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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s. The Great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature.…

The Great Gatsby

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Overall Book Review:

Considered by many to be the Great American Novel, The Great Gatsby is a story of deception, betrayal, and loss. Fitzgerald is indeed a master of words. The story is narrated by Nick Carroway, who, while involved with the characters, seems to be almost a complete outsider to the story. He takes the reader through one emotional summer in the lives of socialites Daisy and Tom Buchanan as well as the enigmatic Jay Gatsby. Carroway is befriended by Gatsby, who seems to him to be a repulsive character. He subsequently becomes Gatsby’s only champion as the various characters expose to him their weaknesses, passions and propensity to drown their problems in alcohol and illicit love affairs.

The Great Gatsby is the most widely-read novel in schools nationwide, and certainly provides a rich landscape for symbolism and hidden meaning. It also provides students with the opportunity to experience the craft of writing at its best; however, as a story I found the characters unlikeable and insipid, and the story depressing. As a cultural and literary experience I recommend The Great Gatsby unreservedly; as an entertainment or morality play I recommend looking elsewhere. 

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language: 5 religious exclamations; 4 mild obscenities; 2 religious profanities; 3 derogatory names.

Violence/Gore: A male character assaults a woman; a character is found murdered; a character is found to have committed suicide; a character graphically describes a hit-and-run accident resulting in death.

Mature Subject Matter:

Marital infidelity.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Excessive social drinking.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. My mother would often find me curled up in a corner, avoiding chores with a book–or two. When I was growing up, there wasn’t a large selection of YA books. I had children’s books and adult literature to choose from. I’ve come to love YA fiction as an adult and read almost nothing else when I read for pleasure–any genre will do.