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The Great Gatsby Paperback – September 30, 2004
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In 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald announced his decision to write "something new--something extraordinary and beautiful and simple + intricately patterned." That extraordinary, beautiful, intricately patterned, and above all, simple novel became The Great Gatsby, arguably Fitzgerald's finest work and certainly the book for which he is best known. A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author's generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald's--and his country's--most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed, and the promise of new beginnings. "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic 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--" Gatsby's rise to glory and eventual fall from grace becomes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream.
It's also a love story, of sorts, the narrative of Gatsby's quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan. The pair meet five years before the novel begins, when Daisy is a legendary young Louisville beauty and Gatsby an impoverished officer. They fall in love, but while Gatsby serves overseas, Daisy marries the brutal, bullying, but extremely rich Tom Buchanan. After the war, Gatsby devotes himself blindly to the pursuit of wealth by whatever means--and to the pursuit of Daisy, which amounts to the same thing. "Her voice is full of money," Gatsby says admiringly, in one of the novel's more famous descriptions. His millions made, Gatsby buys a mansion across Long Island Sound from Daisy's patrician East Egg address, throws lavish parties, and waits for her to appear. When she does, events unfold with all the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama, with detached, cynical neighbor Nick Carraway acting as chorus throughout. Spare, elegantly plotted, and written in crystalline prose, The Great Gatsby is as perfectly satisfying as the best kind of poem. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Readers in that sizeable group of people who think The Great Gatsby is the Great American Novel will be delighted with Robbins's subtle, brainy and immensely touching new reading. There have been audio versions of Gatsby before this-by Alexander Scourby and Christopher Reeve, to name two-but actor/director Robbins brings a fresh and bracing vision that makes the story gleam. From the jaunty irony of the title page quote ("Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover, I must have you!") to the poetry of Fitzgerald's ending about "the dark fields of the republic" and "boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past," Robbins conjures up a sublime portrait of a lost world. And as a bonus, the excellent audio actor Robert Sean Leonard reads a selection of Fitzgerald's letters to editors, agents and friends which focus on the writing and selling of the novel. Listeners will revel in learning random factoids, e.g., in 1924, Scott and Zelda were living in a Rome hotel that cost just over $500 a month, and he was respectfully suggesting that his agent Harold Ober ask $15,000 from Liberty magazine for the serial rights to Gatsby.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
After years of only owning this book in ebook format, I thought it necessary to purchase a hardcover copy, one that will last long after my ereader has died, and one that can be passed along to my children and their children.
I was initially concerned that this would not feature the remarkable original artwork, the golden eyes hovering in the sky, but I can happily say my fears were unfounded. The book jacket appears exactly as it does on the first two photos for this listing, with the original artwork taking up the entire front, and a photo of the brilliant author on the back.
I think this is a must-read book for all, and readers won't be disappointed by this Jazz age masterpiece.
high school, absorbed as much as I needed to pass the class, and
I remembered only as much as cultural references reinforced.
I decided to read the book again in preparation for seeing the
latest Hollywood version. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I'm
glad I read the book.
In high school, I didn't have the patience, the resources, or the
ability to fully appreciate the assignment. I'm sure I had plenty
of time, but I wasn't about to spend any more of it than
absolutely necessary on a then 40-year-old story, even though I
lived on Long Island and had actually been to Great Neck.
Patience was always in short supply when it came to school
work, but I was reading it voluntarily now, and I gave it the
effort it deserved. I looked up every word I didn't recognize, and
researched every reference I didn't understand. Language,
culture, and society have changed quite a bit in 90 years, so I
spent a lot of time on the Internet while I was reading. Each
chapter took at least an hour. But it was all worth it.
I'd give the book six stars, if I could. But I invested much more
time in this slim volume than most people would be willing
devote to it. What if I hadn't looked everything up? I'm pretty
sure my review would be unchanged. Most of my research
merely confirmed what I had guessed, and most of what I
couldn't guess was of no consequence. Everything in the book
was there for a reason, but the story is strong enough to
withstand a casual reading. In retrospect, I see it was strong
enough to withstand a casual and careless reading by a high
school student. How else can I explain the desire to read it
again? I could have just seen the movie.
I will see the movie, although I wonder how well it will hold up
in comparison to the book. My poor wife will have to deal with
my movie review -- possibly during the movie.
It is not a long novel, and exhibits a certain elegance with an economy of words. At the same time, this is not in any way an action novel and I feel needs to be savored as it is read. I read it twice, the second time, I read it at a leisurely pace and really completely enjoyed it.
I have read all of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novels. This is my favorite, and really the only one I would reread. Interestingly enough, the author thought a subsequent novel, "Tender Is The Night" was his best novel. Additionally, this novel, "The Great Gatsby" did not become a truly iconic work until after the author's death. Thank You...