Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The year is 1922, the start of the roaring twenties. A young man called Nick Carraway moves east to learn the bond business in New York and rents a house in West Egg, Long Island. West Egg is the home of the new money set, typified by his neighbour the enigmatic Gatsby. Rumours abound as to Gatsby's past and the source of his fabulous wealth, but that doesn't stop the moochers and hangers on from attending the glittering parties where Gatsby "dispenses starlight to casual moths". Will Nick discover the truth about Gatsby and his designs on Nick's married cousin Daisy?

This is superbly written book, that manages to feel both contemporary and highly evocative of a particular time and place, and the restlessness of the generation that survived the horrors of the Great War. It is fairly brief - indeed the comedian Andy Kaufmann famously once read the whole book out loud on stage - but dense with character and detail. I came to it not entirely sure what to expect, only having seen clips of the film version starring Robert Redford, but I found it moving and ultimately tragic.

A true classic.

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