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The Great Gatsby [Paperback]

F. Scott Fitzgerald
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (863 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 30 2004
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.

The Great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature.

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Product Description

From Amazon

In 1922, F Scott Fitzgerald announced his decision to write "something new--something extraordinary and beautiful and simple, intricately patterned". That extraordinary, beautiful, intricately patterned and, above all, simple novel became The Great Gatsby, arguably Fitzgerald's finest work and certainly the book for which he is best known. A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author's generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald's--and his country's--most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed and the promise of new beginnings. "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther... And one fine morning--" Gatsby's rise to glory and eventual fall from grace be comes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream.

It's also a love story, of sorts, the narrative of Gatsby's quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan. The pair meet five years before the novel begins, when Daisy is a legendary young Louisville beauty and Gatsby an impoverished officer. They fall in love, but while Gatsby serves overseas, Daisy marries the brutal, bullying but extremely rich Tom Buchanan. After the war, Gatsby devotes himself blindly to the pursuit of wealth by whatever means--and to the pursuit of Daisy, which amounts to the same thing. "Her voice is full of money," Gatsby says admiringly, in one of the novel's more famous descriptions. His millions made, Gatsby buys a mansion across Long Island Sound from Daisy's patrician East Egg address, throws lavish parties and waits for her to appear. When s he does, events unfold with all the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama, with detached, cynical neighbour Nick Carraway acting as chorus throughout. Spare, elegantly plotted and written in crystalline prose, The Great Gatsby is as perfectly satisfying as the best kind of poem. Perry Freeman, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Readers in that sizeable group of people who think The Great Gatsby is the Great American Novel will be delighted with Robbins's subtle, brainy and immensely touching new reading. There have been audio versions of Gatsby before this-by Alexander Scourby and Christopher Reeve, to name two-but actor/director Robbins brings a fresh and bracing vision that makes the story gleam. From the jaunty irony of the title page quote ("Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover, I must have you!") to the poetry of Fitzgerald's ending about "the dark fields of the republic" and "boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past," Robbins conjures up a sublime portrait of a lost world. And as a bonus, the excellent audio actor Robert Sean Leonard reads a selection of Fitzgerald's letters to editors, agents and friends which focus on the writing and selling of the novel. Listeners will revel in learning random factoids, e.g., in 1924, Scott and Zelda were living in a Rome hotel that cost just over $500 a month, and he was respectfully suggesting that his agent Harold Ober ask $15,000 from Liberty magazine for the serial rights to Gatsby.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Small but powerful book March 28 2006
Format:Paperback
By now, there's little dispute about "Gatsby" being the classic that it is. And if you're not a fan, if nothing else, you didn't have to invest a great amount of time inthe book, for it is not long. But the character of Jay Gatsby is quite unique. Jay Gatsby loves without judgment, without conquest or need. The sad irony is that the object of such noble sentiment is a shallow yet benign Daisy, a lethargic, bored, and wealthy philistine. Gatsby is not a wise hero, otherwise this novel would be pedantic and obvious. Gatsby shares the shallowness of modern society, and its belief system of material possession. Gatsby is, simply put, 'unaffected', pure, a blind unabashed dreamer. Jay and his friends, all rather crass and shallow except for our narrator and moral moderator, Nick Calloway, go back and forth between cocktail parties, driving under T.J Eckleberg's Eyes, an abandoned billboard optometry advertisement. Themes of T.S. Eliot's hauntingly prophetic Wasteland are echoed. When a drunken night of obliviousness ends in the death of Tom Buchanan's (a fierce egoist and staunch 'realist') mistress, the moral fiber of all those involved break down, and finger's begin to twitch and point.This book is jam-packed with insight about not only the 1920s, but the human condition in general. Filled with metaphors and poetic writing, Fitzgerald has given us one remarkable piece of literature for the ages.
KATZENJAMMER by Jackson McCrae and CATCHER IN THE RYE by Salinger
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellence Oct. 6 2012
By Troy Parfitt TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I think, or I glean, that American high school students are required to read this book, held up as a shining example of national literature. Perhaps because I’m not American, this novel wasn’t on any lists when I studied English in high school and university. Just as well; I mightn’t have appreciated it then.

It’s understandable that The Great Gatsby would be taught; it’s damned good. It’s tight, compact, linear, and practically every sentence is a work of art. I bought the audio book and listened to it twice. Then I picked up the novel and read it in a couple of days. It’s excellent; there’s no way around it. It’s also rather different from Tender is the Night, also good, perhaps more evolved, but not nearly as flash or impactful.

If someone employed Fitzgerald’s style today, their prose would likely be labeled too ornate. A shame, because it’s poetic and powerfully descriptive.

Troy Parfitt is the author of Why China Will Never Rule the World
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
"The Great Gatsby" is a sad book. But perhaps the saddest thing of all is that F Scott Fitzgerald's tragic, moving portrayal of the American Dream demonstrates that the typical American's pre-occupation with the yearning for wealth, class and an easier life can ultimately be so empty, so meaningless and so utterly unfulfilling.

When Nick Carraway left what he saw as a comfortable but mundane existence in the Midwest, he moved East to a magnetic New York City to learn the bond business. Renting a "weather beaten cardboard bungalow" in a town called West Egg on Long Island, he met a distant cousin, Daisy Buchanan; her husband, Tom, struggling to live up to the brilliance of a university football career in New Haven; and his next door neighbour, Jay Gatsby, an enigmatic man whose wealth had originated from mysterious means. The many rumours hinted at everything from Prohibition rum-running to murder.

The actual plot of the story, told through the eyes of narrator Nick Carraway, is so utterly pointless and virtually directionless as to leave the reader wondering how such simplistic, almost mindless melodrama manages to be so compelling and so captivating.

Nick tells the story of his move to New York City. We learn that Jay Gatsby had fallen in love with Daisy Buchanan several years earlier, at a time when he was an impoverished nobody and couldn't hope to marry someone like her. After Gatsby leaves to go to war, her subsequent marriage to Tom Buchanan is ultimately unsuccessful as Tom has an affair with Myrtle Wilson, the wife of a local mechanic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rich story June 2 2005
By Monica
Format:Paperback
"The Great Gatsby" is one of the most exquisite books I have ever read to date that deals with most if not all aspects of love and the challenges of life. There is so much to learn especially for us in this modern world where so many people use the word "love" without really knowing what it truly means. The author is so descriptive that I sometimes felt as if I was in the story. He made it easy for readers to penetrate the souls of the characters and relate to their lives.
The character development is prodigious, while prose is outstanding. I felt as much for Gatsby as I have for any other character. He had always had high aspirations, but his dreams were taken away from him by the fact the he had to fight a war, and he could never be the same again. Gatsby's ambition is to have his former love, who is now married to an unfaithful husband, a quest that saw outstanding twist and turns in the story to make it the great read we have heard so much about. This book is truly inspirational for everyone irrespective of race, gender, age or occupation.Recommended stories are DISCIPLES OF FORTUNE, THE USURPER AND OTHERS, THE SCARLET LETTER, WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS, in the sense that they go to add to this rich theme
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I like the book
Published 9 days ago by fusenhao30
2.0 out of 5 stars I had heard The Great Gatsby was a "Great American Classic"
I had heard The Great Gatsby was a "Great American Classic", with Tom Sawyer, Grapes of Wrath, Little Women. What a disappointment! Read more
Published 17 days ago by Kirrie Summers
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing!
better than the movie! more detail and definitely more interesting as a book. I highly recommend this book as a read and the movie after.
Published 23 days ago by Sarah
2.0 out of 5 stars Although considered an American classic, I found it superficial ...
Although considered an American classic, I found it superficial and very much overrated. Who really cares about a social climbing gangster, a ditzy broad and a reactionary... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bill Armstrong
5.0 out of 5 stars great book now that i understand it
Like many people, I first read this in high school. I hated it then but this time around (40 years later!), I loved it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by binthere
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book
I loved this book! Just wish it was longer. Amazing descriptive writing with so much detail you really felt present. Can't wait to see the move.
Published 1 month ago by Rachel Wheat
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic that is fun to read
It's the Great Gatsby. 'Nuff said.
Published 2 months ago by Trenton Farewell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Classic
Published 2 months ago by Carlos C
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thank you for the great book - I enjoyed it very much. Look forward to download other books.
Ilana.
Published 2 months ago by Ilana Strummer
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
not as interesting as people said it'd be.
Definitely not in my top 50 books.
Published 2 months ago by Mahya
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