The Great Gatsby, Hardback Book
3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


These sumptuous new hardback editions mark the 70th anniversary of Fitzgerald's death.Jay Gatsby is the man who has everything.

Everybody who is anybody is seen at his glittering parties.

Day and night his Long Island mansion buzzes with bright young things drinking, dancing and debating his mysterious character.

For Gatsby - young, handsome, fabulously rich - always seems alone in the crowd, watching and waiting, though no one knows what for.

Beneath the shimmering surface of his life he is hiding a secret: a silent longing for the one thing that will always be out of his reach. And soon this destructive obsession will force his world to unravel.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780141194059

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by
The Great Gatsby is one of those classics that almost every eclectic reader is bound to read sooner or later, whether for school or for fun or just to find out what all the fuss is about. It's also, however, a classic that no one really seems to know that much about until they read it (the Baz Lurhmann movie may have changed all that now, I don't know). All I really knew was that there was a narrator called Nick Carraway, lots of decadent alcohol-soaked parties, and that a long-standing romance between the enigmatic Jay Gatsby and a girl called Daisy was important.This was a beautifully written novel with a cast of flawed and interesting characters and a strong dose of extremely pointed social commentary - so why couldn't I rate it higher than I did? Perhaps in some ways the fundamental nature of the characters, their shady backgrounds and compulsive lies and airy aloofness, served to distance me from their story rather than drawing me in. Every time I thought I'd got a handle on a character they got flipped around again. It's skilfully done by Fitzgerald, but it didn't allow me to really invest in anything that happened.To be honest, I think one of the most irritating things for me was that just before I started reading the novel, some idiot on the internet spoiled the ending for me. Obviously I'm not going to say too much, but I really think the climax would have knocked me for six and added a lot to my lasting impression of the book had I not known what was coming.As the novel progressed the contextual themes and philosophical musings occasionally got a bit heavy-handed, but I did enjoy the insight into the shifts and changes happening in Twenties society. Fitzgerald's careful skewering of rampant materialism and consumerism, of the corruption of wealth, and the poignant emptiness of the façade created by 'new money', is very well done. Jay Gatsby is the embodiment of an ambitious self-made man holding on to an impossible dream, Daisy is a shallow butterfly, and her husband Tom is the epitome of arrogant privilege and entitled cruelty. Of course, we only ever see what the gentle (though clearly biased) Nick Carraway wants to show us, but we can read between the lines.I liked this novel. I really did. I think I'll get more from it on a second reading, and I'm definitely looking forward to watching a couple of different adaptations to see how they take this dazzling story into a new medium. I quite liked Jay Gatsby in the end, which I think helped cement my enjoyment of the book as a whole, and I very much liked Fitzgerald's smooth writing style. I'll definitely be reading more of his work - probably starting with Tender is the Night - and immersing myself further in the world of flappers and frippery to which he so frequently returns.
Review by

At it's core it's about ambition. Not avarice seeking satisfaction in having or gaining the material per se but the longing for happiness. And how so often it dangles just beyond our grasp.<br/><br/>“There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.”<br/><br/>“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.”<br/><br/>“There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams -- not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.”

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