The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald – A Poor Excuse for a Review

The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd.

Pages: 115

Source: Personal Collection – Purchased New

First Lines: “In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. ‘Whenever you feel like criticising anyone,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.’”

The Great Gatsby has been on my wishlist for a very long time. I can only ever remember hearing one reference to it, but that single reference somehow cemented the title in my mind. Do you remember the film adaptation of Neil Simon’s Biloxi Blues? It starred Matthew Broderick and Christopher Walkin. There is an exchange between Eugene and Daisy as they first meet when Eugene tells her that Daisy is the name of his favourite character from literature. Flattered, she asks him if he is referring to Daisy Miller or Daisy Buchanan. I remember feeling overwhelmingly deficient at the time I heard this, having absolutely no idea as to the identity of either Daisy. I was only ten or twelve, far too young to really be expected to know either reference, but I didn’t know that at the time and felt dejected all the same. I resolved to get to the bottom of both references. Ten or so years later, here I am, and I have only just purchased the books last month. Daisy Miller is still sitting on the TBR pile, but at least it is in my possession, and with F. Scott Fitzgerald read, I am half way to my goal.

Nick Carraway is a well-to-do young man from out west who has moved to New York to take a position in the bond business. Nick settles on West Egg in Long Island Sound across the bay from a cousin of his, Daisy Buchanan and her husband Tom. Not long after he moves in, Nick discovers that he is living next door to the rather colourful Jay Gatsby, bachelor, war veteran and all around eccentric. Every night, Gatsby throws lavish parties to which absolutely no one is invited. Somehow, though, people, the vast majority of them complete strangers, end up there in droves. Having received a personal invitation from his nutty neighbour, Nick attends one of the parties to find out what all the fuss is about.  Gatsby quickly befriends Nick only to reveal that he is in fact using him to get to Daisy, whom Gatsby has met before.

This story is terribly hard to summarize; it is only 115 pages, so I can’t give away much of the plot without spoiling it. Mind you, I’m not sure who’s left to spoil it for, it seems I am the last person to get around to reading it. The Great Gatsby is a story of love, loss, adultery, manslaughter and so much more. It is a candid and somewhat scathing expose of the Roaring Twenties.

I’m sorry! This is turning out to be a pitiful review. I just don’t seem to be able to articulate how I feel about this book. Maybe it just wasn’t long enough. I liked the book, I really did. It is difficult for me to find classics that appeal to me, but The Great Gatsby is one I would probably read again.

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About Robbie

Hi there, my name is Robbie Burns (no,really, that’s my name…hold the haggis jokes please) and I would like to welcome you to the Pink Sheep Cafe. I started this blog as a means of discussing books and all things literary in light of my perpetual isolation. At the time I began writing, I was living in Split, Croatia. There wasn’t much here in the way of English book clubs and I couldn’t work, so I badly needed something to help me bide my time. My partner and I have since left Croatia and returned to Canada to live in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. When we first moved back here, my blog writing sort of fell by the wayside, but now I seem to be back on track. I try to read and review a little bit of everything here; I think everyone can find something to their liking here. I find myself tending more towards more literary reads these days, but I also enjoy a lot of YA and children’s fiction. One of my ongoing goals is to work my way through all of the Nobel Laureates. My two most favorite authors are Timothy Findley and Halldor Laxness.
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3 Responses to The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald – A Poor Excuse for a Review

  1. Jessica says:

    I completely know the feeling of being unable to write anything about he most famous and oft read books in history. But this review did make me want to go back and read THE GREAT GATSBY (and, for that matter, DAISY MILLER). It’s been ten years since I read it (and DAISY MILLER) the first time. Those first lines are great, and I love the feeling this book evokes.

  2. Pingback: Saturday SHOUT-OUT | Pink Sheep Cafe

  3. Pingback: Daisy Miller – Henry James – Book Review (Short Story) | Pink Sheep Cafe

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