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The Great Gatsby

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Another book from the Modern Library list of 100 “best novels”, The great Gatsby probably wouldn’t be considered a novel if it were released today, weighing in at a job-friendly 188 pages. Strangely, you don’t really notice the book’s thinness until you reach the end.
It is another of those books in which not a whole lot happens, there is very little action, the focus instead being on the interactions of the characters. If you don’t know the ending in advance (which I didn’t), it may take you a little by surprise; it certainly didn’t go quite as I guessed it would.
The basic outline of the story is, as far as I can tell, that of an age-old love story: man falls in love with woman, but things beyond their control force them apart, then years later man sets his mind to tracking down and marrying woman. Most of the book is about the build-up to the final stages of the man’s plans, but as told from the perspective of an acquintance of his, rather than his own.
Once again this is a book that shows you don’t need lots of explosions and deaths and sex to keep the reader’s interest, which from my limited experience of these classics so far appears to be a common trait of them. Perhaps what defines a modern classic novel is a story that keeps your interest even when it moves along at a pedestrian pace.
As i mentioned earlier, the book is short, almost too short in fact, but I personally didn’t mind as it was a nice, cheap secondhand buy. In fact I didn’t pay at all, it was bought for me by a friend, but I would have bought it myself at such a lowly price as it was (less than a quid).
Overall, an enjoyable novel, a little old fashioned in this day and age, and certainly not to everyone’s taste, but worth a look. 4/5

First posted on my blog

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About jadester48

  • The Great Gatsby is one of my all-time favorite books.

  • B-, Jon. We start fractions next week.

    I have a test for all of you:

    In one sentence, tell us what The Great Gatsby is REALLY about.

    Apparently, this is one of the most consistently mis-interpreted works of literature (everyone reads it for high school and college) in history.

    That is all.

  • i dunno, if i were being pessimistic i’d say something like:
    The Great Gatsby is about how there are some things in life you just can’t change, no matter how hard you try, as they are destined to be the way they are.

  • B- ? Really? That good? The Great Gatsby, to me, is about the desire for acceptance — that in some way, there is something we can do about it if we can just figure it out. To that end, we just keep working at it, not realizing, perhaps, that we were licked before we began. However, I think there are many other themes one might pull from it.

  • godoggo

    I was completely blown away by Tender is the Night. So then I read Gatsby. Eh.

  • I must read that book, godoggo. I have been meaning to for years.

  • “In one sentence, tell us what The Great Gatsby is REALLY about.”

    Illusion and loss.