The Great Gatsby Entertainment Weekly recently ranked this book #2 on its list of all time greatest books. I beg to differ.
The Great Gatsby reads like a sub-standard Somerset Maugham novel. A good book certainly, but far from a classic. The best part of the book is its short length. I found it well written, the characters are interesting, and the plot kept me interested, as we try to figure out Jay Gatsby. That said the plot is rather thin not much more than a love story wrapped in a mystery. Fitzgerald uses a first person narrator, Nick Carraway, with an unlikely knowledge of other the characters to drive the story. As I read the book I felt the relationship between Nick and Jordan Baker could have been more interesting than that between Jay and Daisy Buchanan.
Excerpts From My Kindle
No–Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men. – location 24-26
Her gray, sun-strained eyes stared straight ahead, but she had deliberately shifted our relations, and for a moment I thought I loved her. But I am slow-thinking and full of interior rules that act as brakes on my desires, and I knew that first I had to get myself definitely out of that tangle back home. – location 810-12
I couldn’t forgive him or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified. It was all very careless and confused. They were careless people, Tom and Daisy–they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made. . . . – location 2531-34
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. – location 2557-58