As bookworms, we often picture what our dream library will look like. Perhaps it will be hidden by a secret door tucked away from the world. Maybe it will have oak beams, spiral staircases, plush chairs, a crackling fire; and you can bet it will have bookshelves reaching to the ceiling with a rickety ladder you can slide up and down all day. But do you know what I hadn’t ever considered? What books would actually be in that collection. The ones I already own, obviously. But if I had the money to create a truly awe inspiring library, surely I would also have the means to acquire some expensive, truly remarkable antique books as well! So when the auction website Invaluable.com contacted me about doing a post on my dream literary collection I thought it was a brilliant idea! Here’s what I came up with.
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.
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. Continue reading