Just tell me the end, old sport.

Thea Reviews this book…

Who wrote this book and when?
F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote this American classic in 1925.

Has there been a movie made of it?
Four times, according to the IMDB. The most widely known is the version with Mia Farrow and Robert Redford. Gee, wonder why.

Who are the main characters?
Jay Gatsby – a young millionaire with a mysterious past and a passion for Daisy Buchanan.
Nick Carraway – a financial trader who is Daisy’s cousin. He lives near Gatsby. Daisy Buchanan- the beautiful wife of a millionaire whose first love was Jay Gatsby. Tom Buchanan – Daisy’s rich husband. He is portrayed as somewhat of a brute and is having an affair.
Myrtle Wilson – wife of a gas station owner who is having an affair with Tom. She feels trapped by her husband and her boring life.
Jordan Baker – a friend of Daisy’s who becomes romantically involved with Nick George Wilson – the man from dennis the menace. Just kidding. Myrtle’s husband. He worships her.

What’s it about?
Nick Carraway moves to the “West Egg” – a fictionalization of Long Island – to a bungalow situated next to a mansion. His neighbor throws outlandish and extravagant parties every Saturday night. His neighbor is, of course, Jay Gatsby. In his dealings with Gatsby and his cousin Daisy, Nick becomes entangled in a romantic affair from the past which has dangerous repercussions for everyone involved. Nick also becomes familiar with the extravagance of the wealthy in the 20’s.

Why is this book a classic?
It is a most perfect representation of the pursuit of the American dream during the Roaring 20’s. It realizes the emptiness of wealth and the fanatacism love can become. It also shows the death of a dream can cost more than you may realize.

Why should I read this book?
Because then you’ll be at least caught up with almost every sophomore from a US public high school. It’s short, it’s meaningful, it’s classic, it has easy to understand symbolism. It will make you feel beautiful and sad and smart…lonely and loved. All at the same time. That’s what Fitzgerald does.

Has it won any awards?
No, not formally. But it has been cited as one of the greatest novels in the English language.

Favorite Quotes:
“He had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you just as you would like to believe in yourself.”

Anything else?
This novel supposedly was partially inspired by “The Count of Monte Cristo” – one of my favorite books. Ironic that I don’t care for this one, eh? The symbolism of the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg is my most favoritest symbol in literature. It’s so simple but so complicated.

Personal thoughts:
Honestly, I don’t really like this book. I love Fitzgerald’s writing style in general – it’s so poetic. But this book just bothers me. Probably because the story is supposed to bother you. I dislike almost every one of the characters – from Gatsby to Jordan to Myrtle. Although they’re realistic, they’re people I would never get along with in real life. And any book with no likeable characters just turns me way off.

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