Book number 19: The Great Gatsby. First published in 1925 (so thrilled to have a 1980 copy from my Aunt!), this book is an American literary royalty. The Great Gatsby has been taken to film six times with the seventh coming out this year.
What it is: Nick Carraway, the narrator, finds a home next to Jay Gatsby, a seemingly mysterious, millionaire, playboy, who throws lavish parties attended by everyone who is anyone in society (makes you want to think of Tony Stark, doesn’t it? :lol:). Nick later finds out that Gatsby is no more than a man consumed with love and questionable values, all the while seeing a social landscape unfold before him, which is no less than a painting of the American dream: power, ambition, wealth, fame, but with a tragic and horrific twist echoing a line from The Descendants which says, “Behind a great wealth is a great crime,” or something like that.
What I liked about it: I’ve never seen anything quite as social as The Great Gatsby. I have no idea what America was like during the 1920’s but if the book is correct about the issues of the time such as renown, corruption, greed, racism, narcissism, and all the wrong values enveloping everyone in society, then I think I understand why this one’s a classic.
I particularly take to heart this line:
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…“
It is a rich narrative, field with symbolism; the characters solid in their socially and morally corrupt ways. The descriptions were incredible and for the imaginative, a treat. More important, the issues raised by The Great Gatsby are relevant to this day, 87 years later. The narrator is also unique in a way that he is attached and detached from the story. All these in less than 200 pages!
What I did not like about it: The plot is solid and if there is anything I did not like, it has got to be the suggestion or idea that the notorious society painted in The Great Gatsby is similar to the one we live in today. It’s tragic and heartbreaking but given human nature, I guess inevitable. 😯
Recommended for: Thinkers, reformists, teachers, students, and practically anyone who cares a hoot about the social climate and its impact.
On the photo: Looking at myself while reading The Great Gatsby, I suddenly became curious if other individuals early in their 20’s spend their afternoons reading classics with a cup of tea and a chunk of caramel bar. 😆