The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald Review 2/5

Overall Impression: At the risk of sounding immature andThe Great Gatsby cover uncultured – what a snooze fest!

This book was read as part of the Eclectic Reader Challenge.
I really wanted to like this book.
From the moment I first bought it, I was staring longingly toward the spot it occupied on my bookshelf. Excited to discover this epic story that is so widely praised, and cherished.
Umm yeah…no.
Seriously, what just happened? Gatsby goers what am I missing?
This year I set myself the goal of trying to read more classics including books from the Rory Gilmore Challenge. And weirdly it has only just dawned on me – I am not going to like all of them; because no matter how much literary merit they have, people’s tastes vary. Unfortunately this was one I just did not get on with.
A pre warning, this is probably more of a rant than a review, and when I look back on it later I hope I will be able to look down my nose at it and say ‘gosh, I was so immature’. But here goes!

Jay Gatsby is a self-made man famed for his decadent, champagne-drenched parties. Despite being surrounded by Long Island’s bright and beautiful, he longs only for Daisy Buchanan. In shimmering prose, Fitzgerald shows Gatsby pursue his dream to its tragic conclusion.

The above description pretty much sums up the entire plot (it’s only a small book, 148 pages in my version). We are guided by Nick Carraway, our narrator (implementing the age old unreliable narrator debate) a man in his 30s recovering from his involvement in the war. He decides to try his hand at the bond business, moving to New York. As an outsider he paints a bright picture of the 1920s in America – the glamour, the parties, and the desecrated American Dream. He rents a house which resides next to the mansion of the one and only Jay Gatsby, a figure of mystery and intrigue who’s story is slowly revealed throughout the course of the novel.  As past and present collide, tensions hit breaking point in a whirlwind of love, jealousy and betrayal.

Actually, that kind of makes it sound much more exciting than it is, but hey.

Fitzgerald’s writing is strange one. Not because he uses prose in a random way, but because I have never come across an author whose descriptions are so elegant and original, and yet at the same time so utterly dry and snooze inducing. I don’t quite understand it, I’m not sure how the two can be mutually exclusive but apparently they are. For instance I was spoilt for choice deciding which quotes to put on this post (scroll to bottom of page for proof) and yet I found myself constantly zoning out with disinterest when reading, which meant I had to continually reread paragraphs, sometimes even four or five times simply because my attention kept wandering off. I mean we all know classics can be difficult to read because of the language they use, but it wasn’t even that. It was just so dull and repetitive.
I also got completely confused in one particular section when I came across the word gonnegtion, so I looked it up and discovered that it WASN’T EVEN A REAL WORD. *Facepalm* I mean Seriously? I was tripped up yet again in a later chapter where the book suddenly entered a new paragraph in which our male narrator appeared to be describing himself walking along in a skirt, at which point I backtracked and discovered for some reason we now had the narrator describing another person’s (female) narrating. What the?
I think your thoughts on this novel will be directly correlated with his writing style. If you find it deep and poetic then you will probably love and cherish this book. But if you don’t? Snooooooooooze.

Ok, maybe that’s a bit harsh. I think I’m going to come across as if I have multiple personality disorder in this review. On the one hand I can understand why a lot of people may love this novel, especially because of its historical value, and by the end of the book I kind of wanted to give it three starts instead because the finale was so poetic….but I just couldn’t, it can’t make up for how bored I was throughout the majority of the novel. And yet, I can’t help thinking that some people will just automatically judge me for not liking it and dismiss me as being too young to appreciate the subtleties. And yes, I’m sure there probably were some references that I missed because I have never been taught about this book in class, and maybe I don’t have quite as much historical background on the topic as some, but I think I can give myself a little more credit than that. I still feel like I grasped Fitzgerald’s message, and I’m a pretty intuitive reader.
You know how sometimes you just connect with certain authors? The way they write, their passion, the way they argue a point of view? It can be impossible to pinpoint why – but it just happens. Well I didn’t feel that with Fitzgerald at all, and I think that was the problem.

I found the plot slow, I would come away after reading The Great Gatsby wondering what had actually happened, because nothing interesting or vaguely memorable was going on. This book is about nothing, and everything at the same time. It’s about spoilt, broken and confused people, their lives are a show, and nothing more. They wander though parties lost, even when they are surrounded by a sea of faces; let down by the ideal of the American dream. It’s about their hopeless spiraling existence that consumes them everyday.

Fitzgerald
absolutely loves his symbolism, he has it in spades, so I can see why this book is used so much in English Lit classes. You would have a field day picking apart the text, from Fitzgerald’s choice in colours, to the weather, and the flashing green light across the bay.

I felt no connection to the characters either, they are given these detailed lavish descriptions and yet there was still no connection for me. I felt more like a casual observer glancing over my shoulder and seeing something vaguely interesting, pondering it for a moment, and then carrying on without another thought. Again I’m not really sure why, because Gatsby should be a compelling character, as should Daisy and the rest of them.

I think The Great Gatsby is a novel I could learn to appreciate. In fact, I plan to do a whole lot of research into it’s background for that very reason, but I don’t think I will ever love it. Maybe it would be better to look at it as a moment captured in history.
I would recommend this book to those who know a lot about the time period, and who have an appreciation for symbolism, and those who aren’t prone to falling asleep. 😉

I may not ever ‘like’ this novel but I would like to understand more about why others do. Have you ever read The Great Gatsby? What did you think of it? 🙂

Writing Style: 2/5
Originality: 3/5
Entertainment: 2/5
Character Development: 2/5
Would I recommend this book? No.

Overall 2/5

—————————————————————————————————————–

Quotes:

‘Two shining arrogant eyes had established dominance over his face and gave him the appearance of always leaning aggressively forward.’

* * *

‘Her husband, among various physical accomplishments, had been one of the most powerful ends that ever played football at New Haven – a national figure in a way, one of those men who reaches such an acute limited excellence at twenty-one that everything afterwards savours of anti-climax.’

* * *

‘Well, she was less than an hour old and Tom was God knows where. I woke up out of the ether with an utterly abandoned feeling, and asked the nurse right away if it was a boy or a girl. She told me it was a girl, and so I turned my head away and wept. “All right” I said, “I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool – that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
’You see I think everything’s terrible anyhow,’ she went on in a convinced way. ‘Everybody thinks so – the most advanced people. And I know. I’ve been everywhere and seen everything and done everything.’ Her eyes flashed around her in a defiant way, rather like Tom’s, and she laughed with thrilling scorn. ‘Sophisticated – God, I’m sophisticated!’

* * *

‘The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate  the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other’s names.’

* * *

‘He talked a lot about the past, and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy. His life had been confused and disordered since then, but if he could once return to a certain starting place and go over it all slowly, he could find out what that thing was…’

P.S. I found this fun John Green video, and I think it sums the novel up perfectly – in fact, he sums up the novel better than the actual novel does! However be warned, there are quite a lot of spoilers, even though he states otherwise.

‘Upper crusty’ – Teehee

Image Sources:
The Great Gatsby cover: http://www.goodreads.com/book/photo/9357704-the-great-gatsby

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54 thoughts on “The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald Review 2/5

  1. Ha! I knewwwwww it! Hehe. You’re right when you say people’s taste vary so if you didn’t like it that doesn’t make you immature. And the rant..ah you should’ve heard me after reading half of this book, I was on a roll as far as ranting goes. 😀

    • Lol! Yes, you were right! 😛 For such a short book, it took me SO long to read.
      Yeah that’s true, I guess I just didn’t want to be bombarded by people saying ‘ohh you probably just didn’t understand it, go read something less highbrow’ Lol.

      Haha, ohh I would have loved to hear what you had to say about this book, I bet it would be hilarious. 😀

      • The ” you just didn’t understand it, go read it again” thing does apply to some books, but not to this one imo.
        I actually didn’t think it was a bad book, just completely and totally boring. I fell asleep twice reading it so you can imagine how riveting I found it to be:D
        So what’s next on the agenda? And any recommendations? I so need to read a good book, I’ve been hit and miss-ing it for a while now with choosing a good novel.

      • Yeah I agree with you there, I mean the writer obviously has some great ideas but it’s just all snoooze. 😛 Twice! Ohh wow, although, I can totally understand because I was just zoning out continually.

        Well I have an upcoming review of The Guy Next Door by Meg Cabot for ya, and I’m currently reading Stardust. It’s taking me a ridiculous amount of time to read though because of Uni prep, aggh! Yeah, I haven’t read many great books this year I must admit, I think I’ve got a lot of books that I will enjoy on my shelf, but I’ve been trying to read some of the ones that have been there a really long time and I keep ignoring. 😛 I’m not quite sure what genre you’re looking for, but I remember thinking the Noughts and Crosses series by Malorie Blackman was good, (although you might find the protagonist a bit whiny) I read it quite a while back now. The Dream Merchant by Isabel Hoving, Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin was quite interesting too, it has quite a cool concept. Urmmm, the Airhead trilogy by Meg Cabot was a lot of lighthearted fun, very entertaining. Possibly Numbers by Rachel Ward. I really like Kelley Armstrong but I noticed you didn’t particularly on Goodreads, so maybe not her.

        As for books I’ve seen hugely praised but I haven’t read yet, you might want to try The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and The Perks of Being a Wallflower
        by Stephen Chbosky. Hope that helps! 🙂

    • Hahaa that tells me a lot! 😛 I feel like my memory of a lot of it is already starting to fade as well, and I only finished it about a week ago! That’s one reason I love blogging about books, I’ll always remember my original thoughts on a book. 🙂

  2. Dissenters will not be tolerated!

    Actually, I haven’t read this book, but it sounds as if I would get annoyed with it.

    To be honest, if a book requires a fair amount of knowledge about a particular time, or subject, to fully appreciate it, then that can be seen as a flaw of the book, as much as a problem with the reader for not knowing it in the first place.

    • Haha, ohh no! Run away!

      That’s very true actually, I agree. It does suggest to an extent that the author isn’t giving the reader enough to work with. An author’s main duty is to take the reader along on the journey with them, to make them understand the message they are trying to portray in their book. The fact that the books ambiguous could be seen as a flaw or a positive.

      Very good point Michael! Hadn’t thought of that. 🙂

  3. You didn’t like the Great Gatsby??? YOU’RE A TERRIBLE HUMAN BEING WHO PROBABLY EATS PISTACHIOS AND LEAVES THE SHELLS SCATTERED ON THE TUBE!!!
    hehehe

    Don’t sweat it, Have to agree with other commenters, not all books resonate for everyone.
    I loved The Great Gatsby. First read it in high school, and have reread it a few times since then.
    I think your description of it being less of a plot oriented story, and more of a study of characters is spot on, and if you do;t care about the characters, well…

    One note about “gonnegtions” – he isn’t making up words, he’s transliterating – writing that characters speech the way it sounded. The character is a mobster (from Brooklyn, I think) and yeah, that’s a regional dialect. They really do sound that way.

    Another thing I like about the book: The ash pit that is described several times grew up to be Flushing Meadows Corona Park, site of the 1939 and 1964 Worlds Fair. I grew up very close by and played there a lot as a kid (and teen), and I recognized a lot of the people and places Fitzgerald wrote about.

    • HAHA! I KNOW, I KNOW I AM TRULY TERRIBLE!! But for the record I always put my pistachio shells in the bin. It’s a matter of principle. 😉 LOL.

      Yeah you’re right, sometimes certain books just don’t speak to us, even when we want them too. I’m glad that you like the book though! Every book deserves to be loved by someone.

      Ohh I see, I didn’t look into the whole ‘gonnegtion’ thing much, just long enough to understand what it meant – connection. The website I looked at said Fitzgerald ‘made it up’ so that’s why I wrote that. And I suppose he did in a way, I just didn’t realize it was a literary technique, didn’t even know the technique existed! Thanks for telling me. 🙂

      Ahh you see I don’t actually know much about the ash pit, that is something I want to research now that I have finished the novel. I realized that he used it as a metaphor in the book but I don’t think I appreciated it probably as much as I should have. And I can totally understand that, it’s very cool to read a novel when you recognize the places it’s talking about!

      Thanks for the interesting info El Guapo!

  4. Depsite my version being only 115 pages, this is one of the longest books I have ever read, for the reasons you listed above. My six word review of it was ‘elegant and fancy language about nothing.’ Fitzgerald has a way with words but, in my opinion, on the basis of The Great Gatsby he can never be considered a storyteller. Even the ending couldn’t make up for all the pages that came beforehand. It is such a dull book!

      • I don’t know Smith. I’ll check him out.
        but I think part of why I like the book is that personal connection. I’m generally not a fan of stories like that, and don’t think I’ve actually read anything else by Fitzgerald.

      • He’s the guy behind Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.
        I can see why people like the story, there’s a lot of poignant things in it, but now that you’ve mentioned that, what else has Fitzgerald written?

      • Ah. I read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Felt I was tricked into reading Pride and Prejudice.
        And not near enough zombies.
        Meh.

        No idea what else he wrote. Hmm, not very literary of me! 😉

      • Ohhh, on what else Fitzgerald has written – I know of two other books. The Beautiful and Damned and Tender is the Night. There could be more though. I got my copy of The Great Gatsby in a set of three, with those other two books. Somehow I don’t think I’ll be jumping to read them now! Lol. I just hope when I get around to them that I enjoy the more than Gatsby. Fingers crossed. :S

    • To Summer – Ohhh I have to agree with you! I though hey, I’ll pick up The Great Gatsby that’ll be a quick read. Errr…no. I finished another 300 and something page book before I finished Gatsby! Says it all really.
      Haha, good choice, I think that fits it perfectly. I wholeheartedly agree with you, I didn’t find the way he told the story at all compelling and I felt no incentive to read on. I can see how many would be impressed with his technique, the ending is quite poetic, but it really didn’t do anything for me. Glad to know I’m not alone! 🙂

      Ohh yeah, hows the internship search going? Did you manage to find one? 🙂

      • Haha, it is a deceptively small book! It was a poetic ending, but I felt it wa too little too late. I agree with you, it wasn’t compelling, and once you put it down it’s very hard to pick back up!

        It’s going ok, internships have been hard to find, there was one but they didn’t get back to me. And I’ve been applying for jobs but haven’t been hearing anything back! Such a pain haha! Fingers crosed there’ll be something soon. I have started writing for another website though, building up my port folio!

        Also, my mum was really disappointed with the end of Mokingjay! She had to read a part of it over and over again because she didn’t understand. But we’re off to buy the DVD today because she wants to see it.

      • Haha yeah. 🙂

        Ohhh, I’m sorry to hear that, it is a pretty terrible time to be looking for them unfortunately. But I’m sure you’ll find something, you certainly deserve to. 🙂 Ohh that sounds like a good plan, experience is always good.

        Haha, ohhh no! A lot of people don’t like the ending of Mockingjay, and I can see why but I thought that it was kind of the right ending, shame your mum didn’t agree though. Ohh well, we all have our different opinions. 🙂 My mum said she liked the book, and now she wants to see the film too haha! Enjoy watching it.

      • Yeah it’s rubbish! Damn jobs haha! And thank you 🙂

        Yeah it is a shame, I quite liked the ending, it wouldn’t have been right if it was happy! I’m glad your mum liked. also, when I said today I had my dates wrong, it’s out on the 3rd haha oops 😛 Looking foward to getting it next week.

  5. I had to read this for school, and because of that I couldn’t really like it. The over-analysis of school work always ruins novels for me that I could like. One of my favourite parts of the novel was when Daisy talks about putting Gatsby in a cloud and pushing him around. I think it sums up her character perfectly.

    Once, on a school camp with my friends, after we were on a marshmallow induced sugar high, we saw a green light across a wide river and I imitated Gatsby 🙂

    I’m not really a fan of the novel either but it’s given me such good times, references and stupid quotes to laugh at that I have to love it in a way.

    • Ohhh I completely understand that! I’ve always found analyzing books for school just completely ruined the book too! That was one of the main reasons I didn’t decide to carry on with English literature – if I’d gone on I would of had to study Wuthering Heights one of my fave books, and I didn’t want them to ruin it!
      Ohh I don’t remember reading that bit….maybe that was one of the paragraphs where I zoned out. :S

      Hahaa really? That’s very cool, you proved your bookworm status right there my friend! 😛

      I’m glad you were able to get something out of it at least! I’m still glad that I read it, it was an interesting take on literature, but I don’t think I will be going near it again, not for a long time anyway.

  6. I didn’t really like this book either. It was much more about symbolism and what the characters represent than about any real story. For me its like the Old Man and the Sea. Great for classes and discussion and tearing down by sentence to get to what he “really” means. However, as a story about the 20s and the American Dream. I think people have probably done better. But then again, I hated learning about the American Dream, even though it is like my family’s story (haha) and this was part of my high school curriculum.

    • Ohhh I am so glad I’m not completely alone in not liking it. I thought it was just me! I completely agree – for analyzing, symbolism and history this book is great. But as an actual story…not so much. I’ve never heard of The Old Man and the Sea…what’s it about?
      I have to agree with you again. Our school didn’t have Gatsby on the curriculum, but we did focus on Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, and that also looks at the American Dream and I found it much more interesting, even though it also uses a lot of symbolism.
      It’s your family story? How cool! 🙂

      • Haha. Yeah.

        Old man and the sea is about…ready for it…an old man and the sea. That’s pretty much it. Tons of symbolism

      • :O No! I never would have guessed!
        Well if that’s all it’s about I don’t think I’ll be reading that any time soon either. Weirdly, I’ve never really gotten on with water related books.

    • Phew, thank you. 🙂 This is the first classic I’ve had to review that I haven’t enjoyed, and I was worried that people would take it the wrong way. I’m beginning to see a trend in these comments though, it seems like a lot of people didn’t enjoy Gatsby. I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t get on with it either..!

  7. Lol, I think it’s funny that you looked up “gonnegtion.” It’s just the word “connection” said with an accent.

    I’ve read the Great Gatsby twice. I probably liked it more the second time because I knew what to expect, but I still don’t like it as much as others do (although John Green’s praise of it makes me wish I did). In the book, Fitzgerald has a great idea about the American Dream, but he seems to focus on it too much, leaving the actual story of his book less interesting. I’m not someone who thinks characters have to be nice and likable, but I do want them to be at least interesting, and I didn’t think most of the characters were.

    As short as the Great Gatsby is, it seems like it should have been shorter, because Fitzgerald’s idea wasn’t interesting enough for a whole book. He actually wrote a short story called “Winter Dreams” before Gatsby that explored similar themes. I can’t remember how good that is because I haven’t read it in years, but I would assume it’s less annoying to read.

    I do think Fitzgerald was talented – I really like some of the imagery and ideas in Gatsby, and I’ve enjoyed his short stories – but I think Gatsby is just dull. If you have any interest in reading the Great American Novels that came after it, though (I recommend the Catcher in the Rye), Gatsby is kind of a guide in how to interpret those works.

    • You make it sound so simple! I didn’t think that gonnegtion sounded anything like connection at all! Lol. It is quite strange though, I don’t usually look up words when I’m reading, but that one just sounded so odd so I had to find out what it was.

      Yeah I think part of my problem was also that I had such high expectations before reading it, maybe if I reread it I would enjoy it more like you did.
      You know what? I never thought of it that way, but now that you say it I think that is the exact problem I had with the book. You’re right, he spends too much time on the message, and deals with the story second, which makes it interesting for analyzing but leaves much to be desired. I agree, I don’t have to like the characters to enjoy the book, in fact, reading books with characters I dislike is often far more interesting. My problem with Gasby is that I just didn’t care, I didn’t feel invested enough to care about the characters outcome.

      Ohh cool. Glad to hear you found his short story more interesting. Have you read any of his other novels? The Beautiful and Damned or Tender is the Night for instance? If not, would you ever consider reading them in the future? 🙂

      Unfortunately I have to agree that Gatsby is dull. I read Of Mice and Men and found that much more interesting for a commentary on the American Dream. I might take you up on that recommendation, Catcher in the Rye sounds like a very interesting novel. How exactly does it work as a guide though? If you don’t mind me asking. 🙂

      Thanks for the interesting information! (Sorry for the longness :P)

      • I guess I was just lucky when I read the “gonnegtion” part, because I understood it right away. I think it’s because “g” and “t” aren’t usually near each other, so I thought there must be a trick to it.

        Yeah, I didn’t really care about the characters at all, either. I really wish I did, because I probably would have loved the book itself far more. As it is, the book has decent imagery, but a lot of wasted potential.

        I haven’t read any of his other books, but I would probably give them a chance, because I do like his writing style sometimes and it would be interesting to see the books that aren’t widely praised. Maybe I would appreciate them a bit more because they don’t come with such high expectations.

        Well, America was founded on a sense of idealism, that you can succeed and achieve the American Dream if you try hard enough, but this of course leads to disappointment. So American characters, especially after Gatsby, are unable to transition into adulthood because it’s always a disappointment, so they long for a youth that they can never regain. You see this with Gatsby, because he has built this life for himself, but he’s not satisfied with it. He spends the entire book trying to reclaim the happiness he felt when he was with Daisy in the flashback, but he cannot return to it. You can also see this at the end when Nick imagines the men rowing the boats to America. They can never reach the true America, but cannot go back either. They’re stuck. Anyway, it works as a guide for later books because other American characters have the same immaturity as Gatsby.

        Can you tell I’ve read papers about this? 😛 I hope I explained it clearly enough.

        I’m sorry for the longness, too!

      • Haha ahh I see, clever you! I knew something seemed strange about it – hence why I looked it up, but I couldn’t have told you what it was.

        It good to see that Gatsby hasn’t put you off the idea of possibly exploring some of his other books. The main reason I asked is I have The Beautiful and Damned and Tender is the Night on my bookshelf because I bought Gatsby in a pack of three. I was wondering if you knew anything about them. :S I’m not exactly jumping to read them now, haha. I will get round to them, but maybe not for a while.

        Ohh that’s all very interesting! We did the basics of the American Dream a while back in school because we studied Of Mice and Men, which I quite enjoyed. But I only have a pretty superficial knowledge, I didn’t know anything about the transition into adulthood part. And I completely overlooked the boat thing at the end, that’s very interesting. You explained it very clearly, thanks for taking the time to do so!
        Haha yes I can tell you’ve read papers on this, but hey, that’s a good thing, be proud of it, at least it shows the time reading them paid off! 😛

  8. Well, I’ve got this to look forward to. I think I have to study it in my second year of sixth form, maybe the additional background study will help. I’m reading more classics too and like you, I don’t always click with them. Scarlett Letter- snooze. That was a boring book but I saw it through. I feel I understood the message but I think it could have been done in a quarter of the pages.

    • Ohh……good luck! :S You never know, you may like it more than me, after all some people do love this book! I have no doubt the extra background will help. It may not make you like the story, but at least you might be able to appreciate the book a little more.
      I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one struggling along lol. Ohh dear, the Scarlet Letter is on the Rory Gilmore Challenge, might avoid that one for a bit then!

      Good luck with Gatsby for sixth form. 🙂

  9. Everyone has their own opinions, don’t feel guilty for not liking this book – there are classics I’ve detested as well, and although I felt a bit bad and “uncultured”, in the end it is what it is and everyone has their own tastes. Anyway, what made me love this book so much was the beautiful writing style (in my opinion), the brilliant symbolism, and the heartbreaking romance… I fleshed out my thoughts further in my review, but that about sums it up. Great review Becky!

    • Thanks for the pep talk, and I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who has come across a classic that they didn’t like! I guess I was just worried about the assumption (I’ve seen it a lot on Goodreads) that if anyone reviews a classic badly they don’t understand it, and I just don’t think that’s true.
      I’m glad that you enjoyed the book! It’s strange, I enjoyed his writing when I broke it down into individual quotes, but not as a whole, I’ve never had that happen before.
      Thanks Thomas! 🙂 I will check out your review too.

  10. I probably would have felt the same way if I read it first. But I listened to Tim Robbins read it to me and it was lovely! However, Gatsby wasn’t all that great. Daisy was a ding dong, well, maybe she wasn’t but wished she was and it was just so sad and pointless. Oh well. Great review!
    PS – I thought Rebecca was tough because the main protag was a big fat wimpy baby where many people think it is romantic and lovely. I also had issues with Tess of Tess of the D’Ubervilles fame because she is so accepting of her weird “luck”…it is hard to read classics at first because the ideals of romance and acceptable behavior are so different now!

    • Hmmm….maybe I would have felt better about it if I had used the audio book, I think maybe a lot more of their characters would have come across with someone acting out the voices etc. I’ve never actually used an audio book, for some reason it’s never really appealed to me, I love the act of reading too much. 😛
      Thanks you! 🙂
      Haha I’ve come across Rebecca quite a lot on the blogosphere but it hasn’t really appealed to me as of yet. It’s cool to know I am not the only one who has struggled with certain classics!

  11. I totally disagree – I think the book is great! But your review made me smile. In some ways I guess I can see your points, but I think you should read it again at some point and then maybe your opinion will change 🙂

    • Haha, that’s ok, you’re allowed to disagree! 🙂 I am considering picking it up again some time in the far, far, future to see if my opinion will have changed.
      I’m glad you can sort of see my point as someone who enjoyed the book, but by all means, try and prove me wrong! Haha. I want to like this book, I really do so if you have any tips, let me know. 😛

      Thanks for commenting!

  12. Becks, I’m automatically judging you for not liking it and dismiss you as being too young to appreciate the subtleties. Wow, you took the words right out of my mouth! hehehe 😉

    No, everyone has their personal opinion. I haven’t read it in … let’s just say, quite a few years. And most of my “reading” of it was in the condensed synopsized version.

    I have it in my TBR pile. And it’s one you’d appreciate – a first edition compilation of Fitgerald books from 1945. All old and vintage-y. So cool.

    • Haha ohhh no! The judging, I can’t take it! 😛 Nahh, I just know some people can be very protective over there classics, and because it was a classic, I kind of felt that I should like it, and I tried, but I just couldn’t.

      Ohhh interesting that you read it quite a long time ago. Was it for school by any chance? It seems like that’s the reason most people have read it, luckily I got out of that lol, we did Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck instead!

      Ooooh, that sounds fantasic! I bet it smells nice too hehe. 😉

  13. Yeah, I didn’t like it either. I think it has to do with, maybe a lack of action from the characters’ part. There’s a lot of dwelling on the past…at least when it comes to Gatsby.

    • I’m surprised by how many people have said they don’t like it actually, I had no idea before I wrote this post as I had only heard good things about the book!
      I agree, there isn’t all that much action, and even when there is you feel more like an observer. You just don’t really feel included in the story…

      Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  14. Oh noo, I love Gatsby! I compared it to a play for my dissertation, and I still love it even after studying every tiny little aspect of it. It has so many layers!

    I love how books, even ones described as ‘classics’, can cause such debates. So interesting.

    • Ahhh I know, I saw on your blog, I’m sorry! Lol. 🙂 If it makes you feel any better, in retrospect I have a big appreciation for the book and Fitzgerald’s writing, it was really quite impressive in a lot of ways, I just didn’t enjoyed it from a story/entertainment point of view. You see, I think I might actually enjoy it more if I studied it because it really did seem to have so many layers!

      Agreed, it’s always interesting to see how people’s taste’s vary. 🙂

  15. So I realise I’m commenting a little while after you wrote this review(!) but I’ve just finished reading Gatsby and I saw your review listed on GoodReads so I had to come by and say I agree with every single one of your points!!

    It was so dull and yet so much happened! Like you I had to keep rereading paragraphs because they just would not sink in and I couldn’t bring myself to care about any of the characters! It reminded me a lot of On The Road by Jack Kerouac because of the relentless partying and maddening irresponsibility of the characters and I hated it!!!

    I’m about to write my own brief rant and hopefully tuck into something I enjoy a bit more lol.

    • Haha just a bit! But no worries. 🙂 Ah, I did notice you were reading Gatsby on Goodreads and was quite curious to see what you would think. Have to admit I’m glad to meet another confused Gatsby reader, I thought it was just me who didn’t click with it at the time!!!

      Every single one? Blimey, that’s awesome. 🙂 I agree, it’s weird that such a small book with a lot of story could be so slow. Considering the size, it took me a long time to read it all the way through. It’s weird because, the longer it gets since I’ve read the book the more I appreciate it as a story, yet I’m sure if I reread it I would probably have the same negative feelings all over again! It’s a weird one. Have you seen the recent film adaptation? I thought that was a MILLION times better and really enjoyed it.

      I’ve never read On the Road but I will heed your warning! Look forward to reading your review/rant. 🙂

      • I know what you mean, I’ve heard nothing but good things about it and then when I started reading it I felt like I must have the wrong book!

        I was going to just reblog your review and say “what she said” but then I decided I’d write my own (it is a List book after all 😦 )but yeah it was kind of like reading my own thoughts. Hope that doesn’t sound too creepy…! I can look back now and think blimey that had a cracking plotline (I literally finished it an hour ago) but the writing of it was too bad for me to enjoy actually reading it which is a real shame now I think about it.

        I haven’t actually seen the film but maybe I should if you promise it’s better? My friend’s getting married this (next?) year and I really need to develop an appreciation for the 20s before that happens but this book put me right off!

        I thought maybe On the Road was the same time period but actually it’s set in the 1950s, you’d never know it though the characters and plot are very similar although maybe a tad more extravagant.

      • Yes it was so strange because beforehand I’d only read positive things as well!

        Haha, I would have been honored! But I’m looking forward to hearing what you say in your review (I just saw it turn up on my feed so I’ll pop over in a sec). Haha, no it doesn’t sound creepy at all. 🙂

        Yes, exactly! It’s like it’s so smart and poetic and clever when you look at it, but actually reading the book is a total snooze fest!

        Yes, definitely try and see the film if you can, it’s a totally different experience to the book but in a way that stays true to the original (if that makes sense?). The sets and 20s outfits and brilliant acting really brings it all to life and makes it so much better! The 20s are awesome (flapper dresses, extravagance etc.) just not Gatsby, lol! But trust me, the film will redeem your interest in the 20s. 🙂

  16. Pingback: 43. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald | Books on the Tube

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