Monday, November 17, 2008

The Great Gatsby

I didn't read this in high school for some reason and have heard people rave about for many years before finally picking it up. My first impression after I finished was that it was only ok - I certainly wouldn't call it the best thing I've ever read. I didn't hate it but I wasn't wowed either.

F. Scott Fitzgerald's book is a classic. It shows not only the surface of glittery 1920s high society in the US, but also its 'shady underbelly'. It juxtaposes the immense over-the-top parties that many lived for and went to whether they knew the host or not with the pain and sorrow of broken love - as well as other misery people wanted to forget.

Since the main driving force of the story is love and since Gatsby's love is so, how should I put it, simple and therefore strong, I think that I would definitely have been wowed by this book if I had indeed read it in high school. It would be have meant the height of romance for me, I can really imagine that. As it is, perhaps I'm too cynical now to appreciate that side of the story.

I can definitely see why it's considered a classic and enjoyed the glimpse into 1920s society. And high school students should cetrainly continue reading it, because they will be able to relate. As for me, I'm glad I finally got to it, but I have to admit I'm more than 15 years late!

Challenges: A-Z Challenge, Classics Challenge


Paula Weston said...

I loved reading in high school, but the Great Gatsby almost did me in. I just couldn't get into F Scott Fitzgerald at all (it didn't help we also had to read Tender is the Night). I've often wondered if I should attempt it again as an adult, but there are just too many other books... still, it occasionally haunts me when I read a blog about it. :)
Thanks for the review.

joanna said...

Paula, I'm so glad to hear you say this! Yay, i'm not the only one who didn't get it! :-) I have Tender is the Night but am not sure I'll try it now...

Lezlie said...

I read this for the first time a couple summers ago. I liked it, but, yeah, much of it went right over my head. Thank goodness for Cliff Notes! :-)


Mari said...

I remember this being a favorite in high school but I have not read it since. Of course this came after Paradise Lost, which just about turned me off of reading forever, The first and only book I didn't read or write a paper for in school.