This is my 3rd post about 2016’s books for The Classics Club. I’ll be reading one classic book a month through 2018. Track what I’m reading for the Classics Club here. I’ll try not to include too many spoilers in my review but I may need to discuss some in order to fully review the book. I’ll warn you if I’m going to mention one.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
earphones as visual reminder that I both listened to and read (with my eyes) this one
- Year Published: 1925
- Reread? Or new to me?: new to me
- Number of Pages: 154 pages (but mostly I listened to it via the Overdrive app)
- Date Finished: 3/26/16
- Number of Days to read it: 5
- Page/Day ratio: 30.8
- Will I reread this?: Definitely not unless someone can give me a good reason to spend any more time on it
I must admit to coming to the reading of The Great Gatsby with great expectations. Along with its inclusion on just about every “greatest novels ever” lists, a couple of my good friends had told me they LOVED it and we’re excited for me to read it. I started reading it in its paper form but soon realized that I had so much Easter sewing to do, I’d never get the book read too. So, luckily Overdrive had an unabridged version available for immediate checkout and Gatsby became my Easter sewing soundtrack.
First, my review of the audio version: It was fun. The voice actor had so many different American accents to use and I really enjoyed hearing them all, particularly even the subtleties in the different New York accents. Probably this made the book more palatable to me than it would have been had I just been reading it in paper form.
The book itself? I really didn’t like it at all. I found the writing pretty slow and tedious at times, the characters almost all uniformly repulsive in one way or another, the plot line bizarre, and the ending abrupt and dissatisfying. The casual acceptance of (even condoning of) intimate partner violence and adultery were really offensive to me. In short, I honestly don’t have any idea why anyone would put this on a “greatest” list of any kind. Perhaps the writing is better than I am allowing myself to acknowledge because I was so repulsed by the subject matter/plot line?
So, other readers of Gatsby: How about you? I’m sure I’m offended a bunch of you who love this novel with all your heart. I don’t know if I can be convinced that it’s worth a reread but want to try? Why is this on all the “greatest novel” lists? I really am genuinely curious to understand why people like it so much. Clearly I’ve never studied this as literature so I’m curious to hear your take on why this should be considered something better than what I read it as.
In June, I’m reading The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis. Want to join me?
A few outtakes: Marko styled these so I couldn’t only include one. He’s getting some very specific ideas about how he wants to take these pictures! 🙂
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I have mixed feelings about the book, and this year was my fifth read of it. It’s in a lot of greatest novel” recommendations because of its connection to the time period and Firzgerald’s name. You’ll be happy to know it was not popular when it was published by any successful measures. I personally love Fitzgeralds writing style, but agree that the plot and characters leave much to be desired. I also break English teacher code when I say the Leo DiCaprio version of the film captures I think the tone that Fitzgerald wasn’t quite able to make stick with just the words.
I read The Great Gatsby earlier this year, and felt the same as you. At least it was short!
I read it once on my own in high school and was honestly bored and never drawn in. So I’m in the camp that doesn’t really understand what the fuss is all about.