June 5, 2013
The Great Gatsby by Francis Scott Fitzgerald
Author: Francis Scott Fitzgerald
First published: 1925
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It took me a while to sit down and write a review for this book, not because I had a lot happening in my life, but also because I'm still not sure how I feel about it. I think it deserves a proper re-read some day, but it needs to be a gloomy autumn day, with heavy rain preferably.
The book tells about Gatsby, a literally self-made man. He is of a poor family, but craves for rich, sparkling life full of pleasure and he is not picky when it comes to the means of reaching it. He attracts people, but nobody actually knows the real him, and he is inevitably always alone in the world he has imagined for himself. His love, or rather obsession with Daisy, although very strong, is also only half real and half the ideal feeling he wants it to be. He is sure he is her only love and just can't imagine there was time when she loved her husband. I think he has never really allowed for it and never actually believed it.
Although the book is mostly about Gatsby and is even titled accordingly, he doesn't appear in person until the middle of the book, and is killed long before the end. I think he takes part in the narrative only half of the time, and all the other time the reader is given just the rumors and opinions about him. I like this technique very much, as it shows how little a person means in himself and how big part of the personality is created by public opinion and surroundings.
There is a lot of tragedy in the book, but most of it is behind scenes, it's in the way of life or rather in the way of killing the time of one's life shown in the book, which was so common in the certain social circles at that time. Through the flow of narrative the reader can feel uselessness and pointlessness of the events and deeds in the book, and it leaves a most bitter feeling after finishing the book.
I'm going to watch the new movie as soon as it's available on DVD, and I hope this adaptation will be true to the book, especially in the mood and atmosphere. We'll see!