6.0 Great? Where?
The main reason I have dived into the book is because it is so small! The book is like a Kindle Fire in both its 2D dimensions and thickness. With a false assurance from its torn pages (a sign of ample readership) and the adaptation into a major movie, I thought a 180 page novel couldn’t be a great waste of time. I don’t think I was any more impressed with the book than with the food in Britain. If there weren’t anything wrong with a highly claimed classics, it must be that I was born too late to appreciate the art.
For a 180 pages story, it has spent unsparingly first 1/3 of the book to set the background of the story. The story was narrated from Nick’s perspective who just moved to the prosperous Long Island in searching of wealth and fame. His friend Tom is having an audacious affair with Myrtle who is married to an auto mechanic George. Soon Nick made an acquaintance with a mysterious neighbour who threw lavish parties at his grand estate regularly. Having the great party and speculating how this mysterious new comer accumulated his wealth were the entertainments of the town. This new comer was the Great Gatsby. Soon it turned out that Tom’s wife Daisy was Gatsby’s ex-lover who left Gatsby because he was too poor. Gatsby was trying to approach Daisy again through Nick and Daisy’s friend Jordan. Gatsby carefully selected his new home to be opposite to Daisy’s and next to Nick’s. With his newly accumulated wealth and fame, Gatsby easily accomplished his desire. Everyone was cheating. It soon reached a point Tom and Gatsby had a show down.
The whole story reached a climax when Myrtle was killed by Daisy in a car accident. While Gatsby was ready to protect Daisy at any cost, Daisy colluded with Tom to frame the responsibility to Gatsby. Later, Myrtle’s husband George who was misled by Tom believed that Gatsby was the secret lover and the murderer of his wife Myrtle. George sneaked into Gatsby’s mansion and murdered Gatsby before murdering himself. At the end of the story, three people were killed. But Tom and Daisy who have created all the havoc just vanished unscathed.
Great? Where? I can only see that Gatsby was great at throwing lavish parties and falling in love with the wrong person. I hope these were not enviable personal traits even when Fitzgerald wrote the story. However, the book was surprisingly heart wrenching with so little words. It was woven with troves of beautiful words that I struggled with an dictionary to decipher meanings.
I always believe books are better than movies. This will be the first exception. At least I don’t need a dictionary in the cinema.