Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Great GatsbyThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book has been on my 'to read' list for almost twenty years. All my Honors English friends had read it while I was reading...I don't even remember what. Though I did like this book over all, it moved a bit slowly in the beginning. I spent a lot of time wondering "OK, when does the plot start?" Once the action started, I was more engaged and didn't want to stop reading.

Throughout the book, I struggled with the sense of apathy the characters seemed to have, especially about their knowledge of Tom's affair. How could everyone just sit back and not call him out on it? How could Nick just sit there during the impromptu party at the mistress's flat? When Tom slapped Myrtle, everyone pretty much threw their hands up in a fake yawn, looked at their watches and said "Oh my, look at the time." I know, I know. It was another era.

The development of the characters was quite intriguing, though there were few of them that I would want to invite to tea. I had a hard time liking Nick as he seemed so ...soft. He had no voice. He was just there observing and going along with it all. I guess that is just what he was, the narrator. He was a neutral vehicle to watch the story unfold. Oddly enough, the character that seemed to irritate me the most was Jordan Baker. She seemed as flat and lacking in the same moral courage as Nick. I guess they were a perfect match and that similarity is what precluded a relationship between them. Their own characters were too morally...bland, I guess, to get over any hurdles and build a relationship. In the end, Nick found that the East Coast was not his speed and went home. Ya. Probably a good idea. I ended up doing the same thing. Maybe our modern day society is alright, after all.

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