The Great Gatsby Mass Market Paperback – 4 Apr 2013
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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
"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"" (Sarah Churchwell, The Times)
"It is a marvellously suggestive novel...a parable of modern America, and by extension of modern life" (AN Wilson, 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)
"His masterpiece, an elegy for the American Dream, the greatest lost cause of them all" --(Los Angeles Times)
"Roads bucks the trend of cliched and dated book covers and seeks to reach the contemporary reader on a deeper level." Totally Dublin
"For design-savvy bookworms." --The Irish Times
Every detail of the design and production was considered to make these books beautiful objects, but they are not merely decorative objec... They oﬀer a beautiful way to discover - or indeed rediscover - literary masterpieces. --The Bookseller
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
All I can say now is thank you to AQA for making me read this. I have changed views on the book which was superb and of the 1920's.
My only critism would be the ending. I never wanted it to end.
If you're a romantic read this because Fitzgerald's employment of prose will make you weep.
If you're an english student read this because it will tell you everything you need to know about the influence of cinema.
If you're a historian read this for the way Fitzgerald doctors his text to avoid censorship laws in 1925.
If you're a social scientist read this because it has only one equal in its study of the illusion of American idealism. Alexis de Tocqueville's 'Democracy in America' is 100 years older, 250 pages longer, and not written in melting prose.
That is not to say that this work is without fault. Crucially for anyone who is compelled to regard such things in a novel that doesn't warrant it, the logic of Carraway's narrative does not follow. Fitzgerald originally wrote what now constitues the ending to sit at the front of the novel, and in its new-found position Carraway has access to information that in reality he would not have. This, as might be apparent, is the criticism of a man who was forced to read the work at A-Level.
Strangely, this has not diminuished from his continued enjoyment. Indeed, even after numerous returns to Fitzgerald's astonishingly few pages this is the single fault I find in this work.
Daisy will make you want to love. Tom will make you want to earn millions. Gatsby will make you want to dream.
Read it first as a fantastically crafted story, second as an insightful social commentary, and third as a work of perspective genius. Read it because you haven't already. It is as brilliant as that green light.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really really really love this book. Could read it over and over again. Love to get lost in the 20s in this story. I'm obsessed with the film and that era in general.Published 19 hours ago by Kay
Call me a sentimental goose but I love The Great Gatsby. This is a classic that contains so many beautiful passages that simply deserves a second chance from certain readers. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Elspeth G. Perkin
I'm sorry but it bored me.
It did not catch my imagination at all and quite disappointed that it is regarded as a classic.
I would not recommend this book. Read more
Nothing less then expected. A fantastic read rich with language and story, I only wish I had read it earlier.Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
Arrived perfectly and the quality of this book is great. It's a lot smaller and compact than I expected, but that makes it great for taking on holiday! Would recommend buying this.Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is a great book, having watched the film I felt that reading the book would be even better, and when it came up for pennies it was a must buy, love the way this is written and... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Mr. J. P. Stevenson