Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rant or Rave: The Great Gatsby

Well, it isn't a rave, but I suppose it isn't really a rant, either. Pretty much a, "Huh. What's all the fuss about?"

The Great Gatsby isn't a bad book. Actually it's a pretty good book. But i wouldn't classify it as a great book, and I really don't get it being consistently included on various Top 100 Books In the ENTIRE Universe lists. I really don't.

Gatsby is an intriguing figure, but the other characters are primarily caricatures and the "twist" at the end is nearly soap operaish in both its overly melodramatic staging and its extreme unlikelihood. So how exactly it has become this masterpiece, a potential "great American novel" is beyond me. Fitzgerald is a talented writer-- perhaps the only thing saving the story from spiraling completely into absurdity-- and some of his imagery is iconic. But the story itself? Eh. Take it or leave it.

Still, I am glad I read it. It was not a waste of my time, by any means. But I can't really wrap my head around the sincere adoration the book has received from so many quarters.

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