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. 😆
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ahaha, may kopya rin ako nyan, ‘yan ding edition ‘yong isa (we used to have three copies yata). and yes, gusto ko rin ng kape at saka ‘yong pastry sa pic. pastry ‘ata yan from Max’s? just a guess, ahihi. ^^ regards and cheers! 🙂
yes, caramel bar, but it’s tea not coffee. i liked this book. i haven’t read anything as social as it is!
ah, yes, my bad… hmnn, i read several books by Fitzgerald including Tender is the Night. his works are mainly caricatures of high society and talks about boredom a lot, haha. happy weekend. 😉
nakakatuwa siya. hindi ako masyado nakakabasa ng classics. ito yata ang una, nagustuhan ko naman. 🙂
You bring back High School memories with this one! I remember when I read that last line, “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past,” my heart skipped a beat. That one sentence right there was so breathtaking it made me fall in love with this book. Just…the words. It was like biting into something and being reminded of Heaven.
yes, this is high school academy book in the US! here, it is not, but there is a year level where american literature is studied. i forgot which level is that. i wonder how much the high school students appreciate this one? i liked that ending bit too; sounds poetic.
Very poetic! I think we read this in my 10th grade English class but I’m sure people read it younger and older; I re-read The Scarlet Letter in my 3rd year of college at the same time my brother was reading it for his 11th grade class…we both found that pretty funny. At the time, I was bored by Fitzgerald’s writing style. Too flowery and verbose, but great to pull quotes from. In small doses, he’s brilliant but a whole book like that put me to sleep.
i guess i’m glad the great gatsby is rather short! 😀
While I enjoyed The Great Gatsby, I honestly don’t think it’s Fitzgerald’s best work. I loved This Side of Paradise and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Those were both great, and if you haven’t, you may want to check them out. I’ve also heard that Babylon Revisited is pretty good.
i forgot that the curious case of benjamin button is also by fitzgerald! i liked the movie but after reading the book, i did not enjoy it as much because of the changes made for the film adaptation. i haven’t read this side of paradise and babylon revisited yet.