Book Review: The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great GatsbyWith previews for the movie version popping up every other commercial break, I figured it was time I got around to reading this book. It was available at the library, and a blessedly quick read. ‘Blessedly’ because I simply did not like this story (ensue uproar). I know this is an American classic and all, and I will say that the writing itself (voice, imagery, etc.) was excellent. Kudos to Fitzgerald for that, because it was the only thing that got me through this book, short as it was. I place much more importance on story and character than I do on the quality of the writing (I can suffer through relatively bad writing if the story itself is good enough and I can connect with at least one character), and in those respects this book just did not deliver. There was not a single redeeming or relatable character. Gatsby was creepy and obsessive, the narrator never did anything and wasn’t all that likable anyway, and the rest of the supporting cast were all miserable in one way or another (or many). It’s supposed to be this story of great love between Gatsby and Daisy, but it manages to not have a happy ending AND not be a tragic romance (a la Romeo & Juliet). It’s just disappointing and frustrating throughout, and ends with death and a questionably loveless marriage. Even the 1920’s party atmosphere was a let-down – it was just empty and desperate and wasteful. I simply don’t get why people love this story, and will not be going to see the movie version unless I hear they change it from the book drastically.

I give it 2.5/5 stars.

 

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4 comments

  1. It’s been many years (decades actually) since I read the book as assigned reading for my high school English class but I still remember not liking it. Boring story, unlikeable characters, I never could figure out what all the hype was about.