Here is a novel, glamorous, ironical, compassionate – a marvelous fusion into unity of the curious incongruities of the life of the period – which reveals a hero like no other – one who could live at no other time and in no other place. But he will live as a character, we surmise, as long as the memory of any reader lasts.
It is the story of this Jay Gatsby who came so mysteriously to West Egg, of his sumptuous entertainments, and of his love for Daisy Buchanan – a story that ranges from pure lyrical beauty to sheer brutal realism, and is infused with a sense of the strangeness of human circumstance in a heedless universe.
It is a magical, living book, blended of irony, romance, and mysticism.
It has been years (and I mean, years) since I finished a book and then just started it again immediately to re-read it. Although in this case it didn’t happen in quite that fashion, as I read the physical format and then switched to the audiobook for an immediate re-read. Although there were parts I enjoyed about my first attempt, I found re-reading this on audio gave me a new found appreciation for the book. I buddy read this one with my boyfriend (our first buddy-read!) and although we have yet to discuss our full thoughts and feelings, it’s been really enjoyable to read something together.
The Great Gatsby is a study of New York in the 1920’s, and all of the opulence, extravagance, decadence and pure drama that comes with it. I found the characters largely unlikable but also absolutely fascinating to read about, their relationships with each other fueled by infatuation and lust.
And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies,
I found the writing compelling and humorous, something I didn’t notice until my audio re-read, which put emphasis on lines I otherwise skipped over. Some of the writing is so poetic, beautiful and almost lyrical, including the quote in this post which remains to be my favourite. Other lines made me chuckle out loud with their brashness or ludicrousness.
I loved the way this book took the concept of the American Dream and turned it on it’s head, instead showing that everything is not always as it seems, and behind closed doors anything could be going on. I found myself intrigued over and over again by the actions of each character, wondering about their drives and motivations – usually wealth, greed and lust.
I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.
Overall, although not perfect, I did enjoy this window into the high society of New York in the 1920’s. It sometimes feels unbelievable and utterly ludicrous, but also makes for an entertaining and interesting read.
4 out of 5 stars
May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽