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The Great Gatsby

(52 Posts)

I don't like it much but I need to start doing so, before dd disowns me. SO please can you tell me - a) why you think it is brilliant and b) other novels which would work well as companion pieces to it (eg I think Breakfast At Tiffany's might).

KatyMac Sun 05-May-13 19:57:07

DD & I just saw the Northern Ballet's version; it was amazing dancing but tbh neither DD, her friend, her teacher nor I really understood the story

We talked ourselves in circles; I'd looked it up on Wiki & there was a synopsis in the programme but we were so out of our depth

fuzzpig Sun 05-May-13 19:58:43

Thanks hassled, I'll give it a go, smile I've downloaded it. Will attempt to read it before seeing the film but I'm a slow reader these days.

Although I work in a library I don't get much time to read all the lovely books I see <sniff> (should probably MN a bit less blush)

redlac Sun 05-May-13 20:00:12

Catcher in the Rye is a far superior book to Gatsby!

MarianForrester Sun 05-May-13 20:00:48

Heresy, redlac!

I think they are equally irritating and trite tbh. There is clearly something I'm missing...

MarianForrester Sun 05-May-13 20:12:43

You are!

There is beautiful prose.

Melancholy theme. Love, loss, tragedy, violence, death. Personal stories as well as the backdrop of a lost and decadent age.

Beautiful descriptions, capturing all if the above.

It is simple, in a way, but Not Trite! smile

I will Try Harder...

MarianForrester Sun 05-May-13 20:18:38

Good grin

hackmum Mon 06-May-13 09:31:02

Marian, my problem with it is that it's a beautifully written book about very dull people.

MarianForrester Mon 06-May-13 10:30:05

You see, I wouldn't agree. It is quite stylised, but whilst they may be dull on the surface they are bubbling away with emotions and feelings underneath.

Maybe that's partly why I like the book. There is nothing I dislike more than highly expressed emotiongrin.

Well, I finished it for the third time last night. It left me cold tbh. I just don't get it - the writing is no better than lots of other writers (Waugh, Nabokov spring to mind) and it says so very, very little. I am really failing to see the point of it still. I WANT to like it but it just feels like eating the marzipan figures off the top of a really gaudy cake - I feel a bit sick and dirty and unsatisfied and still want something to eat, as it were.

LIZS Mon 06-May-13 18:16:14

I'm glad it isn't just me ! I've had it on my kindle for over a year, read it on and off (mainly while waiting for music lessons to finish) butjust don't get it . Come to think of it I've struggles with other US writers such as Hemingway and Twain.

JackieTheFart Mon 06-May-13 23:38:49

I don't hate it, don't love it either. I really like books of that era, but TGG and also Tender is the Night were just so totally 'meh'.

I want to see the film, only because I love the style of the era.

Jackie - can I ask which books of the era you've loved?

marissab Fri 10-May-13 09:54:56

Hmm, i was thinking of reading this as the trailor for the film looked amazing and i love the decadence o f the 20's, but you've all put me off now! I don't have much staying power for rubbish plots. It has to be gripping for me.

hugoagogo Sat 11-May-13 18:47:21

Oh I love the great gatsby (and catcher in the rye) maybe it's time for a reread.

Just re-read Catcher and actually really rather enjoyed it this time. Loathed it the two previous times I read it. Isn't it strange/interesting how books can work differently on you at different times?

mimbies Mon 13-May-13 17:42:04

The great Michael Foley put it better than I could -

Thewhingingdefective Mon 13-May-13 18:42:36

I thought it was overrated drivel. I only read it for my reading group cos it was cheap in the kindle sale.

I still want to see the film though as I do like that period of history and I can appreciate why the book was important. It just didn't float my boat.

BelleDameSansMerci Mon 13-May-13 19:03:02

Wow... Stunned that people don't like it or Tender Is The Night (which I prefer). Both of those and Fitzgerald's short stories stay with me - phrases and thoughts from them come to me all the time.

Ilovegeorgeclooney Tue 14-May-13 20:43:04

I love it and cannot believe that anyone can believe Gatsby is dull. My all time favourite book, the final lines were one of the few sources of comfort I could find when my husband died. But then what do I know........I adore Moby Dick!!!!!

Oh George. I'm so sorry to hear about your husband. I really do think books have different resonances at different times and for different readers. Unfortunately I've yet to tackle Gatsby at the right time for it and I to meet happily.

Moby Dick frustrated me. I loved the non-fiction-esque bits about blubber etc, but thought it was not effective as a story overall. I really wanted to love it but...maybe next time?

ParkerTheThief Tue 14-May-13 22:31:41

I love Fitzgerald. Many years ago I wrote my dissitation on Fitzgeralds flawed heros.
This thread has reminded me its time I did a major reread of all my favourites.

LaraMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 15-May-13 16:43:28

Hello. We just wanted you Gatsby fans to know that the Mumsnet Academy is currently taking bookings for a new one-day course called A Celebration of The Great Gatsby. Lunch is included - and Gatsby-inspired fancy dress is optional!

donnie Wed 15-May-13 18:20:36

I love it. To me, it captures the struggle between alienation and popularity as well as the hollowness and superficiality of the jazz age. I love the symbolism of the cars and money as well as the ash mountain hovering on the peripheries......very Dickensian IMO.
I have taught the novel many times for A level (currently doing for OCR) and so maybe I know it too well, but I see Fitzgerald as a very important member of an American canon which offers great insight in to the crisis of American identity and the fallout of the Great Depression. And the prose....the prose....the tragedy of Jay Gatz's funeral where "nobody ever came"...

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