Book review: The Great Gatsby

The Great GatsbyThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am not going to review one of the all-time classic American novels, since people with bigger brains than mine have already made much smarter comments about it over the past 89 years.

I will say that I was curious to see how I’d react to the book as an adult, having last read it as part of my high school curriculum nearly 89 years ago. I didn’t remember much about it except it involved places called Eggs, something something about cars and Gatsby, who was an enigmatic and ultimately pathetic sort of fraud. Mostly I recalled the lack of explosions, monsters, ghosts and sharks. It did have gun play and a car chase, of sorts, so there was that.

Mostly I am left with two things, having now re-read it lo these many years later: the bitter snark of Nick Carraway, the narrator, as he observes these rich and wretched people, and the utter bleakness of the story. Nick leaves West Egg essentially having gained nothing and being worse for the experience. Gatsby, of course, picks a very bad time to finally take a dip in the swimming pool. This is not the book to read when fantasizing about what you’d do if you won the lottery.

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