The Great Gatsby
By F. Scott Fitzgerald
Published in 2004 by Scribner
Originally published in 1925
Rating: 4 / 5
This classic work encapsulating the decadence and excess of the 1920s “Jazz Age” follows the unassuming Nick Carraway on his search for the American Dream, which leads him to the doorstep of Jay Gatsby, an enigmatic millionaire known for both his lavish parties and his undying love for Nick’s cousin, the married Daisy Buchanan. With a mixture of envy and dismay, Nick observes Gatsby and his flamboyant life in the Long Island town of West Egg, while Gatsby yearns for Daisy and all that shimmers across the Sound in East Egg. The result is a chronicle of the drama and deceit that swirl around the lives of the wealthy, which cemented Fitzgerals’s reputation as the voice of his generation.
All I kept thinking about, over and over, was “You can’t live forever; you can’t live forever.”
What can I say that hasn’t already been said before in a thousand other places. This novel is a classic for a reason. I first read it, like so many others, in high school, and didn’t think too much of it. Maybe it was the over-analysis that high school English Literature teachers demand, the squeezing of every word and phrase to find some other meaning. It squeezes the life out of it all too.
I came back to the novel as a weary adult and couldn’t believe I was reading the same book. The words danced on the page and in my mind. I was amazed and so happy I gave it another chance.
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