Thursday, October 9, 2014
Review of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1926, Penguin Classics)
The Great Gatsby is considered one of the classic novels of American Literature -- a tragic tale of lost love, hedonism, jealousy, and the quest to live the American dream. For me, it’s one of those novels that seems more satisfying when one has completed reading it, than when working one’s way through the story. I think this is most due to the fact that it’s a slower burner of a tale, with not much happening in the first two thirds as Fitzgerald manoeuvres elements of the story into place for the final denouement. It is only at this point that tale gains resonance as the enigmatic Gatsby and his back story are exposed to view and starts to unwind. And while Fitzgerald’s prose is engaging, with many quotable sentences, the characters are nonetheless shallow and vapid and there is little to like about any of them, though this undoubtedly the point. Overall, a story that some may love for its social commentary on a certain strata of American society and the dream of many to join that class, but which left me cold for the most part.