Monday, 22 June 2015

The Great Gatsby

Title: The Great Gatsby
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Pages: 180
Publisher: Scribner 
Source: Bought
Rating: 3/5

Summary (from Good Reads): 
A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, The Great Gatsby captured the spirit of the author's generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald's--and his country's--most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed, and the promise of new beginnings. "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning--"Gatsby's rise to glory and eventual fall from grace becomes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream.

The Great Gatsby is one of those classic books that is on every ‘books you must read’ list. I’ve personally had it on my shelf since the movie came out, but knew about it before I bought it. I’ll admit I’m not a big classic reader, but I decided I’d try this one out. The problem is, I have mixed feelings towards this book.

I won’t lie I did struggle with this book a bit. It took me about a month to read it, but I was not giving up on it. I was so determined to finish it that no matter how much I struggled, I carried on with it anyway just so I could finally say I’ve read it. I have to say, I think I struggled with how formal it was, but I did also struggle slightly with the story. It wasn’t as interesting to me as I thought it would be. I felt that it lacked something, and I found that the narrator, Nick, seemed to have confused feelings towards Gatsby. I was also expecting there to be more of a glitz and glam lifestyle in the book, but I felt that this was emphasised a bit too much as I didn’t find that there was much. I felt that this book mainly just focused on the rich characters.

The parts I most enjoyed of The Great Gatsby were the dialogue. I felt that all the wording in between was a bit waffly at times. My liking of the dialogue in this book was probably why I significantly enjoyed the second part of this book as there was a lot more speech. The fact that the first part of the book was full of hardly any dialogue is more than likely why I struggled with the book as it demotivated me to continue reading it, hence why it took me a month to get through it. 

I did think the book was interesting, and I do see why it is a classic but personally I don’t think it’s for me, or at least the first read wasn’t. I’m not sure if I’ll ever re-read it again, although I do think I will have to revisit the ending soon as I am not entirely sure what really happened to Gatsby, other than the obvious (if you’ve read it, you’ll know what I mean). I won’t deny, this book is a classic but personally for me, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I’m not sure if that’s because there’s such a big hype surrounding the book that it didn’t live up to expectations for me or just because me and classic books have a complicated relationship. This doesn't mean I wouldn't recommend it if someone asked me for a classic book to read though!

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