Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Reads: The Great Gatsby

This week--one of those books that, really, has anyone *not* read given its proliferation in high school reading lists?

Genre: The American Classic

By: Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald. Yes, he was named for the fella who wrote The Star Spangled Banner.

What's it about?  Privileged people and the tangled webs they weave.  And nearly crippling emotional issues and partying.  (I kept wanting a glass of Champagne while reading--I mean, all the characters got to have fancy cocktails!)

Why did I pick it? Two reasons--I haven't read it since high school and remembered enjoying it then, and with the film adaptation in the works, it came to mind.  That, and my husband was glued to the Bears/Packers game last night and I needed something to do.  This was handy.

Who will like it?  It's not pacey, it's not high-action, but it's still engrossing if you like digging into characters and a little bit of intrigue borne out of shadowy pasts.  When we talk "plot driven" vs "character driven" fiction, this is a staunch representative of "character driven."

Judging a book by its cover: Can you for this book? I learned something--the cover actually preceded the finished manuscript for this novel.  Fitzgerald's editor commissioned a contemporary artist to create the cover art  and it was done seven months before the book.  Does it capture the essence of the story?  Well, a gaudy carnival and the overwhelming presence of desperate sadness does kinda nail it.

What classics have you read or reread and enjoyed--maybe school assignments turned personal favorites?  Are there classics from the cannon of literature that you'd rather not give a second glance?


  1. I recently read Edith Wharton's "The Bucanneers". I've wanted to for quite some time, so I made myself to sit down and stick with it. I love her slightly snarky style!

    I detested both "The Lord of the Flies" by William Golding and "1984" by George Orwell. I was forced, I tell you!

    1. I'll have to check out The Bucanneers! I enjoyed the miniseries...mostly for the fab clothing :) Lord of Flies wasn't my favorite--and while I liked 1984 well enough, I never got why it was "the" dystopian to study when I feel like Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451 were so much more interesting!