The Classics Club: The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald

gatsby-original-cover-artThere are four reasons I have for reading this novel: One, because it’s a classic. Two, because yet another movie is coming out and three, because I love the 20’s! My twitter bio reads: “A lost soul from the 1920’s”. Why? I love the fashion (flapper dresses! Jazz era! The golden age!) and strangely when speaking about the 20’s, Daisy Buchanan as the ultimate 20’s girl always seem to come up.  Lastly, I had a conversation with a late friend about reading classics, after he saw my status on facebook about reading The Count of Monte Cristo. He told me he loves the classics and are at the moment re-reading The Great Gatsby  – and told me I just have to read it. I’m just sorry I didn’t get to read it before he passed, because I would have loved to discuss it with him!

The story is centered around the nouvea riche of the 1920’s, like Jay Gatsby, a wealthy man who loves to throw extravagant parties for his “friends”. These friends who don’t know the real Gatsby and speculates about him and his past, and so does the reader, as Fitzgerald paints Jay as an enigma.  Gatsby is in love with Daisy Buchanan, an ex-girlfriend of his, who is now married to Tom Buchanan. He gets Nick, the narrator, to arrange an accidental meeting for the two of them and they fall in love, again. However, the beautiful Daisy is portrayed as a stereotypical pretty woman, who uses men to get what they want. She obviously still loves Gatsby, yet she doesn’t want to leave her husband for him. She is also irresponsible, when she kills a woman while driving and Gatsby takes the blame for her. This woman is also Tom’s mistress!  Eventually the woman’s husband finds out and kills him. Nick arranges the funeral and finds it frustrating (and sad) that none of his “friends” showed up for the funeral, not even Daisy.

Reading the novel, about the lifestyle, the characters and the parties I found it superficial at first, until I realized that every aspect of this classic has a deeper meaning in some way or another. There are a lot of discussion points, like Daisy’s irresponsibility as well as Nick’s friend, Jordan’s (who thinks it’s okay not be a careful driver, because she relies on someone else to be). There are also the topic of friendship – why were all these people pretending to be Jay’s friends? Jay’s infatuation with Daisy for all these years, i.e he bought a house to be closer to her and came looking for her after she left him when he went to the military. He took the blame for something she did and eventually died because of it.  I could go on and on about a lot of discussion topics this novel brought up, yet all I can say is I loved reading it. F.Scott Fitzgerald described the era so well, and his writing is good too. If you want to pick up a classic about that decade, this one is a good pick – and a quick read too!

PS: This is my first review for The Classics Club Challenge and my second book to knock off my list!

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  • I love that book! Excellent review:)

    • Thanks Ionia. I can’t wait to see the movie!

  • One of my favourite novels ever and I loved the movie too.

    • I can’t wait to see the movie! I particularly read this before the movie came out, I should go and see it asap.

  • I never read the book,but I bought it yesterday. Because of the movie a new Dutch translation came out. I also love the ’20, so I am looking forward to reading this, perhaps even see the movie. Thanks for this review, it really makes me want to read the book now.

    Kind regards,

    • Thanks for stopping by Bettina! I hope you will enjoy the book. I can’t remember watching any of the previous movies, but I look forward to the recent movie.

  • One of my favorite classic novels – I think I’ve read it 5 times and grabbed the audio when Audible had a great sale – listening now to Jake Gyllenhaal narrate.

    • Wow, 5 times! I can believe it though, because it’s not a lengthy novel. I haven’t done a audio book yet…

  • I say, “Trust your first instinct.” I know I’m in the minority on this, but I find Fitzgerald to be very superficial. Perhaps he was simply being true to the spirit of his age. In that case, I say just skip over the 1920s and move to the Great Depression. There, you’ve got depth!

    • Don’t worry, everyone has their opinion. Yes, the story line is superficial, but I tried to look at their behaviour and found that there is a lot to be discussed. I guess it’s that era…

  • Congratulations on your first Classics Club review! This is, of course, a must read for the club (if you ask me). Have you read Rules of Civility? I think you’d like it!

    • I think The Great Gatsby is one of those classics that “everyone” has heard of or read! I haven’t read Rules of Civility, so I will check out your review.

  • Beautiful review 🙂 I have read this book years ago on high school. Funny enough, I also think Daisy Buchanan when I think of the 20’s. I used to love listening to my Ma’s stories about her life in the 20’s right up to the 60’s… The original movie came on 112 last week. But me and you still have our movie date for new one. I wouldn’t want to watch it with anyone else but you 😉

    • I love listening to old stories, it’s so interesting. I want to go watch The Great Gatsby… I say we do it one evening and we dress up 🙂

      I love Daisy too (from the book, not the movie ;))

  • I’ve been toying around with reading this novel….or putting on the ever growing list. Thanks for the review. I’ll go ahead and add it to the pile. Did you like the Count of Monte Cristo? It’s one of my top favorite 20 books. I love it!

    • It’s short (about 190 pages), you can read it in one day 🙂
      I loved The Count of Monte Cristo. It’s my favourite classic! (so far)

  • therelentlessreader

    I recently re-read this one. It’s such a beautifully written book. Yay for the Classics Club!

    • I’m going to be reading a lot of classics for the next 5 years 🙂

  • I just read this book too! I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  • I love this book, it really has a lot of layers to it and I think I learn something new each time I read it!

    • I can imagine! I will probably read this again, maybe next year or in the next 2 years.

  • So sorry to hear about your friend.

    This book is awesome, isn’t it? I love the story and the premise. I did want a little more clarity on Daisy though and some thoughts from her perspective, I was a bit disappointed by that.

    And the funeral part totally killed me 🙁 So sad. Are you planning to see the movie? I’ve heard some really good reviews from bloggers who loved the book.

    • Thanks Nish. I enjoyed reading the book and I’m sure I am going to love the movie, I’m definitely planning on watching the movie with a friend soon 🙂

      I also expected to read more about Daisy in the book. I’ve heard so much about Daisy Buchanan long before I read the book and now that I have her character doesn’t even appear that much 🙁

  • I’m sorry that you lost a friend. I read The Great Gatsby recently and thought it was alright. I didn’t really like any of the characters. I felt sorry for Jay for loving such a shallow woman. A sad story, really.

    • Thanks Laura. It was in fact sad yes, to think that when he was alive he had so many “friends”, but at the funeral no one showed up. Daisy disappointed me in that regard!

  • I think I could read this book every year! Such a great review of a great book.

    • Thanks! I guess that’s do-able, since the book is so short. I’m looking forward to the movie 🙂

  • Great book! I’m excited to see the new movie. I really enjoyed the old one from the 70’s. We watched it in English class after reading the book in high school.

    • I’m excited to see the movie too! I don’t remember watching the older movie, so I’m really looking forward to see this one starring Leo 😉

  • Isi

    Your first review for the classics club!! Great!!
    I have to say I have never felt interested in this book, but now with the movie I really don’t know what to do. I’m not especially interested in the 20s, but everybody seems to like the book, so I will give it a try sooner or later.
    And then, I will watch the movie!

    • Maybe you should just go watch the movie and then decide if you want to read the book or not? 🙂
      I love the 20’s! The book wasn’t GREAT, but it was enjoyable.

  • I really loved this book. Have you read anything else by Fitzgerald or Hemingway? If you love the time period, you should. Also, Z- it is a story of Zelda Fitzgerald-was pretty good.
    How are you enjoying the Classics Club? I am so tempted to join, but am nervous I wont be able to read all of the books.

    • I haven’t read anything else by Fitzgerald. I want to read The Old man and the Sea by Hemingway. Thanks for the suggestion of Zelda. I have read 2 books for the classics club, I guess I’ve always enjoyed classics, so I’m sure keeping up with my list of 50 won’t be too hard 🙂

      I wish I joined it sooner though, because I have read a few that I could have knocked off “my list”

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