10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A great gift to Gatsby fans,
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This review is from: Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby (Hardcover)
The first time I read The Great Gatsby was one of the great experiences of my life - so it was already a book that meant a great deal to me. I am grateful to Sarah Churchwell for making it mean even more to me, and for bringing practically every aspect of Fitzgerald's masterpiece into even sharper focus in my mind.
Churchwell has always had an Alistair Cooke-like gift for analysing America for Americans whilst simultaneously explaining it to Britons, and I think she uses it better here than she ever has before. I have read very few books that place a great a work of art so completely, and illuminatingly, in context.
Churchwell mixes biography, modern history, literary criticism and a true crime murder mystery to create a brilliantly detailed picture of the Jazz Age and the writer who Christened it. And, most importantly, she does so in prose that is always a joy, and never a chore, to read.
It's not necessary to have read The Great Gatsby before reading Careless People (if your interest in Gatsby has been sparked by the recent Leonardo DiCaprio film, this book is definitely for you) but I would recommend that you do, so that the twists of Gatsby's story stay unspoiled.
A final point: if you're debating whether to buy this in hardcover or for your Kindle, I'd suggest hardcover because the book is, fittingly, an enchanting object. The clever cover design (which is explained within the text) means it's sure to look lovely on your shelf or to make an impressive present.