This review is spoiler free.
“I hope she’ll be a fool — that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
Published: 2012, by Alma Books.
Genre: Classics, Fiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Literature, Romance
Contains: Anger, Violence, Death
‘The Great Gatsby’ follows Nick Carraway, a young bachelor who has just settled in the neighbouring cottage beside a lavish mansion. After being invited to an extravagant party at the said mansion, Nick meets the mysterious host, Jay Gatsby, a self-made man with a shadowy past. As the two strike up an unlikely friendship, details of Gatsby’s love for a married woman emerge, and events spiral into tragedy.
‘The Great Gatsby’ is often regarded as a literary classic, depicting the cautionary critique of the American dream. Personally, I’ve always thought of the novel as a masterpiece, it being my favourite book of all-time, and after having a few years away from it I thought it was about time I returned to it. And I’m so glad that I did.
Nick Carraway made for an incredible protagonist, the novel written as his version of events regarding the reunion of Daisy and Gatsby without interfering too much. It was obvious that the man cares deeply for Gatsby, aware of his lies but still standing by his side. Nick feels sympathetic towards Gatsby, believing him to be a lonely man, so he does all he can to ensure he’s got company beside him and people he can trust.
Gatsby is my favourite fictional character of all time, exploring the theme of loneliness brilliantly in the form of extravagant lies and deceptions. He’s surrounded by so many people at his parties, and yet none of them could point him out within a crowd. He’s living a lie, and yet you feel sorry for him.
Daisy, however, is a character we’re conflicted by from the start. She’s sweet, innocent, and adored, and yet she’s another victim to loneliness. Torn between lovers, we’re guided through the story by her to its epic conclusion where she shows her true colours. She’s a deeply sad character, and we can’t help but be torn of our feelings towards her.
The story itself is written concisely, told in only nine chapters, making it the perfect weekend read. Fitzgerald guides you through the story with lavish descriptions and dialogue, highlighting his talent for exposition and hitting you full-force with the twists and turns of the plot. Told from Nick’s perspective, he’s an unreliable narrator, but we trust his opinions from the get-go, immediately empathising with these characters and desperate to have our questions answered.
Overall, I deeply adore this novel. The descriptions awe me, the dialogue intrigues me, and the characters pull on my heart-strings. I’ll forever recommend this novel.