Review: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Challenge criteria: A book published before you were born. (I was born in 1992, and this book was published in 1925.)


F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession.”

It is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.

Image via Goodreads

What I liked: 

This was indeed a great look at life in the 1920s. You’re thrown into a world of glitzy parties, socialising, and high class entertainment. It seemed like a much grander and much simpler time.

What I didn’t like:

I wasn’t a huge fan of the eponymous Gatsby. I felt he was a bit fake.

I also thought it took a lot longer than I expected for us to actually meet Gatsby and enter his world.

Out of five: 

Three. I felt the book lacked a little, and I couldn’t finish it.


10 thoughts on “Review: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

  1. Give it another go! Part of the whole idea of the novel is that, like the narrator, we start off being charmed by Gatsby but then come to wonder if he is a fake, and feel conflicted about that. The delay in introducing him is to build up the aura and expectation about him, before we find out more about the real person. (Also, it’s arguably more a book about the narrator’s experience with Gatsby, and what Gatsby represents, than about Gatsby himself.)

      • I agree; for such a short book and well-known story it’s actually quite complex, which is why it’s so hard to make a decent film of it. You can also just enjoy it for the brilliant writing style, especially the descriptions of New York and of the parties.

  2. Sorry to hear that you didn’t love this one. Aidan is right, the novel is quite complex and cleverly written.

    Go back and read this line, “I’m five years too old to lie to myself and call it honor.” Within the context of the book, it’s quite important and sums up what the story is about.

  3. I love this book, it’s a shame you don’t like it. I think it takes a while for him to be introduced because FSFG is trying to build an air of mystery. He makes him sound like this wonderful, glamourous and charming person, but when he turns up he is simply empty. It’s not actually my favourite book of his but I love the writing in this. So beautiful.

    • I don’t know what it was Jenna but I just couldn’t get into it! Maybe I’ll come back to it sometime in the future, or try the book. And we can try again.

      That might be a very good reason though, maybe the flashy lifestyle didn’t sit well with a poor student counting pennies for a coffee!

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