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The Great Gatsby (Vintage Classics) Hardcover – 2 May 2013


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The Great Gatsby (Vintage Classics) + The Beautiful and Damned (Penguin Hardback Classics) + Tender is the Night (Penguin Hardback Classics)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics (2 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099577720
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099577720
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.4 x 20.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,774 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 286,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in 1896 in St Paul, Minnesota, and went to Princeton University which he left in 1917 to join the army. Fitzgerald was said to have epitomised the Jazz Age, an age inhabited by a generation he defined as 'grown up to find all Gods dead, all wars fought, all faiths in man shaken'.

In 1920 he married Zelda Sayre. Their destructive relationship and her subsequent mental breakdowns became a major influence on his writing. Among his publications were five novels, This Side of Paradise, The Great Gatsby, The Beautiful and Damned, Tender is the Night and The Love of the Last Tycoon (his last and unfinished work): six volumes of short stories and The Crack-Up, a selection of autobiographical pieces.

Fitzgerald died suddenly in 1940. After his death The New York Times said of him that 'He was better than he knew, for in fact and in the literary sense he invented a "generation" ... he might have interpreted them and even guided them, as in their middle years they saw a different and nobler freedom threatened with destruction.'


Product Description

Amazon Review

In 1922, F Scott Fitzgerald announced his decision to write "something new--something extraordinary and beautiful and simple, intricately patterned". That extraordinary, beautiful, intricately patterned and, above all, simple novel became The Great Gatsby, arguably Fitzgerald's finest work and certainly the book for which he is best known. A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author's generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald's--and his country's--most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed and the promise of new beginnings. "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther... And one fine morning--" Gatsby's rise to glory and eventual fall from grace be comes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream.

It's also a love story, of sorts, the narrative of Gatsby's quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan. The pair meet five years before the novel begins, when Daisy is a legendary young Louisville beauty and Gatsby an impoverished officer. They fall in love, but while Gatsby serves overseas, Daisy marries the brutal, bullying but extremely rich Tom Buchanan. After the war, Gatsby devotes himself blindly to the pursuit of wealth by whatever means--and to the pursuit of Daisy, which amounts to the same thing. "Her voice is full of money," Gatsby says admiringly, in one of the novel's more famous descriptions. His millions made, Gatsby buys a mansion across Long Island Sound from Daisy's patrician East Egg address, throws lavish parties and waits for her to appear. When s he does, events unfold with all the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama, with detached, cynical neighbour Nick Carraway acting as chorus throughout. Spare, elegantly plotted and written in crystalline prose, The Great Gatsby is as perfectly satisfying as the best kind of poem. Perry Freeman, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"It’s an absolute gem and stands head and shoulders above the others. With its thick creamy pages and gorgeous black, gold and mint green cover design inspired by pieces from the Tiffany archive, not only is it a pleasure to hold but for once it delivers on the publisher’s promise to “evoke the beauty and romance, glamour and luxury of the Roaring Twenties depicted in the novel"" (Evening Standard)

"The Great Gatsby remains not just one of the greatest works of American literature, but a timeless evocation of the allure, corruption and carelessness of wealth...a gilded society intoxicated by wealth, dancing its way into the Great Depression." (The Times)

"Gatsby is a connoisseur's guide to the glamour and glitter of the Jazz Age, but it's also a nearly prophetic glimpse into the world to come. Writing at the height of the boom, in the midst of the Roaring Twenties, Fitzgerald detected the ephemerality, fakery and corruption always lurking at the heart of the great American success story... A haunting meditation on aspiration, disillusionment, romantic love - and a blistering exposé of the materialism, duplicity, and sexual politics driving what Fitzgerald calls America's true "business": "the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty"" (The Times)

"It is a marvellously suggestive novel...a parable of modern America, and by extension of modern life" (Daily Telegraph)

"The first and greatest modern novel, it has beautiful women, lavish parties, romance, betrayal and murder woven together in an intricately structured plot. A prescient comment on the dying days of a gilded age that is brilliant entertainment with a very eloquent insight" (Mirror)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ivan TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 Aug 2014
Format: Paperback
Most of my American Literature tends to be the E A Poe / Lovecraft new world Gothic, but occasionally I'll wander off and read something a little more "mainstream." Except - Fitzgerald isn't. First of all his work is so utterly distinctive that, as would be the case with Lovecraft, it is quite possible to have a few previously unheard paragraphs read out and be reasonably certain that it IS Fitzgerald. I don't think it's his choice of language, it's his utterly surreal character narratives. Gatsby, like most of his other works gives me the feeling of being trapped in a nightmare alternative reality that is SO close to "normal" that it could all go unnoticed, apart from a thread of give-away subtle inconsistency that runs through, and connects, everything. The result, once one spots it, is terrifying, rather like suddenly waking up and realising that you're in The Matrix, or at least in some psychotic dream where the outcome, though inevitable, is uncertain.
I'm surprised that this is rarely commented on, but supposing for one moment that my observation is not simply delusional, It would be correct to pitch Fitzgerald in Poe's shoes rather than, say, Mark Twain's.

Gatsby puts the bejeebers up me. The picture he paints is beautifully rendered, detailed and coldly charming, but at any moment I could see his characters slipping off their perfect masks and displaying grinning lizard features beneath. I can't think of another author who does that. O.K. plenty do it in genre fiction, of course, but there it's expected and the universe is different enough to allow "genre" rules to apply. Not so Fitzgerald. He never announces that the reader is trapped in "otherness" and everyone carries on as if he isn't, but the cracks in the wallpaper tell a different story. This is sheer brilliance.
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79 of 88 people found the following review helpful By J C E Hitchcock on 1 May 2013
Format: Paperback
F. Scott Fitzgerald is credited with inventing the term "The Jazz Age" to describe the 1920s, and he is often regarded as the greatest chronicler of that age in fiction. Today the "Roaring Twenties" are often regarded as a brief, prosperous, carefree and hedonistic interval between the war-torn 1910s and the economically depressed 1930s, the age of jazz, of cocktails, of Art Deco, of flappers and of the Charleston. Like all attempts to summarise a whole decade in a single phrase, or even in a single sentence, however, this one can never be more than a half-truth. The decade was certainly a time of relative prosperity in the United States (less so in Europe), but it was also an era haunted by memories of the Great War and its attendant bloodshed and by a sense of foreboding about the future. The era's much-vaunted hedonism can be seen as the reaction of a largely urban, well-to-do minority against the Puritanism of the not-so-silent majority. This was, after all, the decade of Prohibition and of ultra-conservative forms of religion, exemplified by the notorious Scopes trial in which a schoolteacher was put on trial for teaching evolutionary theory.

Jay Gatsby, the central character of this novel, is a quintessentially Roaring Twenties figure. Originally a North Dakota farmboy named James Gatz, he served with distinction in the United States army during World War I and then went into business, becoming a self-made millionaire, wealthy enough to afford a luxurious mansion where he hosts lavish parties. Gatsby's mansion is on the North Shore of Long Island, an area with so many wealthy residents during this period that it became known as the Gold Coast.
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157 of 176 people found the following review helpful By E. Fifield on 22 April 2008
Format: Paperback
One of my resolutions for 2008 is to broaden my literary horizens. After studying English Lit to A-Level, my interest has fallen to the wayside. So on my quest to better myself through literature, I read "The Old Man and the Sea", which I just couldn't relate to. So imagine my relief when I started reading "The Great Gatsby". I'm so glad I perservered with classic books!

TGG is a great read. It's fast-paced from the outset, and gripping towards the end - I couldn't put it down. I even tried to convince family and friends to read it afterwards; but to no avail - so if I manage to get even ONE person to read it from writing this review, then good! Definitely recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Reeds on 17 April 2009
Format: Paperback
I will preface this review by admitting that I have not read much American Literature - The Glass Menagerie, To Kill a Mocking Bird and Catcher in the Rye being the only real "classics" I have read. I am also not so familiar with American culturalisms through the ages. Not that this is particularly relevant to reading The Great Gatsby, but perhaps my lack of contextual background knowledge is the reason why the style and content of the novel did not immediately "click" for me as much as it did others. Having said that, by the time you reach the end of The Great Gatsby and reflect on its contents you will appreciate the clever intricacies of the narrative and the slow build up to a powerful and moving ending.

Anyway, to get to the point:

The Great Gatsby (fantastic irony in the title of the novel, which you will not fully appreciate until you have read the book from cover to cover) is set in the "roaring 20s", a time of great cultural and social growth following the end of WW1. The book is narrated by Nick Carraway, the title character's neighbour. The story follows Nick as he moves to New York and inadvertantly gets caught up in the high society life of Jay Gatsby; a seemingly mysterious and elusive character. It turns out that Gatsby is very much living in the past and is struggling to move on with his life, despite his surrounding luxuries. The various social soirees Gatsby throws are mere facades, as is his whole persona. It is Gatsby's inability to let go that ultimately leads to his tragic downfall. As Nick gets more entwined in the glamourous lifestyle of Gatsby and his contemporaries, the reader and Nick both realise the truth of that age old adage: "all that glitters is not gold".
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