2013. Scribner (Simon & Schuster). 180 pp.
For years I’d wanted to read this book, but always found others that claimed my attention. However when I recently found myself at the airport, almost finished with my current book and about to embark on a 3+ hour flight without one, I wandered into the bookstore and decided this was the time to read Fitzgerald’s much heralded book. Plus, I was interested in seeing the movie version that had just been released, and it’s my practice to always read the book before seeing the movie.
Narrated by Mr. Carraway, readers are taken into the indulgent lifestyles of the rich and famous from the 1920’s. Barely managing to afford a small, windswept cottage situated alongside palatial summer mansions on Long Island’s shoreline, Mr. Carraway uses his forgotten piece of property to spy out the happenings around him. One of these mansions is occupied by his second cousin Daisy Buchanan, and her husband Tom, while another contains the mysterious Gatsby.
Gatsby’s palatial mansion overflows with hundreds of invited and uninvited guests, gaiety, liquor and loud parties every night, but Mr. Carraway soon discovers they are a cover for the love Gatsby has felt for Daisy for the past five years. The elusive Gatsby endures the nightly parties as a way of getting his name known, but has one goal in mind: to be reunited with Daisy.
Mixed in with their love story is Carraway’s insight into the lives, thoughts and mindsets of those around him and what each will do to get ahead in their worlds. The freedom brought on by the love of money and liquor, as well as what happens when too much of each is consumed, leaves readers to imagine the heartaches and headaches that must have been experienced by Fitzgerald to so accurately describe his period of time placed into print for the world to see. I am glad to have finally made the acquaintance of Gatsby.
For adults and mature readers aged 17 and older.