Friday, 31 May 2019

The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald


The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
First published in America by Charles Scribner's Sons in April 1925. Audiobook narrated by Frank Muller published by Recorded Books in 1984.

My 1920s read for my 2018-19 Decade Challenge and one of my Classics Club reads

How I got this book:
Bought the audiobook from Audible

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


No one fictional or factual embodies the Jazz Age as completely as F. Scott Fitzgerald's Jay Gatsby. First published in 1925, this legendary novel continues to enthrall generations as it serves as a lens to view our not so distant past. Many of our notions about that period are taken from the pages of this book. Bathtub gin, flappers, and house parties that last all week enliven Fitzgerald's classic tale. Stylish and engaging, The Great Gatsby is also a startling literate portrait of Gatsby's search for meaning in his opulent world.

With his sharp social insight and breathtaking lyricism, Fitzgerald stands out as one of the most important American writers of the 20th century. Frank Muller's timeless interpretation enhances the imagery of Gatsby's stylish and unfulfilling world with brilliance and insight beyond the printed word.

I first listened to this audiobook of The Great Gatsby in April 2010, so nine years ago, and see from my Goodreads that I rated it 4 stars. Frank Muller does a wonderful job of the narration for my edition. His laconic style perfectly suits the story. This recording is no longer available through Audible though so the Amazon links above go to a Jake Gyllenhaal narrated edition instead.

Listening to the story again now I'm wavering between a four and five star rating. I absolutely love Fitzgerald's prose style which is clear and elegant, yet beautifully richly detailed. His portrayal of these essentially unlikeable selfish people is redolent with jazz age atmosphere and I am in awe of his ability to actually get me to care deeply about what happens to them and the catastrophe they create for themselves. What I didn't like however is Fitzgerald's casual racism and antisemitism. I am not sure whether readers were supposed to empathise with Tom Buchanan's racist comments, and I was quickly upset by Fitzgerald's need to repeatedly draw attention to Jewish character Meyer Wolfsheim's nose. That said, I did enjoy the storyline and wasn't prepared for all its twists and turns. I did even feel a little sorry for Gatsby by the end. And what did become of the puppy?

Etsy Find!
by Pimlico Prints in
London, England

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Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by F Scott Fitzgerald / Contemporary fiction / Books from America

2 comments:

  1. I've never read the book or watched the film I'm afraid!

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  2. I have to admit I am not a fan of this classic. I find the narrative to be very awkward and I also really didn't like the portrayal of women with Daisy... but I recently watched the movie and thought it was pretty good! I think Di Caprio does a brilliant job with the acting.

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