A slightly adventurous treatment.,
This review is from: The Great Gatsby (BBC Audiobooks) (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was a little dismayed when I realised that this version of Gatsby was not by-the-book. It doesn't start with that famous prologue about Nick turning over that piece of his father's advice and reserving judgements (one of my favourite passages in the whole book) it starts kind of in the middle with Nick already reacquainted with his distant cousin Daisy and her unlikeable husband Tom.
When I realised that, in this radio play, the time line in F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic was only going to be used as a rough guide to how the story unfolds rather than stuck to like a stamp to a letter, I was immediately against the idea. How DARE they mix it all up this way! However, it was interesting and well performed, so I kept with it to see if (a) my favourite lines had been left out so that I could really write it off as a turkey and (b) how they would deal with the problems created by starting about 30% of the way through the original timelines of the book.
I'm glad I did stick around because this actually, on its own terms, works very well. All my favourite lines are in there somewhere (apart from the prologue) and the sequencing gets back on track after the first hour or so. However, I would still far prefer a linear presentation of the original storyline, but as reworkings go, this is not half bad. If you'd never heard the story before and it was the kind of genre (angst American style since you ask!) you liked, then I think you'd probably lap it up and ask for more.
It convinces on a lot of levels, the sound-scapes are good, the performances are all solid (my British ears didn't detect any duff American accents for example) and the characterisations believable. The latter half of the story unfolds as it should and it ends with the wistful sense of lost opportunity and utter waste that permeate the original.
So, although this is a somewhat needless resequencing of the story (and I would always prefer one that stuck to the original) I could be persuaded to listen to this again at some time.