Set in the 1920’s, The Great Gatsby has no doubt been on University reading lists for many years and now, thanks to the recent Hollywood tribute to this work I am sure many others have turned to this American Classic.
Through the eyes of Nick Carraway, a Yale Graduate and World War I Veteran, we get an insight into the party life of the wealthy residents living in the mansions of West Egg, a fictional town on Long Island.
About The Great Gatsby
The story, based on the life of the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby, highlights the highs and lows of life during this era. Themes of extravagance and excess run alongside those of social upheaval, resistance to change and the desire to be something more than destiny would dictate.
After receiving an invite to one of Gatsby’s parties, Nick Carraway begins to unravel the past of this secretive character; revealing how intrinsically lives of others are impacted by the choices of just one man. Lives are both lost and ruined; the high life turning hellish for all concerned.
Originally, the title for this novel was going to be ‘Trimalchio in West Egg’. Trimalchio, being a character from the 1st Century work ‘Satyricon’ by Petronius, was a man who through hard work and perseverance attained power and wealth. This mirrors the struggles and successes of Gatsby himself.
What Others Thought of The Great Gatsby
First published in 1925, The Great Gatsby received mixed reviews. In its first year, the book sold just 20,000 copies. Sadly, Fitzgerald died believing himself to be a failure, thinking his work would be forgotten. Clearly not the case, this novel is now classed as a literary classic, consistently ranked among the greatest works of American literature.
Our Thoughts on The Great Gatsby
Is this his best work? – that is down to the individual to decide. At just 115 pages this is more of a short story rather than an epic novel and whilst it does demonstrate the writing skill of a world renowned author his other works are just as powerful and fantastic to read.
Have you read The Great Gatsby? Perhaps you prefer one of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s other novels? We would love to hear any reading recommendations you have for us.
Alternatively, maybe you are looking for other book recommendations. If so, check out our other book reviews for inspiration.