Rating: 5/5 Pipes
Happy Saturday, everyone! Welcome to my book review on what’s probably my all-time favorite classic ever, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald!
In complete and total honesty, I HATED reading classics growing up, but Gatsby was the one that stuck with me. Since then I’ve branched out and have found a love for Jane Austen novels, but Gatsby still takes the cake.
Grab your top-hats and hold onto your feather boas, because you’re in for a wild ride!
The Great Gatsby is told from Nick Carraway’s point of view. He’s a small town boy that moves to Long Island in hopes of getting into the bond-selling business. He’s heard everyone’s getting into bonds and making a fortune, so why not try his luck?
He’s settled on West Egg, his house cramped between two large mansions, one of which is always thriving with partygoers. His cousin, Daisy, and her husband, Tom, live over on East Egg, where the fancy, well-to-do people are. He really admires Daisy and rather tolerates Tom and often goes over to their house or meets up for visits.
He thinks nothing of living so close to his cousin until he happens to meet the man that owns the mansion next door to him; the man that hosts all of the elaborate parties; Jay Gatsby.
Jay Gatsby is a peculiar sort of man. He calls people “Old Sport,” loves to host the grandest of all parties, and he doesn’t care that people from all over show up at his house, even if they aren’t invited. He hates seeing anyone troubled and often tries to smooth things over, either with cigars, presents, and more. He takes an instant liking to Nick Carraway, and Nick is truly intrigued by him because of all the rumors circulating. Gatsby is a gentleman, but a private fellow, and thus everyone crafts their own rumors about his past and what he’s up to now.
Nick doesn’t think much of the party and its private host until a friend of his and Daisy’s, Jordan Baker, tells him that Gatbsy and Daisy had an affair years ago before she married Tom. She and Gatsby had wanted to be married, but Gatsby had been in the war and then sent to Oxford. Daisy had gotten tired of waiting for him and settled down with Tom five years before. Now, Gatbsy is this close to reentering Daisy’s life, and he can do so through Nick, especially since Daisy’s marriage is in turmoil since Tom has a not-so-secret mistress.
The rest of the story follows Nick as he tries to figure out who Gatsby truly is and woo Jordan Baker with romance, and ultimately he is thrust in the middle of a lovers quarrel between Tom and his mistress and Daisy and Gatsby.
Now, what I’m hoping is that I summed up The Great Gatsby in the best way I possibly could to pique your interest AND do justice to the story. Because of the my favorite parts about the book is that each time I read it, something changes — I realize something I hadn’t before or it provides me with a different point of view and a different lesson. Thus, it’s rather hard for me to articulate a summary on Gatsby when it’s ever-changing. Of course, if you wanted, you could always look up the synopsis online, but as for now, we’ll stick with mine.
The Great Gatsby is a work of art. The setting of the 1920’s that Fitzgerald creates paints a picture in your head and transports you all the way back. It’s confusing and exciting, slow and fast, all at the same time, to the point where you feel thrust into the emotion and conflict just as the characters do. I love how there are parts that are new to me every time I read, and I love how there are parts that I don’t understand now but know I will when I’m older. It’s a timeless classic.
I feel like the characters are what makes The Great Gatsby the most interesting, though. They’re all rather aloof and indifferent in ways, charming and infuriating in others. I can’t say I connect with them while reading, but somehow Fitzgerald presents them in such a way that you still care about what’s happening to them while not knowing very much about them. Another interesting thing about Fitzgerald’s characters is that I don’t have a favorite. They’re all horrible and endearing in their own individual ways. At different parts in the book, you hate each and every one of them, and then in other parts you love them, or at least understand where they’re coming from. It’s INGENIOUS.
There’s literally nothing about this book that I can complain about. The drama sweeps you up and spits you out, leaving you dizzy. Once you finish, you’ll definitely need time to reflect, because Gatsby isn’t one of those classics you can put down and just check off your reading list. You actually have to process everything you just experienced, just as the characters do in the book. I know I’m basically fan-girling here, but it truly is exquisite.
Also, the quotes. I must leave you with some of my favorite quotes that I highlighted…
“The bar is in full swing and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside until the air is alive with chatter and laughter and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other’s names.”
[About Gatsby’s smile] “It understood you just so far as you wanted to be understood, believed you as you would like to believe in yourself and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.”
“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.”
“So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight.”
A 5/5 rating for this amazing classic, and this is your very straightforward reminder that if you haven’t read The Great Gatsby before, now is the time. *nudge* 😉
Have you read The Great Gatsby? What are your thoughts?