The Great Gatsby

                                        TheGreatGatsby_1925jacket

  • Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Genre: (Fiction) Romance, Tragedy, Social Commentary 
  • No. of pages: 180                                                                             
  • Book synopsisHere is a novel, glamorous, ironical, compassionate -a marvelous fusion into unity of the curious incongruities of the life of the period which reveals a hero like no other- one who could live in no other time and in no other place. But he will live as a character, we surmise, as long as the memory of any reader lasts. “If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity of the promises of life….it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again.” It’s the story of this Jay Gatsby who came so mysteriously to West Egg, of his sumptuous entertainments, and his love for Daisy Buchanan-a story that ranges from pure lyrical beauty to sheer brutal realism, and is infused with the strangeness of human circumstance in a heedless universe. It is a magical, living book, blended of irony, romance and mysticism.                                                                      
  • Movie Adaptations: The Great Gatsby (1974); The Great Gatsby (2000); The Great Gatsby (2013)    

 

Take a bow, Fitzgerald! If there was ever a man with a way with words, he it was. With a writing so intense, The Great Gatsby is nothing short of a ballad.

Set in the early 1920s (commonly referred to as the ‘Jazz Age’), the story depicts the lavish but meaningless lives the “well-to-do”s lived in the pursuit of money and pleasure. So lost were they in their chase for all things materialistic, that they’d lose track of reality. Very much like our poor Jay Gatsby; very much like our poor 21st century world.

Timelessly relevant, The Great Gatsby makes one realise that one must know when to quit. One must know what goals are unattainable. One must, at some point or the other, accept the changes. If all this makes the book sound like a moral-story, then yes it is but..well..it has to be the best moral-story ever written (no I’m not exaggerating).

The New York Herald Tribune referred to The Great Gatsby saying “…it contains some of the nicest little touches of contemporary observation you could imagine-so light, so delicate, so sharp…a literary lemon meringue.”

What works best for The Great Gatsby is its impeccable characterisation. A very convincing description of Gatsby sang:

 He had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favour. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself.

A sense of melancholy is what the book ultimately leaves us with. The ending, howsoever tragic, was foreboded by one and all but was yet unavoidable. But also does it give us the hope that despite of all that happens to us and to all around us, life DOES go on.

And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.

 

Ratings:

Critics-  ♥♥♥♥                                                                      I’d  rate it- Four green stars at the end of the dock ♥♥♥♥

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