The Great Gatsby, F. S. Fitzgerald (ed. Penguin)
Page number: 177
Release date: February 2000
Themes: Love – Money – Appearances – Worldliness – The twenties – North America
Day and night Jay Gatsby’s mansion on West Egg buzzed with bright young things drinking, dancing and debating his mysterious character. For Gatsby – young, handsome, fabulously rich – always seems alone in the crowd, watching and waiting, although no one knows what for. Beneath the shimmering surface of his life, he is hiding a secret longing that can never be fulfilled.
I started to read this book, but I could not focus on it, so I decided to read it while I listened to the audio version. It was helpful, and I am happy to have done that otherwise, I will be pass by a real classic.
First, it was complicated to enter into the story at the beginning. I this it is because the book changes the viewpoint (intern, extern and omniscient), and sometimes it is hard to follow. As most the book, nowadays, are in the first person we are not used to it anymore. The worst is when the character change because you do not realise it at the beginning at taking one or two sections to notice it, so it is quite disturbing.
The action takes place in the Golden Age era, the descriptions made by the author are accurate since he lived at this time. They are good and illustrate not only the shallow part of the Golden Age but also the social part of it. Indeed, you have beautiful explanations of the parties, the clothes but you also have the “fake liberty” of the woman at this age. Nevertheless, you would like to see the good part from your own eyes.
The main protagonist is not Gatsby but Nick Caraway, his neighbour. During all the book we discover the millionaire Jay Gatsby by him. Sometimes the obsession that Nick has about Gatsby is ambiguous as he is focused on him and not necessary to discover more about him. Nick may at times be exasperating as you feel that he lives his life by the other and he is not the actor of his life, unlike Gatsby.
Conclusion: I like this book, I think it is a classic that everyone needs to read once.