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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

A sumptuously illustrated adaptation casts the powerful imagery of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s great American novel in a vivid new format. From the green light across the bay to the billboard with spectacled eyes, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 American masterpiece roars to life in Katharine Woodman-Maynard’s exquisite graphic novel—among the first adaptations of the book in this genre. Painted in lush watercolors, the inventive interpretation emphasizes both the extravagance and mystery of the characters, as well as the fluidity of Nick Carraway’s unreliable narration. Excerpts from the original text wend through the illustrations, and imagery and metaphors are taken to literal, and often whimsical, extremes, such as when a beautiful partygoer blooms into an orchid and Daisy Buchanan pushes Gatsby across the sky on a cloud. This faithful yet modern adaptation will appeal to fans with deep knowledge of the classic, while the graphic novel format makes it an ideal teaching tool to engage st…

The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Novel Adaptation

by F. Scott Fitzgerald and K. Woodman-Maynard

Overall Book Review:

The Great Gatsby is long considered one of the ‘great’ novels.  K. Woodman-Maynard has taken this classic story and transformed it into a graphic novel.

When I first saw this book roll out, it piqued my interest.  I have read the original version and found it highly fascinating.  This graphic novel version takes the book and distills it down to the main points of the larger novel.  It was interesting to see how the author was able to take some of the metaphors from the book and turn them in to drawings which were the literal depictions of the metaphors.  In a book with a great deal of metaphor and symbolism, this adaptation was an enjoyable departure.

Any time you adapt a piece of classical Americana literature into a graphic novel, you are going to run into some hiccups.  Woodman-Maynard pulled some of the more famous quotes from the book, but they are completely out of context and therefore do not have the same pull they did in the original novel.  And because so much of the beatuiful language is left out, the book can seem a bit disjointed.  

If the goal was to give just a vignette to whet readers appetite to go and read the original book, then mission possibly accomplished.  For readers of the original novel, there will probably be polar opinions.  Either you are going to love this adaptation or hate it, but I’ll let you decide.

Review of an Advance Reading Copy

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Candlewick


Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  2 religious profanities; 1 mild obscenity; 1 religious profanity; 2 derogatory names.

Violence/Gore:  Injured finger. which is hinted was done by husband; man breaks woman’s nose with a backhand; reference to car accident with broken arm; woman hit and killed by car; depiction of murder-suicide.

Sex/Nudity:  4 kisses and 1 hand hold.

Mature Subject Matter:

Racism, war, marriage infidelity, physical abuse, gambling, bootlegging.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Adults drink alcohol.

Overall Book Rating
Profanity/Language
Rating:
3
10
Violence/Gore
Rating:
4
10
Sex/Nudity
Rating:
1
10

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About the Reviewer

I am a full-time mom, full-time wife, and overtime reader. I have been an avid reader for as long as anyone can remember. It must run in the family because both my mother and grandmother are also voracious readers and often pass books back and forth. Almost any genre can spark my interest, but I often go in streaks, reading a bunch of books from one genre, then switching to another for a while and back again.