The Great Gatsby

I had never read the The Great Gatsby. In fact, I haven’t read many books that are considered some of the best stories of the 20th century. So, I decided it was time to become literally cultured beyond 1990’s pop lit and nonfiction books.

Have you read it? Do you think it’s one of the best books of all time? Why or why not?

Also, did you know that there were many versions printed? And that F. Scott Fitzgerald didn’t like the title “The Great Gatsby”?

Looking at it from a literary perspective, there sure are a lot of things to say about it. But looking at it from a fiction writer’s perspective, I wonder, if it were printed today as a new book, would a publisher have bought it? Would people like it?

And, from a writer’s perspective, I found it very interesting that the language was timeless. It really could have been written today. I loved the descriptions of Gatsby’s house, and the different characters. His words are strung together like printed music. Being that descriptions are one of my writing weaknesses, it was a marvelous lesson in how to paint a scene without being flowery.

If you haven’t read it, it’s very approachable (unlike some other famous 20th century stories). It takes a few pages to get into what’s going on and who the characters are, but once you’re in, it’ll be an easy sweep to the end.

Next on my list, Ulysses. Apparently that is the best book written in the 20th century. That got me curious. So I’m gonna read it.

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5 Responses to “The Great Gatsby”

  1. Anna Says:

    The funny thing is that there are many books that I THINK I have read. There were about 15 books that were given as oral book reports in high school over and over and over. Gatsby is one of them. Anything by Hemingway or Steinbeck’s more popular books. A few people tackled Hawthorne, and I listened to our valedictorian give an entire report talking about Pen-a-lope (like antelope).

    I have read Ulysses, and did not love it, but it was for a class, not for fun. I DID enjoy knowing what people were talking about when I was in Dublin and our tour made several references to it.

  2. beth Says:

    I remember reading this as a high school student and LOVING it. I loved it so much that I also read a biography of Zelda Fitzgerald after having studied the novel and F.Scott Fitzgerald. Of course, 25 years later I really don’t remember the book very well except being surprised by the lovely writing in some of the passages, particularly at the end.

  3. Tammy Says:

    I am starting to think that “great” literature is really best read as a an adult. I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate the Great Gatsby as a teen. I wouldn’t have had enough cultural references and appreciation for social nuances that make the tale so interesting. And I certainly wouldn’t have liked all the description.

    I remember very well the pop fiction I read in high school. It had an impact on me then. The stuff I read for school – I remember maybe one or two books. Now, the stuff I used to read doesn’t appeal to me at all. The subtle greats seem far more interesting, as well as nonfiction and hard-science fiction.

    Perhaps it’s not a coincidence that now’s the time in my life where I find myself hankering to write so much. I’ve always been a writer, but I wasn’t able to appreciate it. And now that I can, I can also appreciate the great writing of others.

  4. Summer Says:

    I actually really liked The Great gatsby, but most people I know didn’t. I’m just a sucker for older literature though.

  5. Kris Says:

    I’ve not read The Great Gatsby, but count me among the people who managed to skip most of the classics. I, too, am working to finally read some of these. I recently picked up and read The Catcher in the Rye. I absolutely hated it. The Grapes of Wrath was one I did read – and love – and yet I’ve run into numersous people who thought it was terrible. Interesting how a book considered classic can also be considered so terrible by some readers!


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