1. drifter265
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    drifter265 Banned

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    The Great Gatsby

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by drifter265, Feb 28, 2013.

    I read it on my own time because of what I heard about it and I didn't get it. Probably 1/3 of it I blanked out not even knowing it and by the end I was lost. Maybe I should read it again? Why is this book considered the best book of all time?
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    You should definitely try reading it again. Fitzgerald is an extremely talented writer, and IMO, that's one of the things that makes this book enjoyable. I admit that it has lost its relevance somewhat because the novel relies heavily on the feelings and culture of the 1920s. In a way, this book is the exact opposite of John Steinbeck in that Steinbeck deals with a westward migration whereas Fitzgerald deals with characters moving to the east. But that's a whole different issue and not really relevant to this thread.

    Furthermore, the subject matter may be what's boring you, which I understand. This is one of those books that I think is best enjoyed later in life. I first read it in high school and thought it was just OK. After rereading it about 5 years later, I appreciated it a lot more, and I'll probably appreciate it even more in another 5 years.

    I don't know about calling it the best book of all time, but it's certainly one of the great American novels.
     
  3. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    There are some Youtube videos, Crashcourse it is called, a 'show' hosted by the author John Green in which he talks about Gatsby. These videos might help explain the novel a bit more. The videos are really informative, and I always enjoy Green's stuff.

    I love the book though, I love the use of language mostly. It's amazing.
     
  4. Mackers
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    Mackers Contributing Member

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    Gatsby is the most recent book I have read. I didn't even care about the story too much. I was honestly too busy enjoying the near perfect prose style.
     
  5. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't know how old you are, but I think that that book is really beyond the reach of most high school students. The nuances of the relationships between Daisy and her husband and her and Gatsby are really better understood and appreciated once one is a tad older. I recently re-read this for my book club, and a number of people said that they had read it in high school or when they were in their late teens and found it only okay, but enjoyed it much more now that they read it with "wiser eyes."
     
  6. Mackers
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    Mackers Contributing Member

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    I'm 22 and I have no idea of my level of maturity :D All I know is I enjoyed Gatsby. But I mean, whether you are a teenager or not, when you're about to read a book that was written in the 1920s surely you can understand that it's not going to capture the nuances of 21st century life.

    I think for aspiring writers who visit this site, the book should at least pique your interest for its prose. I loved Fitzgerald's turn of phrase.
     
  7. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually, one of the things I liked about Gatsby was its timeless quality. Yes, it was, in many ways, quintessentially 1920s, that wasn't really the important theme in the book, and most of it could have taken place in, say the 1980s. Much of it could even have taken place today, although with the role of technology, there would have been some differences in the telling of the story. But the underlying relationships could be exactly the same. I therefore don't think you can dismiss it by saying, "it took place in the Twenties. Of course I won't get all of it."
     
  8. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    The entire story had enough betrayals to make Darth Vader reconsider his lifestyle

    To be honest I read it when I was younger in high school and it was part of a school assignment and I'll be honest cliffnotes saved us. I felt the book was either too slow paced or the characters unlikeable but I just could not inject myself into the story at any point. It was all a slosh to me.

    But that being said there were a number of things my young mind thought shitty til I went back to revisit it. The main one being the Justice League Animated series, which had mature tones that weren't for my young mind so I automatically called it bad and boring because at the time I was used to Anime like DBZ always on an adrenaline rush and really didn't care for character building and storytelling. I'm now re-watching the series as an adult and I'm absolutely amazed at the sheer quality of the series.

    Other revisits like The Wire and The Sopranos I was glad I turned back to them

    You might not have liked the story at first but take the time to read it again, perhaps you'll find what you thought was missing
     
  9. molark
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    molark Member

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    Please quote a line or two so we can get a get a sample of prose worth enjoying.
     
  10. TheSilverSeas
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    TheSilverSeas New Member

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    I felt the same when we read it in college, the betrayals and seeming degeneration of most of the characters didn't really appeal to me. However reading through it again in preparation for my coursework I did find that I'd somewhat misjudged the novel and eventually found an angle that appealed to me. My assignment eventually became about, "Careless and Destructive Relationships" which I surprised myself by actually really enjoying writing. I agree with the poster who said it's better read later on in life; it didn't really engage with my 17 year old brain at the time! It's considered a great novel by many though, so personally I'd give it another go. x
     

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