The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story is of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his new love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.
The Great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature. (Goodreads)
Author’s Note: The rant you are about to read is just that – a rant. Everything said within this blog is a result of my reading of The Great Gatsby. If you don’t like my opinions, I guess I’m sorry? If my opinions offend you, I AM SO SORRY (sincerely). I am not here to make anyone feel bad, except, maybe, this book.
Note: If you are here looking for some deep insights to help you get an A on your Grade 12 English paper, you are in the wrong place. I am sorry, buddy, but this isn’t Spark Notes or your regular review. Let the rant begin!
Well, old sport, it’s ridiculously overrated.
Before I started to write this rant, I decided to do a simple Google search to see what was being said about the novel. Why? Well, I know The Great Gatsby is considered a classic.
One of the first search results was from The Guardian, which said, “Almost 90 years later, Gatsby is regularly named one of the greatest novels ever written in English, and has annually sold millions of copies globally.”
Call me lazy, but I stopped after this. However, it felt like it addressed what it needed to – people like this novel. I think the numbers above prove that.
Cool, I am just not one of them. (Unfortunately, I contributed to those millions of copies sold.)
Ok, so I don’t hate it, but I didn’t love it. This poor book probably suffered from my high expectations. Unlike a lot of other people, I was not required to read this novel in high school, so I didn’t approach it like an ignorant teenager. I’ve heard of Scotty-boy and this novel that keeps being made into films (I mean, they cast Leo), so it has to be pretty good, right?
Meh. Just one big ol’ meh.
Ya, there are the parties with a mysterious host. Sure, there are affairs. Embarrassingly (or maybe not), I can’t get more specific than that. That is how little of a mark this book left on me.
I definitely think I was a victim of ‘popularity’ here. While the era interests me, the lifestyle of the people did not. Not once did I feel sympathy, love, hate, or any other emotion to any of the characters. For heaven’s sake – the ‘tragedy’ is more from the lack of connection between me and the story than from any actual tragedy written on the page.
I cannot stress enough how disappointed I was with this. I was so sure this would be one of those moments when a grand literary door opens for me – you know, the feeling you get when you read a great novel for the first time? Instead, it just made me want to throw a roarin’ twenties themed bash.
Hey! Wait – maybe that’s what makes it so popular? We all just wanna make mad money and throw bangin’ (yup, I said bangin’ because I am hip and cool) parties where we can be this elusive host. If that is the case, then this book was a grand slam for me!
Overall, the only great about The Great Gatsby is that it was short.
Comment below with your thoughts on this book. If the Goodreads ratings are any indication, a lot of you will disagree with me. That’s ok. This is a safe place for rants. Just be sure to play nice and mind your manners. Read more book reviews and rants here.