I just finished reading the The Great Gatsby. It is the first book I read on my new Kindle e-reader. I bought this new Kindle to read the most popular classics and this book marked its beginning.
The Great Gatsby is a very popular book which has been made into multiple movies as well.
I had started reading this book multiple times in the past, but could not go past the second chapter. And I understood its reason after reading the whole book.
In this book containing 9 chapters, Mr. Jay Gatsby, who gives his name to this book, actually appears briefly in chapter 3 before properly appearing in chapters 4 to 8. First 2 chapters are filled with meaningless information about Gatsby’s parties which has nothing to do with the story.
Though it may seem that such description is required to create the real livid image of the lavish party’s thrown by Gatsby, it is overdone. At one place, a lot of guests are named with their short histories, which seems completely redundant.
Apart from the redundant parts, the story has merits of its own. It is a story about the dreams of a poor boy who loves a rich girl and could not get her, and his quest to get her (who is now married with a child), and not only get her, to hear from her that she has only loved him, and no one else.
The innocence of Gatsby is touching at places and selfishness & carelessness of Daisy (her estranged lover) is something to despise her.
I felt that the characters were not properly built and the meaningless description given at the beginning of the story could be replaced by more verbosity towards the second half of the story.
I could not feel the lost connection between Nick & Ms. Baker. Their breakup felt abrupt.
Tom Buchanan, Daisy’s husband, seems such a cliché character today as we have seen similar characters in innumerable novels & movies. It can be attributed to the story being 100 years old. I am sure it would have been original when this book was originally published in the 1920’s.
Reading old books feel like a time capsule. You can feel the rythm of the depicted era in all earnestness as it was written in that era. The narrator describes the three killings as holocaust, though this word has got much bigger meaning almost 2 decades after this novel during holocaust in Germany.
It tells us that world was a different place, though not different in a good sense, before the financial crisis of 1929-33, World War 2, Bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki etc.
It also describes how the world was before current technology. When Daisy feels pride mentioning that her husband has been photographed 127 times in his life as an achievement. It shows how far we have come in terms of technology.
Though I feel that lack of current technology did not hamper anything in life even 100 years ago. Life goes on the way it is.
One interesting thing I found out was that Fitzgerald, the author of the book, has heavily based this story on his own life. He based Gatsby on himself, Daisy is based on his estranged teenage lover, Tom is based on her lover’s husband & father, Baker is also based on a real person. Also, the story loosely matches a story written by her estranged lover and gifted to Fitzgerald. Search the internet to read more about this.
Overall, the book is a one-time read with some really good quotes. I am listing my favorite quotes from this book here.
You can buy a copy of this book from here- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.
Reserving judgments is a matter of infinite hope.
‘There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.’
ONE THING’S SURE AND NOTHING’S SURER THE RICH GET RICHER AND THE POOR GET—CHILDREN.
What was the use of doing great things if I could have a better time telling her what I was going to do?’
They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made….