, making it difficult to discuss the novel without the urge to stammer awestruck about its beauty. It would be evidence enough to argue that F. Scott Fitzgerald was superhuman, if it wasn't for the fact that we know he also wrote This Side of Paradise.

But despite its magic, the rhetoric is just that, and it is a cruel facade. Behind the stunning glitter lies a story with all the discontent and intensity of the early Metallica albums. At its heart, The Great Gatsby throws the very nature of our desires into a harsh, shocking light. There may never be a character who so epitomizes tragically misplaced devotion as Jay Gatsby, and Daisy, his devotee, plays her part with perfect, innocent malevolence. Gatsby's competition, Tom Buchanan, stands aside watching, taunting and provoking with piercing vocal jabs and the constant boast of his enviable physique. The three jostle for position in an epic love triangle that lays waste to countless innocent victims, as well as both Eggs of Long Island. Every jab, hook, and uppercut is relayed by the instantly likable narrator Nick Carraway, seemingly the only voice of reason amongst all the chaos. But when those boats are finally borne back ceaselessly by the current, no one is left afloat. It is an ethical massacre, and Fitzgerald spares no lives; there is perhaps not a single character of any significance worthy even of a Sportsmanship Award from the Boys and Girls Club.

In a word, The Great Gatsby is about deception; Fitzgerald tints our glasses rosy with gorgeous prose and a narrator you want so much to trust, but leaves the lenses just translucent enough for us to see that Gatsby is getting the same treatment. And if Gatsby represents the truth of the American Dream, it means trouble for us all. Consider it the most pleasant insult you'll ever receive.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Kemper.
1,390 reviews7,272 followers
May 26, 2010
Jay Gatsby, you poor doomed bastard. You were ahead of your time. If you would have pulled your scam after the invention of reality TV, you would have been a huge star on a show like The Bachelor and a dozen shameless Daisy-types would have thrown themselves at you.

Mass media and modern fame would have embraced the way you tried to push your way into a social circle you didn’t belong to in an effort to fulfill a fool’s dream as your entire existence became a lie and you desperately sought to rewrite history to an ending you wanted. You had a talent for it, Jay, but a modern PR expert would have made you bigger than Kate Gosselin. Your knack for self-promotion and over the top displays of wealth to try and buy respectability would have fit right in these days. I can just about see you on a red carpet with Paris Hilton.

And the ending would have been different. No aftermath for rich folks these days. Lawyers and pay-off money would have quietly settled the matter. No harm, no foul. But then you’d have realized how worthless Daisy really was at some point. I’m sure you couldn’t have dealt with that. So maybe it is better that your story happened in the Jazz Age where you could keep your illusions intact to the bitter end.

The greatest American novel? I don’t know if there is such an animal. But I think you'd have to include this one in the conversation.
Profile Image for Lisa of Troy.
519 reviews5,625 followers
November 22, 2023
Fitzgerald, you have ruined me.

Fitzgerald can set a scene so perfectly, flawlessly. He paints a world of magic and introduces one of the greatest characters of all time, Jay Gatsby. Gatsby is the embodiment of hope, and no one can dissuade him from his dreams. Have you ever had a dream that carried you to heights you could never have dreamed otherwise? When Gatsby is reunited with Daisy Buchanan, he fills the space to the brim with flowers, creating a living dream. How is anyone supposed to compete with that?

The Great Gatsby perfectly makes use of a narrator, Nick. Why is Gatsby so great? Because Nick tells us. If Gatsby told us, we would just think that he is a braggard, the least humble person in the world.

This book is wildly addictive, so intricate yet perfectly woven together, a brilliant literary masterpiece. I have to keep going back to reconnect with Jay Gatsby, a naïve but beautiful and charming hope, perfectly imperfect, a relentless dreamer.

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Profile Image for Inge.
320 reviews944 followers
December 4, 2014
There was one thing I really liked about The Great Gatsby.

It was short.
Profile Image for svnh.
54 reviews164 followers
July 31, 2007
After six years of these heated and polarized debates, I'm deleting the reviews that sparked them. Thanks for sharing your frustrations, joys, and insights with me, goodreaders. Happy reading!

In love and good faith, always,
Profile Image for Ilse.
493 reviews3,789 followers
May 9, 2023
Bright lights, big city

When I avowed my disenchantment with Tender Is the Night, a few GR friends urged me to read The Great Gatsby to truly appreciate F. Scott Fitzgerald. I cannot but admit The Great Gatsby was a far more exhilarating read than I had expected it to be, its tight composition and restless pace a remarkable contrast with the muddled slow mess that made Tender Is the Night hard for me to get through, the exquisite, visual opulent writing more than in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button unfurling in all its grandeur, alternating the scrumptious and the gritty, just like the narrative unfolding more coherently.

Reading The Great Gatsby immediately after Tra donne sole (among women only) by Cesare Pavese, featuring also some bored socialites as seen by an outsider who almost unwillingly turns into an insider, it struck me how little difference living in 1922 New York or fifties Turin seemed to make, at least for a certain class of people, the ones leisured and wealthy – however Pavese’s women seem more despondent and philosophical, responding to the shallowness of their lives by cynicism, nihilism or suicide.

F. Scott Fitzgerald paints brightly lit places, populated by shady people. Daisy and Tom Buchanan, Jay Gatsby, Jordan Baker and the outsider-insider narrator Nick Carraway are a fine fleur of unlovable, amoral and superficial characters, representatives of old and new money being equally dreadful, reducing friendships and loving relationships to commodities, cheating and lying themselves through their lives, crooks, dishonest to the core, whether in golf, in business or in relationships, so corrupt that even the narrator who conspicuously prides himself on his honesty makes himself untrustworthy by doing so. These are people who are moved to tears by a soft rich heap of beautiful shirts ordered from England, in the meantime thoughtlessly wrecking other people’s lives without even blinking (Pavese’s novel also pivots around haute couture).

They were careless people... they smashed up things and creations and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness... and let other people clean up the mess they had made.

Among many other things, the Great Gatsby is also tale of the ludicrous things we do for love (and which inevitably will leave us with empty hands), a painful story about holding on to illusions against one’ s better judgment and a cautionary tale on the (at that time perhaps) quintessential American belief in the malleability of the individual, the American dream, at which I am aware as a European I can only look at from a unbridgeable distance, bemused at a cultural trope which feels alien to me. Reading The Great Gatsby as a trenchant commentary on this belief however, Fitzgerald to my surprise struck me as a sheer visionary, illustrating sharply the downsides and dangers of this belief and capitalist ethos even if he couldn’t foresee how this pseudo-meritocratic mentality would spread and spill over times and oceans, how it would change societies and poison individuals with it all over the world in the wake of capitalism and neo-liberalism, which would make it into a personal vocation and permanent responsibility to remodel and market oneself to be a worthy individual in a hyper competitive society (and on the flipside blame oneself if one fails to succeed or succumbs under the pressure to achieve and be happy) – an ethos conditioning individuals who are made to think of themselves as one-person enterprises, judged by (and judging themselves) by what they have and do rather than what they are. If you are so smart why aren’t you rich? No wonder people are lonely and struggle with a warped view of the self and feelings of failure (Paul Verhaeghe, What about Me? The Struggle for Identity in a Market-based Society). By Jay Gatsby’s fate, Fitzgerald exposes the vicious lie that we can be what and who we want to be if we only work on ourselves and that we will be loved if doing so.


(Illustration: Michelle Lagasca)

As a counterpoint to all the extravagant and baffling materialism of the world he evokes, F. Scott Fitzgerald gently invites the reader to contemplate past, present and future in a burst of melancholic beauty that will glow on in my mind for a long time.

"Most of the big shore places were closed now and there were hardly any lights except the shadowy, moving glow of a ferryboat across the Sound. And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes—a fresh, green breast of the new world.

Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an æsthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.

And as I sat there, brooding on the old unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic 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——

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
Profile Image for Gina.
33 reviews16 followers
July 25, 2016
Over drinks, I’ve observed—like so many smart alecks—that much of The Great Gatsby’s popularity relies heavily on its shortness. At a sparse 180 pages, Fitzgerald’s masterpiece could be argued to be the “Great American novella.” Gatsby, like so many other short classics, is easily readable, re-readable, and assessable to everyone from the attention-deficient young to mothers juggling a kid, a career, and a long-held desire to catch up on all those books “they should have read but haven’t gotten around to yet”.

I’ve now read Gatsby three times, and I admit that on my first reading during (like handfuls of others) my senior year English class, I wasn’t particularly fond of the book; I believe I used the adjective “overrated” on numerous occasions. Daisy Buchanan seemed like a twit of a woman, and I found Jay Gatsby to be pathetically clawing in his attempt to attain her. Nick, my guide, only annoyed me further with his apparent hero-worshiping of a man I found one-dimensional and his adoration for the kind of woman I’ve seen other men purport to be goddesses, but in fact, are dim-witted simpletons with nice figures.

Over my two subsequent readings—pushed along by friends whose judgment I trusted and who swore the book was “so funny and ironic”—I discovered within Fitzgerald’s fable a sardonic social wit and a heavily layered critique of the American Dream: the poor, working (wo)man rising above his or her social situation to discover money conquers all.

Fitzgerald has a discerning ability for sharp critiques of the economically privileged and, like Jane Austin, has an ear for realistic, bantering dialogue. Through Nick’s narration, we see a world that so many Americans dream of (its enviableness only further accentuated by our open disdain for it): a life of endless parties, delicious food, beautiful clothes, and Paris Hilton. Nick who’s paradoxically drawn to his cousin, Daisy’s, and her husband, Tom’s, lifestyle with gloating contempt echoes the contemporary American idolization of an elite lifestyle that none but a select few attain.

We watch Daisy with her voice that “sounds of money” flit about with uncompromising shallowness and vivacious school-girl frivolity, and through her, see so many of the inconsequential remarks and actions others (as well as ourselves) have made for the sheer sake of “having a good time”. In spite of her frivolity and weak disposition, we become, like Gatsby, “overwhelmingly aware of the youth and mystery that wealth imprisons and preserves, of the freshness of many clothes, and of Daisy, gleaming like silver, safe and proud above the hot struggles of the poor.”

Through Gatsby’s veneration of Daisy, we not only imagine what so many Americans desire (success), but also we see the goal and glittering fixation of all humanity: beauty. And like many Americans in the throes of Capitalism, Gatsby believes that money can buy beauty as well as love. Fitzgerald articulates this disillusion with haunting force, particularly voiced through Nick’s obsessive repulsion with the extravagant society his social status has allowed him and the sadness he finds while watching a “working man” attempt to enter it.

One critique of The Great Gatsby, which could also be argued as a positive, is the limited scope of action and themes Fitzgerald chooses to encapsulate. We only see the wealthy elite (or people wanting to be the wealthy elite), and only Nick really has any depth of characterization. Unlike a tome, such as War and Peace, Gatsby fails to have numerous interwoven plotlines within a grand historical context. Yes, the Jazz Age is the novel’s backdrop, but Fitzgerald fails to engage in any discussion beyond a summer among the wealthy youth partying into the wee hours of the night in the West Egg. Yet, the control with which Fitzgerald expresses his limited themes makes the novel’s lack of scope forgivable.

Gatsby is short and easily accessible, and I have no doubt these aspects of the novel do lend to its everlasting popularity. At the same time, it should never diminish its truly admirable ability to tease apart some of the most confounding qualities American culture values: money, beauty, youth, hard work, and the ever effusive, love.
Profile Image for Orsodimondo.
2,275 reviews2,141 followers
March 6, 2021

Romanzo che mi è parso molto, molto cinematografico (anche se non credo Fitzgerald avesse ancora incominciato a lavorare a Hollywood quando Gatsby fu pubblicato).
Ma il cinema per gli US (e per noi italiani) è la forma d’arte esportata meglio nel corso del Novecento, quella che si è diffusa di più, è diventata più famosa. Fitzgerald anche in questo seppe cogliere l’aria del tempo (e poi restare eterno come solo i classici possono).

Il primo adattamento per lo schermo apparve a un solo anno di distanza dalla prima pubblicazione, 1926, film muto, con Warner Baxter nel ruolo del titolo, Lois Wilson in Daisy, e Neil Hamilton in Nick. La regia di Herbert Brenon. Il film fu un fiasco, come tutti gli altri che seguirono nel tempo. Fitzgerald e sua moglie Zelda detestarono questo primo adattamento e uscirono dalla sala prima della fine della proiezione. Di questo film è rimasto solo il trailer, il resto si è dissolto.

Cinematografico non solo nell’attenzione alle luci: le finestre, aperte e chiuse, i controluce, i colori (il verde della luce del faro, il giallo della macchina e degli occhiali, il rosa e l’oro degli abiti di Gatsby, l’oro della ricchezza, l’azzurro dei prati, l’argento della luna…) - pure se all’epoca la pellicola era ancora in bianco e nero, la realtà ricostruita nei set era ovviamente colorata.
Squisitamente cinematografica la prima apparizione di Gatsby, in silhouette, uscito per decidere quanto gli spettasse del nostro cielo, protende il braccio verso la luce verde al di là della baia, il faro davanti alla casa di Daisy (questa luce verde ritorna più volte nel romanzo, diventa il simbolo della ricerca di Gatsby, del sogno individuale e collettivo, infatti è lo stesso verde che appare ai primi marinai che raggiunsero la costa americana, loro sì inseguirono il sogno diretti da est a ovest).
Ma, l’effettiva entrata in scena di Gatsby è articolata in un crescendo, per i primi due capitoli e metà del terzo, come l’ingresso della primadonna. Preparata dalle voci (…è parente del Kaiser… ha ucciso un uomo… è cugino di secondo grado del diavolo…), dalle chiacchiere, dai mormorii, la curiosità sale nel protagonista io narrante e nel lettore (sicuramente nel sottoscritto lettore).
E poi, colpo di genio, Gatsby all’improvviso è già in scena: niente occhio di bue, niente rullo di tamburi, accanto a Nick, il nostro Virgilio in questa divina tragedia americana, è seduto un uomo di qualche anno più grande di lui, che parla con cura e formalità, probabilmente un ex commilitone durante la Grande Guerra. Ed è proprio lui, Gatsby, il mitico grande Gatsby, colui che dispensava la luce delle stelle a falene indifferenti.

Sempre in bianco e nero, ma in sonoro, si comincia a entrare nel mito, con Alan Ladd nella parte di Gatsby, Betty Field per Daisy, e Macdonald Carey che fa Nick. Dirige Elliott Nugent. È il 1949, e anche questo film incassa male, la maledizione di Gatsby contagia lo schermo.

Esistono molti tipi di sorriso: quello di Gatsby però è unico, e FSF lo descrive a meraviglia.
Dimentica tuttavia di dirci la cosa che spiega tutto: non basta scrivere che era uno di quei rari sorrisi capaci di rassicurazione eterna, come si incontrano quattro o cinque volte nella vita - il sorriso di Gatsby era uno di quei sorrisi che ti fanno sentire importante. Prima di tutto proprio per il fatto che sia uno come Gatsby a sorriderti. Quel genere di sorriso che si accompagna quasi sempre a laconicità. Perché a quel sorriso si affida l’essenza della comunicazione.

Ed eccoci alla versione del 1974, con la star delle star, Robert Redford [che quest’anno ne fa ha 81, e quando lui non ci sarà più, per me non esisterà più neanche Hollywood], Mia Farrow, Sam Waterston, Bruce Dern, Karen Black, Lois Chiles. Firma Jack Clayton, che rifiuta la sceneggiatura di Truman Capote e opta per quella di Francis Ford Coppola. Il film finalmente incassa, ma l’alchimia Redford-Farrow è sotto zero. Clayton non raggiunge purtroppo le vette di The Innocents (in italiano: Suspense, 1961), l’adattamento di ‘Giro di vite’ di Henry James.

Sempre per restare nell’ambito cinematografico, Nick, l’io narrante è al contempo regista e interprete/testimone, racconta ciò che vede, assiste e partecipa, ma anche ciò che ha sentito, ricostruendo l’intreccio per noi lettori come farebbe una voce fuori campo.
Fitzgerald glielo lascia fare in modo che la storia e il personaggio principale siano costruiti su vuoti ed ellissi, elementi strutturali quanto mai filmici – alcuni degli eventi fondamentali del romanzo non sono messi in scena, non sono rappresentati: per esempio, l’incontro tra Gatsby e Daisy, l’investimento di Myrtle, la morte di Gatsby, tutti momenti clou che rimangono per così dire ‘fuori campo’.
Nick è il punto di vista dominante, ma è qualcuno che ammette di essere allo stesso tempo dentro e fuori i fatti, è qualcuno che ci dice esplicitamente quanto il suo racconto sia in soggettiva piuttosto che oggettivo - per questo non si trattiene dal manipolare il piano temporale dei fatti, l’ordine degli eventi, spostandosi avanti e indietro nel tempo, proprio come farebbe un regista in fase di montaggio.
E proprio come un regista che interviene sulla lente e gioca con la messa a fuoco, la percezione visiva di Nick è spesso annebbiata, distorta, come sottolineano i molteplici riferimenti alla vista, allo sguardo, al punto di vista, all’illusione ottica (lo stesso passato di Gatsby riassume in sé contorni sfumati e incerti).
In contrapposizione allo sguardo del grande manifesto pubblicitario che ritorna più volte, quello del dott. J.T. Eckleburg, che dietro i giganteschi occhiali nasconde quasi sicuramente gli occhi miopi di dio (metafora della cecità eterna, la pubblicità mercifica il divino).

Questa versione nasce modesta, destinata alla tv: è il 2000, Toby Stephens interpreta Gatsby, Mira Sorvino Daisy e Paul Rudd Nick. Dirige Robert Markowitz.

Alla ricerca dell’ultima frontiera, il confine da Ovest si è spostato a Est, e in questa terra di conquista dove il sogno di felicità e redenzione è universale ed eterno, in questa vicenda semplice, per certi versi addirittura banale, eppure complessa e intricata come solo i grandi classici possono essere, in queste pagine che sono simboliche e mitiche, americane al cento per cento (Under the Red, White, and Blue sembra che fosse il titolo preferito da Fitzgerald, lo propose all’editore troppo tardi, l’opera era già in stampa) ma universali, il sogno è destinato a fallire.
Gatsby è un cavaliere medioevale senza armatura che insegue il suo sogno, il suo Santo Graal che si chiama Daisy, ma si chiama anche successo, perché senza successo Daisy non si trova, non arriva.
Il sogno americano è già marcio negli anni Venti del Novecento, quando è ambientato questo romanzo: il proibizionismo stimola e diffonde corruzione, il successo arriva in fretta con metodi spicci, non serve più il duro lavoro. Anche se si arriva in cima, ci si muove in una terra desolata come quella che circonda il drugstore del marito di Myrtle, dove la donna viene travolta e uccisa, mischiando il suo sangue alla cenere, e in ultima analisi all’immondizia.
Proprio come Lancillotto, il più celebre cavaliere medievale, Gatsby conosce l’amore sia romantico che fisico (non credo di aver mai letto una scena d’amore più erotica di quella descritta da Chrétien de Troyes tra Lancillotto e Ginevra).

On Sunday morning while church bells rang in the villages along shore the world and its mistress returned to Gatsby’s house and twinkled hilariously on his lawn.
Un esempio dell’incanto che è una grande scrittura.

Nel 2002 ci fu uno strano tentativo, Gatsby diventa nero in questo insolito remake che trasporta la storia al terzo millennio: si intitola semplicemente G, dirige Christopher Scott Cherot, e Richard T.Jones interpreta il protagonista Summer G. Esperimento curioso, ma non indimenticabile.

Nel 1922, quando iniziò a pensare al romanzo che ultimò e fu pubblicato tre anni dopo, Fitzgerald scrisse al suo editor: Voglio scrivere qualcosa di nuovo - qualcosa di straordinario, di bello e semplice e dalla struttura intricata. Parole che sono cronaca di un capolavoro annunciato.
Figlio di Henry James, o come disse T.S.Eliot, il primo passo in avanti fatto dalla narrativa americana dai tempi di Henry James, mi piace pensare che Fitzgerald battezzò la sua non eroina ispirandosi proprio alla Daisy Miller di James.
Figlio della grande tradizione, dove Nick sopravvive alla morte di Gatsby per raccontare la storia proprio come Ismael sopravvive alla tragedia di Achab, Fitzgerald seppe spostare l’asticella più in alto, più avanti.
Così in alto e così avanti che un altro sommo scrittore, J.D. Salinger, fa pronunciare al suo incomparabile personaggio, Holden, catcher in the rye, parole di lode per Fitzgerald e il suo Gatsby (Mi fa impazzire, Il Grande Gatsby. Il vecchio Gatsby. Vecchio mio. Mi fa morire, capitolo 18). E come Nick alla fine del romanzo pulisce una parola oscena scritta sui gradini della villa di Gatsby, così Holden cancella le oscenità scritte sui muri della scuola della sorellina.
A questo punto mi piace citare Calvino, le cui parole trovo particolarmente adatte a questo capolavoro: un classico è un libro che non ha mai finito di dire quel che ha da dire - Di un classico ogni rilettura è una lettura di scoperta come la prima - I classici sono libri che quanto più si crede di conoscerli per sentito dire, tanto più quando si leggono davvero si trovano nuovi, inaspettati, inediti - Un classico è un'opera che provoca incessantemente un pulviscolo di discorsi critici su di sé, ma continuamente se li scrolla di dosso…

Ed ecco l’ultima leggenda, Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan in Daisy, e Tobey Maguire fa Nick. La regia è affidata al geniale Baz Luhrmann. Siamo nel 2013. Il risultato non è memorabile.

Tentai poi di pensare a Gatsby per un momento ma lui era già troppo lontano.

Probabilmente non avevo diciotto anni quando ho letto Fitzgerald per la prima volta. I 28 racconti. Il primo, ‘Il diamante grosso come l’Hotel Ritz’, mi fulminò e mi conquistò col suo finale: I don't know any longer. At any rate, let us love for a while, for a year or so, you and me. That's a form of divine drunkenness that we can all try. There are only diamonds in the whole world, diamonds and perhaps the shabby gift of disillusion. Well, I have that last and I will make the usual nothing of it." He shivered. "Turn up your coat collar, little girl, the night's full of chill and you'll get pneumonia. His was a great sin who first invented consciousness. Let us lose it for a few hours. Chiarendo e stabilendo per me sin da allora che l’adolescenza non è un periodo della vita, ma uno stato dell’anima.

Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews162k followers
May 16, 2021
2.5 Stars

1) Always google who you are going to fall in love with.
Reserving judgments is a matter of infinite hope.
2) For the love of God, make a 401K
They had spent a year in France for no particular reason, and then drifted here and there unrestfully wherever people played polo and were rich together.
3) Never swallow a thesaurus.
I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.
Jay Gatsby is rich - the kind of exorbitant rich that other rich people like to hang out with him, just so they can bask in his richness.

He's also in love, with one Daisy Buchanan...who's already married to one, surly, cheating and backstabbing man.

Our narrator has front row seats to all the glitz, the glam and the gore that circles around Jay Gatsby's chaotic life. (Cause, whenever you throw that much money at something, you better be prepared for something to be thrown back.)

Overall, I liked this one better the second time around. I'm a bit more familiar with the story, and I have more of a feel for the way Fitzgerald writes.

I really enjoy the character of Gatsby this time around and love Daisy a little bit less.

The one thing I disliked in round 1 (and have disliked every time I go through this novel) is the language. It just seems...SO over-the-top and flowery.

It really just takes forever to say anything in this book. Like this:
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
and this:
It was the kind of voice that the ear follows up and down, as if each speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again.
Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.
Ultimately, this one was not the one for me. Maybe I'll give it another shot in a couple of years...

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Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews101 followers
July 29, 2021
(Book 699 From 1001 Books) - The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby is a 1925 novel written by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald that follows a cast of characters living in the fictional town of West Egg on prosperous Long Island in the summer of 1922.

The story primarily concerns the young and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his quixotic passion and obsession for the beautiful former debutante Daisy Buchanan.

Considered to be Fitzgerald's magnum opus, The Great Gatsby explores themes of decadence, idealism, resistance to change, social upheaval, and excess, creating a portrait of the Jazz Age or the Roaring Twenties that has been described as a cautionary tale regarding the American Dream.

Characters: Nick Carraway, Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan, Tom Buchanan, Jordan Baker, Myrtle Wilson, Meyer Wolfsheim, George Wilson.

In Spring 1922, Nick Carraway—a Yale alumnus from the Midwest and a World War I veteran—journeys to New York City to obtain employment as a bond salesman.

He rents a bungalow in the Long Island village of West Egg, next to a luxurious estate inhabited by Jay Gatsby, an enigmatic multi-millionaire who hosts dazzling evenings.

One evening, Nick dines with a distant relative, Daisy Buchanan, in the fashionable town of East Egg. Daisy is married to Tom Buchanan, formerly a Yale football star whom Nick knew during his college days.

The couple has recently relocated from Chicago to a mansion directly across the bay from Gatsby's estate. There, Nick encounters Jordan Baker, an insolent flapper and golf champion who is a childhood friend of Daisy's.

Jordan confides to Nick that Tom keeps a mistress, Myrtle Wilson, who brazenly telephones him at his home and who lives in the "valley of ashes", a sprawling refuse dump. That evening, Nick sees Gatsby standing alone on his lawn, staring at a green light across the bay. ...

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «گتسبی بزرگ»؛ «طلا و خاکستر گتسبی بزرگ»؛ اثر: اف اسکات فیتزجرالد (فیتس جرالد)؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش ماه سپتامبر سال 2002میلادی

عنوان: گتسبی بزرگ؛ اثر: اف اسکات فیتزجرالد (فیتس جرالد)؛ مترجم: کریم امامی؛ مشخصات نشر تهران، انتشارات نیلوفر، 1379؛ در 288ص؛ موضوع داستانهای نویس��دگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 20م

نخستین بار با عنوان «طلا و خاکستر گتسبی بزرگ»؛ با ترجمه جناب آقای «کریم امامی»، در تهران توسط انتشارات فرانکلین در سال 1344هجری خورشیدی در 204ص منتشر شده است

مترجمین دیگر این اثر بزرگوار، خانمها و آقایان: «فهیمه رحمتی»؛ «نفیسه رنجبران»؛ «مهدی سجودی مقدم»؛ «عباس کرمی فر»؛ «فاطمه جمالی»؛ «محمدصادق سبط الشیخ»؛ «رضا رضایی»؛ «مهدی افشار»؛ و «معصومه عسگری»؛ هستند

نقل از متن: «آنگاه کلاه طلائی بر سر بگذار، اگر برمیانگیزدت، اگر توان بالا جستنت هست، به خاطرش نیز به جست و خیز درآی، تا بدانجا که فریاد برآورد: عاشق، ای عا��ق بالا جهنده ی کلاه ��لائی، مرا تو باید».؛ پایان نقل

انگار هر کتاب نامدار، که در اینمورد در عنوانش نیز، واژه «بزرگ» خودنمایی میکند را، بیشتر باور داریم؛ پیشتر، چندبار خوانده بودم، دوستی نگارگر، در دو واژه، همین نویسنده را ستوده بودند، آن دو واژه چشمم را گرفت، و اینبار آخر، که کتاب را برداشتم، ساعت سه صبح روز سیزدهم مهرماه سال 1392هجری خورشیدی بود، که به انتهای راه خوانشش رسیدم، و بسیار هم خوش بگذشت، اینبار مدهوش شخصیت پردازیها، و صحنه آرائیها شده بودم، سخن شخصیتها یادم میماند، تند و تند میخواندم، تا به جاهایی برسم، که نگارنده، با واژه ی «دی زی»، صحنه ی داستان را بیاراید، میدانم که باز هم خواهم خواند

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 23/05/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 06/05/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Anne.
4,240 reviews70k followers
July 22, 2023
So this was a weird little story about people with too much money.
The main characters just kind of flopped around drinking cocktails, smoking, and complaining about the heat. When they weren't cheating on their spouses, that is.


The gist is that this guy Nick, who is the only person with normal human emotions in the entire book, is recounting his special summer with The Great Gatsby.


Gatsby is this ultra-mysterious man with gobs of money who likes to throw lavish wingdings. Everyone who is anyone shows up to drink his booze, eat his food, and party till they puke.
BUT! He has a secret and he needs Nick's help.
He's in love. <--with Nick's cousin, Daisy
Daisy, however, is married to a douchebag named Tom, who is cheating on her with a floozy named Myrtle, who is married to a wimp named George, who wants to buy one of Tom's cars.
It's the great circle of life.


Gatsby was...? I don't know.
Part of me felt sorry for him because he pulled himself up by his bootstraps and made a shitload of money just to win over the woman he loved. Sure he did it illegally, but how the fuck else are you supposed to make a shitload of money? Not by believing that anyone can be anything in America, that's for damn sure.
The other part of me thought he was an idiot who just wanted what he couldn't have. If Daisy threw him over for a guy with money, then that right there should tell you something.
Move on, dumbass.


Daisy was...? Kind of a dick, obviously. Of course she 100% deserved Tom. How Gatsby didn't see it coming is something that boggles the mind. <--we've all known a Gatsby, though, right? Unwilling to face the fact that his crush is a bitch on roids.


Myrtle was...?
Well, that shit was just funny. She didn't deserve to be road pancake, but if it had to happen to someone, at least it wasn't her dog.


Jordan was...? A golfer, a bit of a klepto, and Nick's quasi-love interest. You never get the feeling they're really dating-dating. <--more like they're both killing time? She was somewhat of a non-character for me.


Tom was...? An entitled, smarmy buffoon. But apparently, that's a good look on some people, because everything seems to come up roses for him.


At the end of the day, I'm not really sure why this is considered a must-read.
It's basically just a slice of asshole life. The very wealthy, very bored, and very cliqueish don't necessarily interest me and this story really wasn't an exception. I think it has the same appeal as those reality shows that follow rich housewives, or television series about wealthy a-holes doing shit like murdering their business rivals on yachts. Like, somehow I'm supposed to think, "Oh, look! Their lives aren't perfect, either!" but all I really end up thinking is, "You miserable fuckers can't think of anything better to do on a yacht?", because I sure as hell could come up with something a bit more fun than that.


The best thing about The Great Gatsby was the length. I loved that it didn't drag on and on and on. There weren't a lot of words wasted on unnecessary side plots that didn't go anywhere or descriptions of scenery that didn't matter. I appreciated that quite a bit.


Oh, the version I listened to had a bunch of letters written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Some of them were interesting, but oh my god, the guy sounded like such a snobby cunt when he was talking about how worthless and low-brow other authors of his day were. This didn't really matter to the story, but it was sort of a pathetic note to end the book on. And maybe the intent of putting those letters out there wasn't to make him look bad? Maybe I'm supposed to think he's right and that he and his pal Hemmingway were a step above everyone else? True literary champions!
If I'm honest about it, I'm exactly the sort of peasant reader that enjoys the more unpretentious novels, so to hear one author bashing another one for being too easily digested by the sweaty masses doesn't give me the warm fuzzies.


Then again, these were the guy's private thoughts, so it's not really any of my business. Plus, I can be a real twat when I'm venting to someone close to me, so who am I to judge?


This one won't go down as a favorite but it is another beloved classic that I can check off of my list.


As far as the audiobook goes? I think Tim Robbins is a good reader, but this is my 2nd book read by him and he's not my favorite. He has this tendency to lower his voice and whisper sometimes. Thing is, my hearing is SHIT, so I end up either having to go back and relisten or just kind of miss a few words. I'm not blaming Robbins, just my eardrums. I'll probably try to avoid books by him in the future, but not because he sucks.

Tim Robbins - Narrator
Publisher: HarperCollins
Edition: Unabridged
Audie Award Nominee
Best Audiobooks
Listen Up Award
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,516 reviews11.7k followers
September 28, 2011

Casual, self-absorbed decadence, the evaporation of social grace, money calling all the shots and memories of the past holding people hostage from the future that lies before them. Yes, Mr. Fitzgerald has nailed it and written one of THE great American novels.

This book was a surprise. I LOVED it and all of the deep contradictions swimming around its heart. At once a scathing indictment on the erosion of the American Dream, but also a bittersweet love letter to the unfailing optimism of the American people. Call it dignified futility…obstinate hopefulness. Whatever you call it, this novel is shiny and gorgeous, written with a sort of breezy pretension that seems to mirror the loose morality of the story. Rarely have I come across a book whose style so perfectly enhances its subject matter.

Set in the eastern United States just after World War I, Fitzgerald shows us an America that has lost its moral compass. This fall from grace is demonstrated through the lives of a handful of cynical “well-to-dos” living lavish but meaningless lives that focus on nothing but the pursuit of their own pleasures and whims.

Standing apart from these happenings (while still being part of them) is our narrator, Nick Carraway. As the one honest and decent person in the story, Nick stands in stark contrast to the other characters. “Everyone suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known.” Nick relays the story of the summer he spent in Long Island’s West Egg in a small house sandwiched between the much larger mansions of the area. His time in Long Island is spent with a group that includes his second cousin, Daisy Buchanan, and her rich husband Tom who live in Long Island’s East Egg. At one point in the story, Nick provides the following description of the pair which I do not think can be improved upon:
They were careless people, Tom and Daisy--they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.
In addition, we have Jordan Baker who is a poster child for the pretty, amoral, self-centered rich girl whose view of the world is jaded and unsentimental. Basically, she’s a bitch.

The most intriguing character by far is Jay Gatsby himself, both for who he is and for how Fitzgerald develops him through the course of the narrative. When we are first introduced to Gatsby, he comes across as a polite, gracious, well-mannered gentleman with a magnetic personality who our narrator takes to immediately.
He had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself.
However, from that very first encounter, Fitzgerald slowly chips away at the persona and peels back the layers of the “Great” Gatsby until we are left with a flawed and deeply tragic figure that in my opinion ranks among the most memorable in all of classic literature. Nick’s journey in his relationship with Gatsby mirrors our own. “It is invariably saddening to look through new eyes at things upon which you have expended your own powers of adjustment.”

Through a series of parties, affairs, beatings, drunken escapades, the lives of the characters intermesh with terrible consequences. I don’t want to give away major parts of the story as I think they are best experienced for the first time fresh, but at the heart of Fitzgerald’s morality tale is a tragic love that for me rivaled the emotional devastation I felt at the doomed relationship of Heathcliff and Catherine in Wuthering Heights. In general, Fitzgerald’s world of excessive jubilance and debauchery is a mask that the characters wear to avoid the quiet torments that haunt them whenever they are forced to take stock of their actions. Rather than do this, they simply keep moving. "I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others--young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life."

In the end, Fitzgerald manages the amazing feat of creating a sad, bleak portrait of America while maintaining a sense of restrained optimism in the future. Both heart-wrenching and strangely comforting at the same time. I guess in the end, this was a book that made me feel a lot and that is all I can ever ask. I’m going to wrap this up with my second favorite quote from the book (my favorite being the one at the very beginning of the review):
And as I sat there, brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out Daisy's light at the end of his dock. He had come such a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close he could hardly fail to grasp it. But what he did not know was that it was already behind him, somewhere in the vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.

Profile Image for Paul Bryant.
2,285 reviews10.7k followers
May 10, 2013
This is an all right-ish kind of novel, I suppose, but I always preferred Fitzgerald’s little-known prequel The Average Gatsby, although some people found the vision of Mervyn Gatsby, Jay’s obscure brother, living a reasonably okayish life as the manager of a carpet and upholstery warehouse in Des Moines a trifle dispiriting. I quite agree that The Bad Gatsby was a shameless self-ripoff which did Fitzgerald no favours. (The threesome scene between Warren Harding, John Dillinger and Gatsby was in poor taste and I do not see how it got past the censor. I have never been able to look at a set of deer antlers without blushing ever again.) And I must say that these new franchised-out novels like The Late Gatsby (Jay as vampire, inevitable I suppose), The Grape Gatsby (must be aimed at the vegan crowd) and The Lesbian Gatsby (in which – surprise – he never was a man), followed up by The Straight Gatsby - and The Groped Gatsby in which he was recovering from sexual abuse at the hands of Warren Harding - what can one say - The Ingrate Gatsby (in which he doesn't get rich and is really bitter) - must have literature fans gnawing each other’s kindles in sheer angst. They’re a disgrace. I have even seen a superhero graphic novel called Batgatsby. Or did I dream that. Hmm. Maybe there isn’t a Batgatsby. I wonder if it would sell… I bet it would. Batgatsby.
Profile Image for Henry Avila.
494 reviews3,276 followers
February 12, 2024
Jay Gatsby, is a mysterious young man, who gives extravagant parties on Long Island, New York, outside his palatial mansion , in the warm, lazy, summer nights. That he doesn't know the people he invites, not to mention the numerous gate crashers, might make it a little strange, but this being the roaring 20's, anything goes, rumors abound about Gatsby, bootlegger ? Who cares, as long as the free liquor flows, the great food served, and the beautiful music, continues playing. Finally attending one of his own gatherings, we discover that he's after Daisy, a lost love, she's married, which complicates the delicate situation. Nick, Daisy's cousin, arrives in town and through him, reunites Gatsby with his former girlfriend, she enjoys luxury, which is why Daisy married rich Tom and not poor Jay. A catastrophic car accident kills Tom's girlfriend, yes, he's a creep but a wealthy one, it's vague who's responsible, but her husband thinks he knows. Death in a swimming pool, ends this tragedy and symbolizes the Jazz Age ... Thoughts: Gatsby was a tortured, lonely man, even shy, who tried to become a member of the establishment. He, with all his riches, needed to enter it, to become part of it, to feel alive but could never remove the dirt and his lowly, and embarrassing origins. They (the upper class), used him and laughed at the stranger behind his back, and the illusions about Daisy , a woman who never really existed, except in his distorted mind. The truth shocked Gatsby, the pretend gentleman but he could never let go of the mirage, if he did, there would be nothing left of his soul.
Profile Image for LooseLips.
21 reviews68 followers
June 25, 2012
The eh Gatsby

Classic. Yes. THE great American novel. Hmph, so I heard. I suppose it should make one more interested, or at least feel more compelled to read something (or re-read as is the case here) when it has "classic" and "everyone else loves it!" stamped all over it. And has a movie made out of it, though what beloved novel hasn't these days? Of course, I originally read FSF's Gatsby because I was expected to for a high school English class. So, even though I was never the type to do homework, I read The Great Gatsby because it had a neat cover, Fitzgerald is fun to say, and, of course, the legend of Zelda.

Unfortunately for Meredyth, my thoughts on Gatsby 10 years ago are pretty similar to the thoughts I have on it today: How pretty. Pretty decedant. How drippy. How zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

It's not that I was completely uninterested. It's that my interest was never piqued to the point of really giving a shit. Sure, who doesn't love a hot mysteriously wealthy man with serious heart ache for a serious material girl? What about those rich dudes who may be crooks but no one can figger out how crooked they are exactly because how crooked can you be if you throw such mean hoedowns?!

Oh, and I love a good morally ambiguous-protaganist/narrator-who-hates-parties-and-society-but-just-can't-seem-to-stay-away as much as the next person, but Nick, our hero, just wants to be liked so very much, and unfortunately, he reads like a sap. And when all the other characters are unforgivable bores, I would prefer that my ambiguous, socially mandated narrator manage to keep me awake.

What about those three stars? You ask. Well I can't lie. I do think Fitz had a way with words. I did find that those subtle nuances of the variations in lifestyle during the depression to be very much in effect, and I would be happy to visit any fictional small town called West Egg. Or East Egg for that matter. And I get the kind of crazy he was going for in his more psychopathic character, George Wilson, who, because he was in love, becomes the bastiOn of normalcy even when he is driven to murder and his own suicide.

FSF did manage to be believably compassionate towards his seemingly less insane characters, (who are all on the brink of insanity) (but still made me drowsy). There is definitely a part of me that sees how one could be drawn into the twinkly lit world FSF created, supposedly, out of his own reality, and I have noted his passion for the beauty of the unfolding story, such as it is.

But I was disappointed 10 years ago by the story's inability to convince me it wasn't nap time, its unwillingness to point out the the relevance of the individual over society, and the irrelevance of the world Gatsby inhabits, and I was disappointed again this past week.

In summation, be sure to keep an eye out for this writer. Once he writes something more appealing to the masses he's sure to bust out onto the scene soon. You heard it here first.
Profile Image for Baba.
3,749 reviews1,151 followers
July 12, 2023
If you don't succeed at first, try, try again! On rereading this book 'Fitzgerald's crowning achievement - THE novel of the 1920s, and loved by every generation since' it's like my eyes have been opened and a shroud lifted! From the very first page the writing, the atmosphere and that reliable(!) narrator held my attention and kept it rivetted over all nine short chapters. As well as being a blistering critique of the American Dream, it's also about the narrator Nick Carraway's eye's being opened, just like mine were on truly understanding the story of the great Gatsby!

Personally feel that this story will always stand true for America, the way people are so easily thrown under the bus when their tide turns, despite being so 'invested in' and 'hung on to' when in vogue, see Gatsby; how the privileged live their lives and decimate the lives of the less privileged around them with little regard or indeed consequence, i.e. Tom and Daisy; how striving for the American Dream has no real rules and does not really call for a moral compass or integrity, see Gatsby; and how the enlightened, despite understanding this, do little about it, as the American Dream is a integral part of America itself, see Nick. The cherry on top is the writing and the utterly amazing feat of saying so much in so few pages. F. Scott Fitzgerald, I so stand corrected! 9 out of 12!

This book also underlines one of my strongest bookish beliefs, in that if I ever "don't get" a lauded read, I must one day return at another point in my life and reread it again, especially as my expectations are very much then lowered. If you didn't/don't think much of this book, please read it again one day. This book kicks ass!

2005 and 2022 read
Link to my 2005 one star review
Profile Image for emma.
2,077 reviews65.9k followers
July 12, 2023
once upon a time, i had a very long, very passionate review of this book uploaded, with very long, very passionate pages of comments, and generally it was one of my favorite reviews (and of one of my favorite books) with one of my favorite ensuing discussions.

today i realized goodreads deleted it!
Profile Image for هدى يحيى.
Author 10 books17.1k followers
September 20, 2018

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وكنت أقرؤها بلذة خالصة لن يعرفها من يقوم بقرائتها مترجمة

لا أجد رواية تقوم بتجسيد الحلم الأمريكي كهذه الرواية
وعليك أن تقارن فكرة الحلم الأمريكي في بدايتها بفكرة الحلم الإنساني ككل
هذا الشبق العظيم للوصول إلى القمة
الحصول على كل شيء
النجاح العظيم
والحرية المطلقة

فكرة الحلم الأمريكي ترجع جذورها إلى البدايات
لحظة توقيع إعلان الاستقلال
والذي يجعل الرجال جميعهم متساوين في الحقوق
حيث خلقوا جميعاً من ربّ واحد بحقوق مستحقة
لاحظ هنا أن توماس جيفريسون ذكر
All men are created equal
وإن كانت لفظة men
تعني الإنسان في وقت ما إنما استخدام اللفظة عامة جعلها تحتكر الحرية على الذكور
فمازالت المرأة وقتها تعامل على أنها مواطن من الدرجة الثانية
وربما إلى الآن

يرسم فيتزجيرالد أبطاله بعناية
يدقق في تفاصيلاتهم الخاصة
يأخذك في دواخلهم ويداعب ملامحهم بلغته الماكرة الممتعة

ابتسم بتفهّم
بأكثر من مجرّد تفهم
وكانت واحدة من تلك الابتسامات النادرة التي تحمل صبغة طمأنينة أبدية فيها
والتي قد تأتي عبر أربع أو خمس مرات في الحياة
لقد واجهت
أو بدى أنها واجهت
العالم بأكمله في لحظة
ومن ثم ركزت على روحك بمحاباة لا تقاوم في صالحك
لقد تفهّمتكْ قدر ما تريد أنت أن تكون مفهوماً
آمنت بك بالقدر الذي تريد أنت به الإيمان بذاتك
و طمأنتك بأنها تأخذ نفس الانطباع الذي قد تودّ إعطاءه عن نفسك في أقصى طموحاتك

كانت طريقة الكاتب في الوصف هي الآسرة هُنا
فالقصّة ذاتها إن تجرّدت من سردها القيّم ستبقى عادية جداً
وتافهة لدى البعض
رجل فقير يحاول قدر ما يحاول إثراء ذاته للوصول إلى قلب المرأة التي أحبها
والتي تتصف بانتهازية ووقاحة وأنانية تجعلك تود سحقها احياناً

القصة لن تتفهمها جيداً إلا إذا كنت مهتماً ببدايات الحلم الأمريكي
وبدراسة تلك الفترة من عمر أمريكا القصير
فالرواية تدور في عصر الجاز
وتلقي الضوء على أوقات قريبة من بداية الكساد الكبير
و في وقت كان الإتجار بالخمور ممنوعاً
والذي انتشر فيه بيع وشراء الخمر بنهم كبير في السوق السوداء

تنقل الرواية المشاعر الإنسانية في أوجها
تجدها متجسدة في الحروف تكاد تنطق
بطريقة شديدة الخصوصية وبمهارة أدبية عظيمة

القصة أكثر من مجرد شباب وفتيات يعيشون المتعة واللهو
فهي تصور حيرة جيل مجنون بأكمله
يعاني الاغتراب والملل والجهل
يحاول الوصول إلى فكرة مستحيلة
إلى ثراء ومجد وحرية
حتى يتساقطوا واحداً تلو الآخر من التعب وخيبة الأمل
فكل واحد فيهم أراه قد مات في نهاية الرواية بطريقة أو بأخرى
بحيث لم يبقى ممن قد بقى سوى أشباح لم تعد قادرة حتى على التفاهات اليومية التي يغرقون أنفسهم بها

هناك أكثر من فيلم شاهدته عن الرواية
ولم يعجبني أي منهم
ولكنني أنتظر الفيلم الجديد
وأشعر أنه سيكون ��ختلفاً

متعة الرواية تقل كثيراً في الترجمة
فالرواية الأمريكية تحتاج لقراءتها كما كتبت وبنفس الروح
و لقد تمتعت بدراستها ،وحصلت على تقدير جيد جدا سنتها
ولذا تبقى في ذهني مرتبطة ببعض قطرات من سعادة
وبأوقات حلوة لا تُنسى
Profile Image for Luca Ambrosino.
93 reviews13.7k followers
February 2, 2020
English (The Great Gatsby) / Italiano

«In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”»

The Great Gatsby, the book that most of all I postponed the reading. There was something in the title that didn't excite me, that didn't pass the smell. I was wrong.

The narrator, Nick Carraway, lives in a house across the street of the luxurious villa of Jay Gatsby, the embodiment of the American Dream. Nick is affected by Gatsby straight away,
and starts a friendship with him, helping him to win back the love of an old flame, that is married by now.

The novel is poetic at times, often cynical, with an enjoyable style of writing. The lesson is ruthless: the American Dream is exactly what it is. It is not real, it's only a dream.

Vote: 8


«Nei miei anni più giovani e vulnerabili mio padre mi diede un consiglio che non ho mai smesso di considerare. “Ogni volta che ti sentirai di criticare qualcuno,” mi disse, “ricordati che non tutti a questo mondo hanno avuto i tuoi stessi vantaggi”»

Il Grande Gatsby, il libro che più di tutti non mi decidevo a leggere. C'era qualcosa nel titolo che non mi entusiasmava, non mi ispirava. Avevo torto.

Il narratore Nick Carraway vive in un villino di fronte la sfarzosa dimora di Jay Gatsby, l'incarnazione del sogno americano. Ne subisce fin da subito l'influenza ed intreccia con lui un rapporto di amicizia, durante il quale cercherà di aiutarlo a riconquistare una vecchia fiamma di lui, oramai sposata.

Romanzo a tratti poetico, a tratti cinico, dallo stile più che gradevole. La morale è crudele: il sogno americano è proprio quello che è, solo un sogno.

Voto: 8

Profile Image for Vit Babenco.
1,547 reviews4,295 followers
October 22, 2020
Our fantasies of grandeur are always restricted by our aesthetic tastes and The Great Gatsby is literally an anthem to vulgarity and fraudulence…
But his heart was in a constant, turbulent riot. The most grotesque and fantastic conceits haunted him in his bed at night. A universe of ineffable gaudiness spun itself out in his brain while the clock ticked on the washstand and the moon soaked with wet light his tangled clothes upon the floor. Each night he added to the pattern of his fancies until drowsiness closed down upon some vivid scene with an oblivious embrace.

The grotesque aesthetic stupidity and the fabulous bad taste of the characters is outright shocking… Instead of wishing for variety and quality, they just want to get more of everything that glitters…
He took out a pile of shirts and began throwing them, one by one, before us, shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel, which lost their folds as they fell and covered the table in many-colored disarray. While we admired he brought more and the soft rich heap mounted higher – shirts with stripes and scrolls and plaids in coral and apple-green and lavender and faint orange, with monograms of Indian blue. Suddenly, with a strained sound, Daisy bent her head into the shirts and began to cry stormily.
‘They’re such beautiful shirts,’ she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. ‘It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such – such beautiful shirts before.’

Gatsby is a fraud and the narrator doesn’t have much sympathy for him but in the end the raconteur finds out that the respectable members of society are just hypocrites and that they are even more fake than Gatsby.
Honesty and intellect don’t mean a thing, all that counts is the art of pretending and the greatest pretender takes all.
Profile Image for Jason.
19 reviews55 followers
August 3, 2007
Most Americans are assigned to read this novel in high school. Few American high schoolers have the wherewithal to appreciate this novel in full. I certainly did not. It is on a shortlist of novels that should, every 5 years starting at age 25, return to any American's required reading list.

First things first: The opening of The Great Gatsby -- its first 3-4 pages -- ranks among the best of any novel in the English language, and so too does its ending. Both for their content and for their prose, the latter of which is stunning and near perfect throughout the novel.

As for that between the novel's opening and conclusion, two things first. (1) History is fairly clear that the term "the American Dream" did not exist at the time Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby, and regardless it almost certainly did not exist in the popular consciousness. (2) Few great American novelists after Fitzgerald have not attempted to write "the great American novel". Most of these efforts are absurdly long and often tortured. The Great Gatsby, on the other hand, is relatively short, fluid, and of seemingly effortless yet pristine expression. At a point in history where Fitzgerald's express focus could hardly have been a tale regarding "the American dream" per se or the writing of "the great American novel", Fitzgerald nevertheless crafts the definitive tale of "the American Dream", as well as, his successors' endeavors aside, "the great American novel". Period.

In not so many pages, Fitzgerald paints a brilliantly cogent picture of the potential pleasures, joys, and benefits an individual might deem achievable -- uniquely so -- in an America filled with possibilities. Paired with that picture, Fitzgerald besprinkles The Great Gatsby with the numerous pitfalls and evils that both stand as a barrier to what's imagined achievable in America, and threaten to accompany that which is achieved. Neither the quest for, nor (if possible) the achievement of, the American Dream is a thing untainted. Nor, in Fitzgerald's view, can it be.

Fitzgerald, frankly, writes all that need be written on this subject; whatever his successors' ambitions may be. And he writes it in prose so perfect, so impressive, and so beautiful, I occasionally find myself at a loss to name a novel in the English language constructed with greater skill, and apparent ease thereof.

In short: The Great Gatsby is an inimitable wonder of American fiction. And, for lack of a better word, an "application" of the English language that has few equals. The novel is astounding.
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,221 reviews9,501 followers
August 3, 2020

Re-read update August 2020

My history with Gatsby

First read in high school: 1 star
Rethinking my rating a few years ago after watching movie and discussing book with my wife (see original review below) : 3 stars
Re-read rating in 2020: 5 stars

Interesting anecdote to accompany my re-read. I did it on audio this time, headed out to listen to it (double time) on a walk yesterday, and 8.6 miles later I had listened to the whole thing straight through!

So glad I gave this one another shot. It's pretty good - definitely worthy of 5 stars. If you remember it poorly because of a required reading experience, I think it is worth revisiting.

Here is my original review from January 8th, 2013:

When I first reviewed this on Goodreads, I gave it 1 star. I just did not remember enjoying it as required reading in High School.

Then I went through a phase a couple of years ago where I read a lot of Hemingway and about Hemingway (The Paris Wife), and with Hemingway you get a lot of Fitzgerald.

Shortly after that, the movie with Leonardo DiCaprio came out and my wife's book club read the book. We ended up discussing the book for hours and watched the movie. After that I had to change my rating.

I only brought it up to 3 because it is still not one of my favorites, but I get it more now (update August 2020 - now 5 stars!). There is a whole lot of interesting content packed into an under 200 page book (how they made a 2 1/2 hour movie, I'll never know - but they kept it pretty close to the source material). I also think this book is very representative of the time period and the type of writing you were seeing in the "Jazz Age". Because of this, it is an important piece of literature.
Profile Image for Cecily.
1,191 reviews4,546 followers
December 14, 2022
I don't know if my appreciation of this should be tempered by the fact I was about three quarters of the way through before I realised I'd read it before (though I think it was many years ago)!


It is (mostly) set in Long Island in summer of 1922, amongst the young, idle, amoral rich, playing fast and loose with their own lives and indeed, those of others. All very glamorous, self-centred, and shallow, but the possibility of darker things lurking holds interest and tension.


Even if you like celebrity parties, there are no good, pleasant characters; it may start off glamourising such lives, but things are very different by the end.
They were careless people... they smashed up things and creations and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness... and let other people clean up the mess they had made."
Tragically, this even applies to children: only one is ever mentioned, she appears briefly, but is then oddly forgotten, perhaps reflecting that she is irrelevant to everyone, and to the story.

Nick, the narrator, is the odd one out in that he actually has to work for a living. Also, perhaps because he nurses a secret ?

Image: Gatsby glamour and excess, from Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 film (Source)

Nick is also the most honest and honourable one (or perhaps the least dishonest and dishonourable, though the fact he explicitly mentions his reputation for honesty (more than once) does bring Lady Macbeth to mind). He reconnects with his cousin, Daisy, who is married to Tom, and dips his toe in their social set. Always the outsider, yet somehow inside, and thus surely culpable for things that happen, at least to some extent.

Daisy is perhaps the most significant character, though more words are written about others. Her name is unlikely to be a coincidence: daisies are robust and wild; they don't need or want hothouse pampering - despite appearances to the contrary.

The host with the most is the mysterious Jay Gatsby, who throws lavish parties for people he barely knows (albeit with an ulterior motive). Like all the main characters, he is a westerner who moved east. Nick (and therefore Fitzgerald) seems to think this is significant, though as a Brit, it is somewhat lost on me.


Some people see through the artifice:
She was appalled by West Egg [the village], this unprecedented 'place' that Broadway had begotten upon a Long Island fishing village - appalled by its raw vigour that chafed under the old euphemisms and by the too obtrusive fate that herded its inhabitants along a short-cut from nothing to nothing.

Image: Gatsby grime, from Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 film (Source)

Relevance today

Americans often have strong feelings about this book because of the way it explores (and, initially at least, admires) The American Dream. However, as a modern Brit, with no emotional attachment to the concept, it still feels relevant.

The message is about the power - and danger - of chasing dreams, without giving thought to the wider ramifications. Extravagance and superficiality lose their lustre after a while. Perhaps the "celebrities" who currently fill the pages of glossy magazines such as Hello and OK should take note: there are many similarities.

Or maybe it's about the overwhelming force of love - its costs and consequences - and the pain that hope bestows. Especially secret, forbidden love.

Can you be true to yourself, or one you love, if you are dishonest in other realms?


There are some wonderful descriptions and images:

* One such couple "drifted here and there unrestfully wherever people played polo and were rich together".
* At times, it is almost Wildean, "I drove... to see two old friends whom I scarcely knew at all" and "I like large parties. they're so intimate. At small parties there isn't any privacy."
* "It was the kind of voice that the ear follows up and down, as if each speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again."
* Chat that "was as cool as their white dresses and their impersonal eyes in the absence of all desire".
* "The last sunshine fell with romantic affection upon her glowing face... then the glow faded, each light deserting her with a lingering regret, like children leaving a pleasant street at dusk."
* "Her eyebrows had been plucked and then drawn on again at a more rakish angle, but the efforts of nature toward the restoration of the old alignment gave a blurred air to her face."
* "trousers of a nebulous hue"
* "the moon soaked with wet light his tangled clothes upon the floor"
* "Drowsiness closed down upon some vivid scene with an oblivious embrace... these reveries... were a satisfactory hint of the unreality of reality, a promise that the rock of the world was founded securely on a fairy's wing."
* Regarding a college, "dismayed at its ferocious indifference to the drums of his destiny".
* "his eyes leaking isolated and unpunctual tears"

There were also a couple of startlingly awkward phrases, one on the first page. No one is perfect, but given how much Fitzgerald is lauded for the perfection of his writing, they surprised me:

* "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had."
* "A sudden emptiness seemed to flow now from the windows and the great doors, endowing with complete isolation the figure of the host, who stood on the porch, his hand up in an informal gesture of farewell."

Also, is "the day... was pouring rain" (not "with rain") common in American English?

See also - similar but different

Six years after this, Fitzgerald published a short story, Babylon Revisited. The characters are from a similar social set, but the child is the centre of the story, and where Gatsby is a tragedy, Babylon might not be. See my review HERE.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,572 reviews43.2k followers
February 2, 2019
‘i was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.’

im going to a 1920s themed party tonight and so, naturally (being the bookworm that i am), im gonna do a quick re-read to give me all those gatsby-esque vibes! all the glitzy glamour, flashy fashion, and daring dreams will definitely get me in the mood!

i first read this in 10th grade english class and it will always be a very dear book to me. it was the first classic i read that i felt like i understood. and not only that, it was the first classic that i actually enjoyed, leading me into my love affair with the words of fitzgerald.

i loved (and still do) experiencing the extravagant and luxurious lifestyles, the idea of morality in the 1920s, the scandalous nature of love and betrayal, and how beauty can become corrupted.

such a compelling and tragically wonderful story that will forever remain one of my faves.

4 stars
Profile Image for Dr. Appu Sasidharan (Dasfill).
1,358 reviews3,246 followers
July 12, 2022

This is one of the best novels I read about the American dream. The prose is perfect in every way, and this novel's ending is one of the best endings I have ever read.

I first read Fitzgerald's masterpiece when I was a young teenager. After I finished reading it, I simply hated it. I had no clue why the people were so much obsessed with it. After many years I decided to give this novel another try when I started to hear my friends frequently discussing it.

It took me almost ten years after the initial read to understand the beauty of this book. The manner in which the author wrote it can't be compared to any other literary creation. The symbolism in it makes it a true masterpiece that no one should miss.

“He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it.”
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