Review: The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby Scott FItzgerald

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Classic fiction

Goodreads / Amazon / Skoob

Trying to review a classic is always a dramatic thing: the book normally becomes a classic when a lot of high schoolers have dissected the text a bunch of times and are sick of it. Reviewing The Great Gatsby required me to watch the Leonardo DiCaprio movie (what a terrible sacrifice) and read analyses and reviews online to help structure my thoughts.

The Great Gatsby is two stories in one: the story of Gatsby and Daisy’s love affair during the roaring twenties, told through the eyes of Nick, and also the story of the decaying American Dream.

As a first impression, I liked but didn’t love this novel. I loved its language: the sentences Fitzgerald creates are rather beautifully built and full of symbolism, but I found the characters difficult to understand. I don’t need to relate to a character or to like them in order to enjoy a novel, but with this one I couldn’t always understand the reasons behind some actions, nor completely grasp the personality of each one.

It is difficult for me, as a Brazilian living in Europe, to actually speak much for the American Dream theme that is the undertone of this novel. I did love its cynical symbolism and it got me thinking of idealization of people and of the future, of the decadence of morals and character, of privilege and lack thereof.

I found Daisy an incredibly curious character that I failed to fully understand, but was fascinated by nonetheless. Her appearance as an unattainable dream, much too distorted by Gatsby’s rosy view of the past for it to be possible for him to reach was thought-provoking, and the fact that she is heavily based upon Zelda Fitzgerald is very interesting! I couldn’t dislike her. Gatsby himself was someone I had trouble understanding too, with his strange way of speaking, both intense and naïve.

I do recommend this novel if you do not mind the slow pace of the first half of the novel (which is short, in any case), and I recommend the 2013 movie with Leonardo DiCaprio very highly, I loved it so much and it helped me understand Gatsby’s character better!

33 thoughts on “Review: The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

  1. I had to read this novel for the first time when I was in highschool and hate such a hate-relationship with the thing. It wasn’t pretty. But that was purely because I wanted to read my own books and not HAVE to read books for school. I was at an age that simply disliked being forced to do things, obviously. Haha.

    I reread The Great Gatsby this year though. I was pretty much slacking through the first half of the book because it was.. well, I can’t use any other word than boring, really. I felt like there was a lot of running around in circles, instead of actually getting somewhere.
    The moment that changed, I flew through the pages! Although I’m not that overly familiar with the American Dream either, I did enjoy the entire novel. Less than I would’ve if the first part of the book would’ve had the same speed as the second, but still.

    As for the movie: Yes, yes and yes!
    Even though it’s a classic, I’ll just go ahead and say it:
    I prefer the movie. But that might be because of DiCaprio. Just a little bit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • School has a great way to discourage people from reading! It’s sad, really!

      Yes, the narration at times felt chunky, like the author was making the novel a bit longer because he liked his own writing, or whatever. The ending definitely goes much faster!!

      I loved the performance of Gatsby, Daisy and Jordan in the movie! But those visuals!! It was so exaggerated, but in a good way, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yup, it is. I was thrilled when one of my teachers gave me the all-clear when I had to create a reading portfolio though. I was the only one who could just go all freestyle instead of following her fixed schedule, simply because she knew I practically lived in the local library back then. THAT is a good way of encouraging me to read, haha.

        Yup! If there’s one thing I hate, it’s noticing that chapters could’ve been a whole lot shorter because of all the unnecessary stuff in it. [The more I think about it, the more I’m getting that feeling with Eleanor Oliphant..?]
        That ending just went by like it was nothing! I remember wondering why the first part of the novel couldn’t have been like that as well, haha.

        It was exaggerated, but I also think it kind of fit with the time period and the message the movie / novel / writer wanted to send out. And DiCaprio is just perfect for exaggerated messages and acting anyway, haha.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Yay!! Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed, I found it such a different novel from what I expected (I didn’t know much about it before reading) that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have, which is why I was googling it to make sense of it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!! The book definitely has layers that the movie lacks, but the 2013 version is definitely a treat for the eyes, the visuals were done expensively (maybe too much?) and lavishly.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve read The Great Gatsby a number of times and it is still an intriguing read to me. I remember really looking forward to the latest movie adaptation, and I did enjoy seeing Leo DiCaprio as Gatsby. The casting of the whole movie was great.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a conflicted relationship with this book. I don’t like much of Fitzgerald’s work, I don’t like the bitter tone of this book, and I don’t really like any of the characters. But for some reason it’s still a compelling book. It’s confusing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: The Fall for Books Tag | Lost: Purple Quill

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