07 December 2009

The Great Gatsby ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald


Revisiting a classic.
Not as enjoyable this time ... I've grown up!!

I don't think that I enjoyed it as much this time ... because I think I was shocked by how poorly I read it in my youth! Last read in high school, I remember really enjoying the sense of the 'era" as they partied their way through life on Long Island in the 20s. What fun! How romantic!! Maybe because I/it was superficial ... or just read through the oblivious eyes of youth?!

This is a book wasted on the young... like life is wasted on the characters of this book.

This time I was struck by the vacuous behaviour of the wealthy and their petty self-indulgence. They were so devoid of morals, they were so vacuous, so emotionally corrupt.

The characters were well written - it was so easy to dislike their shallowness - but there is plenty of depth to the way they are drawn. That wonderful setting of the Jazz Age is still there, presented in polished description and tight phrases, but now I see it as the fraying-at-the-edges American-Dream backdrop for what is not a love story but a betrayal of ideals.

First Tuesday Book Club