Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

"The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.The Great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature."

I'm really glad I got around to reading this. Within the first ten pages, I was basically drooling at the caliber of the writing. That's the one thing you can't dispute about Gatsby: the prose is freaking unbelievable. And it continues to be throughout the book. I was equally as in love on page 187 as on page one. At times it managed to twist itself into precisely the thoughts of the reader, the ones that you never manage to express out loud quite as elegantly as in your head. It drew you into the scene and brought out your own similar feelings, making it incredibly vivid. The plot was really well executed, though not actually optimistic: it was deeply fractured and complex and intense behind the facade of grandeur and romance. Gatsby isn't this noble pursuer of true love, he's just a brittle steel man with an obsession and all-encompassing yearning for the past and future. Nick, the narrator, tends to serve as the single sane observer in the whole affair. I loved it, really; this is a brilliant and wholly literary book. I highly recommend you read it (and prepare to have your world rocked by the writing, I wasn't kidding).  There're copies at Mt. Edgecumbe, Sitka High, and Kettleson.

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