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Showing 1-10 of 4,598 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 6,603 reviews
on June 1, 2013
Nick Carroway lives in West Egg, Long Island. He is a bond trader. One day quite out of the blue, Nick is invited to his neighbor's house for a party. Nick's neighbor is Jay Gatsby, long known in this part of Long Island for throwing the most opulent parties in the area. At this particular party, he meets Jordan Baker, a golf pro, who is quite drunk at this party, and has taken an interest in Nick. At long last, Nick finally meets Gatsby, they trade some small talk about WW I and soon the party is over.

But there are many parties to follow, and Nick and Gatsby become fast friends, although Nick is never sure of the origins of Gatsby's wealth, or education, or background. Gatsby's intentions become clear enough soon enough. He wants Nick to have a party for Daisy Buchanan, Nick's cousin, so that Gatsby can re-introduce himself to Daisy. Daisy and Gatsby had known each other five years earlier, and Daisy didn't marry him then, because he was poor. Five years later, Daisy is married to Tom, a big, hulking (Tom hated that description of himself) brooding former football player. Complicating matters further, Tom is having an affair with Myrtle Wilson, wife of a local dim witted auto shop owner.

Undeterred by the fact that the love of his life is now married, Gatsby tries to rekindle his love with Daisy, and after an awkward first meeting, Daisy is professing her love for Gatsby for all to hear, including her husband Tom. Still the five of them, Nick, Jordan, Gatsby, Daisy and Tom strike up a clumsy acquaintance, and take a drive to New York City together. Upon returning from that trip, something happens that changes their lives forever. What is it? Do Gatsby and Daisy ever get to rekindle their romance? Does Nick find out more about the shadowy Gatsby?

I first read this book 30 years ago. I read it with all the enthusiasm of a teenager wanting to pass an English Lit class, which is to say not very much enthusiasm at all. Luckily, for myself, I decided to give this book another try. I read this book in 4 days, not only that, every time I left it, I wanted to read more of it. The book inhabited me, like few have. The descriptions of West Egg are lyrical, almost poetic. The parties Gatsby threw are like some dream out of the Gilded Age, and
I wanted to be at those parties.

Moreover, there are important themes discussed in these pages. The theme of love lost is one of the central themes that Fitzgerald brings to the forefront. Can a love that is lost ever be re-kindled, and if so, is it ever as good as it was the first time? There is an answer that Fitzgerald provides, but I won't divulge it, that is part of the pleasure of reading this book.

The theme of friendship is also examined in this book. Nick is probably Gatsby's closest friend at the end of the book, but how well did he really know Gatsby? Was it a friendship based on mutual admiration, or was Nick more interested in being seen at a Gatsby party, than finding out about Gatsby? Did Nick feel used by Gatsby, so that Gatsby could meet Daisy? Was Gatsby using Nick to meet Daisy, and not for any other purpose? There were passages in this book that made me wonder if Nick even liked Gatsby. That brings up a further question of who Gatsby's friends really were. Did he have any true friends or were they all hangers-on and sycophants? Fitzgerald provides an answer to that question quite emphatically at the end of the book, but again I will not give it away.

I cannot leave this book without some deserving criticism however. The character of Mayer Wolfsheim is a horribly negative Jewish stereotype, and I must say, I was repulsed when I read this character, because it was such a horribly negative portrayal of a Jew, the physical description seemed to concentrate on his large nose, his other attributes seemed to be that he was a gambler, somehow involved in the Black Sox scandal, of fixing the World Series. The image of Wolfsheim mars an otherwise wonderful book. I don't know why Fitzgerald would include it, other than to maybe reflect the anti-Semitism of the age.

The Great Gatsby: A great if somwhat flawed book.

For more book and movie reviews, please visit my blog, Reviewswithatude.
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on February 12, 2013
Or maybe I never knew! I read this when I was a teenager and certainly didn't pick up on all the nuances or the impeccable way Fitzgerald crafted the story. I know this book is taught in high school--although I don't remember it being part of required reading for me at the time. It was just a book that you read, like you had to try smoking cigarettes at that age. I think I was too young to get it. I didn't understand Daisy or Gatsby, and especially Nick. It seemed to me everyone was his or her own worst enemy, except maybe for Jordan who got short shrift. The whole scene, dissolute rich people in the 1920s, was beyond my comprehension. One of the only scenes that stuck in my memory was that of Gatsby flinging his numerous clean shirts around his bedroom to show off how wealthy he'd become. Reading it now, as a supposedly mature adult, I was touched by the masterful descriptions and the economy with which Fitzgerald communicates his characters' emotions. I had never realized the implications of where Gatsby's wealth came from, and totally missed the desolation of the funeral secne. The book was maybe too subtle for me as a teen. I was moved by it as an adult. I recommend it, even if you've read it before.
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on March 10, 2016
I'm not sure exactly why I'm writing this given the gargantuan number of reviews already present, but what the heck.

I'm not sure it's worth going into the actual story. Most people already know about the actual plot, and if you don't there are plenty of other reviews here that can bring you up to speed. In short, as a high school English teacher, this is one of my favorite books of all time. Not because of the plot itself, which is engaging enough, but because Fitzgerald does an absolutely amazing job of making the story seem real, relatable, and relevant. My student struggle to enjoy or relate to most things written before their lifetimes, but most everyone in class is totally engaged when we do Gatsby, and agree that it reads like a modern written piece.

What's more worth mentioning is this specific edition of the book (I'm not sure if reviews for multiple versions are lumped together, but I purchased the hardcover edition). It's absolutely beautiful, with large pages and quality construction. I wasn't sure if it was worth buying my own copy when I have 40 in my classroom, but I'm extremely glad I did. It's nicer to hold and easier to read than the small soft cover editions, looks great on a shelf, and will assuredly last a longer than I do.
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on June 17, 2013
The only great novel published after An American Tragedy and before Gone With The Wind, The Great Gatsby tells not only the story of the fictional and dangerously deluded Jay Gatsby, but serves as the perfect metaphor for the parallel story of America itself. We were/still are a country so consumed with the acquisition of wealth that is has virtually destroyed the soul of the country. The Yale-educated F. Scott Fitzgerald (a cousin of Francis Scott Key, who wrote the Star Spangled Banner in 1812) wrote the best novel about America in what has been described as the American century, yet the novel also proved eerily prophetic on several counts: it hinted at the destructive forces of the capitalist system, pre-dating the disastrous 1929 Wall Street crash that would bring about the Great Depression and World War II; there are descriptive quotations that mirror the racism and anti-semitism of the roaring twenties, and there is the constant clash of the establishment vs. the nuveaux riche, the class warfare of which Fitzgerald was a personal witness.
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on October 25, 2015
Great price for what is probably the finest work of literature ever written. This book will pull you into the twenties in a wonderful way; and it will be with regret that you put this book down. This book is also amazing in that we get a glimpse into the genius of Fitzgerald, with his command of the English language, his ability to develop complex characters, and his talent for sentence structure that so few in the modern era can come close to imitating. A great story with twist and turn. If you are beginning writer, this and the Maltese Falcon are two books you should study. This is by far the greatest work in American history.
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on May 30, 2013
What can you say about The Great Gatsby that hasn't already been said? A great writer is rarely recognised in his or her own time. They are often denigrated and their books misunderstood. Like Herman Hesse Fitzgerald suffered at the hands of critics, critics whether they are professionals or just amateurs are often the ones who are least capable of recognising genius because criticism is usually intellectual and the intellect can only grasp what it knows and can understand. I am so glad these classics are being discovered now by a younger generation. Maybe it will inspire better writing than we have today, when so much is merely fodder for short attention spans. I can think of only a handful of writers that fall into this category, Herman Hesse, Lawrence Durrell and a new comer...a new writer for our generation, which has not yet been recognised, Adriana Koulias.
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on June 9, 2013
OK, who am I to review a great American classic? Well, we never read it in high school. Back in the 60s, this was considered as far too racy for us to read in a small Texas town. And, I just never got around to reading it. With the movie coming out, I decided to read it before I saw the movie. [By the way, I loved this version of the movie. And, I'm glad I read the book first, it really explained the movie.] Having read some of the lead reviews, I agree that reading it at the age of 64 is totally different from someone reading it at the age of 16. Then, I would have loved to have seen Daisy and Gatsby fall in love and live happily ever after. Today, I can clearly see that everyone in the book, with the exception of the narrator, is totally self-centered, and cares about no one else. There is an amazing feeling of sadness that surrounds everyone and everything. Set in the current time, the 1920s, it is also easy to see how it is comparible to today's America. Behind the glitz and glammer, there is nothing.
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on August 25, 2013
F. Scott Fitzgerald was an excellent author and this book gives a fascinating look into the world of the 1920s. I usually read non-fiction military history. Nevertheless, I decided to read this after seeing the movie with Leonardo DiCaprio. I read this book on a Kindle HD. There are no negatives with the Kindle version of this book.

For a story that was written almost a century ago, it still manages to capture the imagination of the modern reader. This story, which is not overly complex, is compelling enough to keep most people engaged. The reader’s heart goes out to Gatsby and Daisy, two people who clearly belong together but are kept apart by the circumstances of their life. The ending is just as poignant when no one shows up for the funeral.

Bottom line: This is just a good story that will grab both the attention and heart of most readers. As someone who normally reads non fiction, this was a good, thought provoking change of pace.
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on July 1, 2013
I am not of the generation that had to read Gatsby at High School...My first time was at University in an American Lit class.
At the time, I really didn't see what all the fuss was about. I couldn't relate to the characters and I think I was too young to get why on earth someone could be so obsessed about a pretty vacuous person like Daisy.

Many years later, having been obsessed and obsessed about myself and after watching Baz Luhrman's version of the Great Gatzby, I developed an understanding of what I think Fitzgerald was saying in this novel. I was inspired by the movie to have another read. I am about 3/4's of the way through [I'm pretty sure about what happens in the end]- and am enthralled with the prose and the story. And of course, I have the vision to go along with the words.

If you want a well constructed, thoughtful story about class and money and the excesses of life- then pick it up and have a read. You won't be disappointed. It is a rich experience [excuse the pun].
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on May 29, 2013
I truly in every way have no idea what more can be said about Fitzgerald's classic The Great Gatsby. Due to the new film that came out, I downloaded it on the Kindle Fire to re-read it, having not done so since middle school (in my mid 30s now). I remember enjoying it as a child and loving what the instructor would point out, but now, decades later, so much more is to be found within. While a fairly short novel, the amount of depth to each character is almost profound as one moment you like one and a few pages later you have a different view of them. Flash forward and you think something again entirely different. Without spoiling anything, what it says about the past, the future, money, wealth, love, loss, the 'American dream,' rich and poor, black and white, and countless other topics is awe inspiring. As I said, nothing I wrote is anymore than what anyone else has written about it over the past near 100 years, but if you have yet to read it or if it has been awhile, do yourself a favor and dive into it.
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