Monday, May 6, 2013
The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, was published in 1925. It's considered to be The greatest American novel, and is truly a masterpiece. Elegantly written, it is a spare 180 pages long, depending on what edition you read. It's narrated by Nick Carraway, who spends a summer on Long Island with his beautiful cousin Daisy and her husband, Tom Buchanan. They are old monied, East Coast upper class; and their neighbor, Jay Gatsby lives a lavish lifestyle that comes from bootlegging. Gatsby, who has been in love with Daisy since before the war (WWI) buys a house across the water from the Buchanans. The green light at the end of their dock on the North Shore is an image for the status that Gatsby could never attain.
The Great Gatsby only sold 21,000 copies when it was published, and by 1937, it wasn't on a single bookstore shelf. Currently, it is the Number 1 book on Amazon.com. It is taught in just about every high school in the United States, an irony that F. Scott would deeply appreciate. By the time he died alone in his apartment in Hollywood in 1940, his royalties for the year totaled $13.30. He was a broken man who couldn't even sell a script.
There have been several movie versions of the book, and the current one, which opens on May 10th is in 3D, and stars Leonardo Dicaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Carey Mulligan. I will definitely be there, and am hoping for the best. I hope it's a dazzling testament to this brilliant book.