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The Great Gatsby: York Notes Advanced Paperback – 1 Apr 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 2,489 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Longman; 1st Edition edition (1 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0582823102
  • ISBN-13: 978-0582823105
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 0.8 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,489 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Great Gatsby is simultaneously a romantic and cynical novel about the lives and unfulfillment of a group of wealthy New Yorkers during the roaring 20s. Fitzgerald paints a grim portrait of shallow characters who maneuver themselves into complex situations. The self-made Gatsby is relentless in pursuance of his dreams, an avant-garde prelude to the notion of the American Dream, hence his assigned ‘Great’-ness. The writing is littered with social commentary and cynical truths that were so ahead of their time, they remain relevant now (100 years on).

Whilst the story is intricate and follows complex characters, with a technically flawless writing style and plot, occasionally I found myself bored while reading it. The shallow and careless characters are difficult to empathise with. Although, for a Classic, I found this to be accessible. I have gleaned more enjoyment as I’ve reread this novel – for example the subtle homoerotic tendencies of the narrator “Nick”.

If you found this review helpful, please do rate it as helpful – really helps me out!
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I've always loved the idea of The Great Gatsby, probably because of all the beautiful quotes I see all over Pinterest. When I finally got around to picking up this classic, I was apprehensive, but I was also excited!

This didn't feel like a 122 page book, and it took much longer for me to read than I thought it would. The story is intricate and the characters complex, and occasionally I found myself bored while reading it. The writing is dripping with social commentary and cynical truth, which I enjoyed, I imagine this was ahead of its time and has stayed ridiculously relevant to modern society.

For a Classic, I found this to be pretty accessible, but there were still times when I struggled with it. Based on Fitzgerald’s writing style and certain plot points in this book, I can’t technically fault it, but based on my enjoyment levels?.. By the time I finished it I felt more than a little deflated. It wasn’t what I was expecting based on the number of people who RAVE about this novel, and adore it so much. While it didn’t blow me away as much as I expected it to, I have a feeling it may grow on me over time, and I’ll likely reread it to see what else I can glean from these pages.
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People describe this as the “Great American Novel” so naturally I had really high expectations for it, upon reading it I think it is highly overrated.

I just couldn’t get into the story, the narrator was boring and the characters had no depth, they just seemed like characters in a story, nothing more.I liked the description of the parties and how glamorous they were in that age however that was about it, I didn’t care about the story. Gatsby’s feelings didn’t make sense to me, I understand that he loved Daisy but it just didn’t feel real. Most stories I can easily get into and fully BELIEVE that the characters do exist somewhere out there, however with this I just didn’t care about anything.

I do not understand the hype with it at all, Gatsby was just a fool who was written to be secretive so that we would keep reading to learn more about him but I felt like there wasn’t enough mystery there to keep me interested, I just didn’t care about him. It didn’t make sense that he would throw these parties every single night, surely if he had that amount of money he could employ someone to find Daisy?

Throughout the entire book I was uninterested with everything, my interest was never piqued and so the whole book just seemed like a waste of time. I can understand people being in love with his world and wanting to pretend that they were at the parties however other than that I don’t understand the hype. The story is dreadful and I think it doesn’t quite make it a love story so without this what is the story actually about? Affairs, practically everyone in this book is having an affair, this seems totally acceptable.
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Fitzgerald’s narrator is Nick Carraway who starts the book with a quote from his father to always remember that people have not had the same advantages as him and as a consequence he always reserves judgement when he meets people. Nick is from a wealthy family and went to school with Tom Buchanan, but he still feels like an outsider as he has to work for a living. He looks to go into the bond market and rents an inexpensive house in the grounds of Gatsby’s mansion.

Tom and Daisy Buchanan are from a privileged class of bright young things. When we first meet Daisy she is lounging in a room with all the curtains open doing nothing. This fanciful idea of the curtain billowing, the ladies reclined with their skirts caught in the wind, as if being carried away in a balloon, fits perfectly with Daisy’s personality. “I’m paralyzed with happiness.” are the first words we hear her speak and reinforces the idea of doing nothing. Physically he gives the reader the description of, “Her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it..” The excitement in her voice was “a singing compulsion, a whispered ‘Listen,’ a promise that she had done gay, exciting things just a while since..” This flamboyant, effervescent character is both carefree and careless. The way she changes subject mid conversation to ‘you must see the baby’ suggests a lack of attention and a distressed mental state. She also suggests it is better for women to be a pretty fool, a social comment on the way women of her class are seen in Fitzgerald’s world.

Tom equally indulges in the pleasures of life, not just his horse riding and cars, but keeping a mistress in the poor district between his mansion and the city.
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