Friday, October 14, 2011

Book Review: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

To re-read The Great Gatsby was probably one of the easiest things to accomplish on my 101 in 1001 list. To the point where, upon finishing this book in a mere two days, I wondered whether it was too easy and if maybe I should edit that goal to be something more like "Re-read three books I was required to read in high school."

But you know what? A lot of my 101 goals are kind of difficult. To the point where I don't even know if I'll be able to finish some of them. So I'm letting this one slide ;)

As for the book itself - I liked it just fine in high school, but re-reading it now, at 28 years old, I'm not sure I really understood it. Not just the beauty of Fitzgerald's prose, but the characters themselves - both their flaws and their perfections. Is this, as so many claim, "the great American novel"? I honestly don't know and I'm certainly not qualified to say either way. But I finished it in two days, I enjoyed it, and regardless of whether you were forced to read it in high school I think it's definitely a novel everyone should read as an adult. 4/5 stars.

"'That's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.'"

"I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life."

"'I like large parties. They're so intimate. At small parties there isn't any privacy.'"

"Most affectations conceal something eventually, even though they don't in the beginning."

"Dishonesty in a woman is a thing you never blame deeply."

"'There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.'"

"Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry."

"No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart."

"It is invariably saddening to look through new eyes at things upon which you have expended your own powers of adjustment."

"'Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.'"

"I was thirty. Before me stretched the portentous, menacing road of a new decade."

"'Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.'"

"Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter - tomorrow we will run faster, stretch our arms farther...And one fine morning - So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." Pin It

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