Greatest Novels – The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (2)

A book about the American dream, new rich versus old rich, and the notion of success. A very good book, but perhaps a bit overrated. The lyrical style is very impressive, and I commend its brevity, but really at the end of the novel, are you anywhere different than when you began. The achievement seems to me to be the tightness of the story told, which is fortunate, since the out of order story telling sometimes makes it difficult to figure out what has happened. Though Gatsby is certainly very good, I don’t find it greatly superior to, say, To Kill a Mockingbird, which is perhaps not as lyrically impressive, but an excellent example of this style of novel, nevertheless.

[Originally written June 12, 2002]

One Response to “Greatest Novels – The Great Gatsby”

  1. Emma Roads says:

    I don’t feel that The Great Gatsby is overrated in the least. Set in the Jazz Age of America, Fitzgerald superbly tackles issues such as the American Dream, wealth and class, materialism, and marital infidelity. It is exemplary in his simultaneous embrace of and disdain for 1920s luxury. It also works fabulously as a history lesson and a novel as it perfectly captures the setting and decadence of the era. Shmoop has some interesting opinions on The Great Gatsby, if you want to know more.