The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

81%

33 Critic Reviews

The story is powerful as much for what is suggested as for what is told. It leaves the reader in a mood of chastened wonder...the weight of the story as a revelation of life and as a work of art becomes apparent. And it is very great.
-LA Times

Synopsis

The exemplary novel of the Jazz Age, F. Scott Fitzgeralds' third book, The Great Gatsby (1925), stands as the supreme achievement of his career. T. S. Eliot read it three times and saw it as the "first step" American fiction had taken since Henry James; H. L. Mencken praised "the charm and beauty of the writing," as well as Fitzgerald's sharp social sense; and Thomas Wolfe hailed it as Fitzgerald's "best work" thus far. 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 remarked, "gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession," it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s that resonates with the power of myth. A novel of lyrical beauty yet brutal realism, of magic, romance, and mysticism, The Great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature.
 

About F Scott Fitzgerald

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F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1896, attended Princeton University, and published his first novel, This Side of Paradise, in 1920. That same year he married Zelda Sayre and the couple divided their time among New York, Paris, and the Riviera, becoming a part of the American expatriate circle that included Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, and John Dos Passos. Fitzgerald was a major new literary voice, and his masterpieces include The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby, and Tender Is the Night. He died of a heart attack in 1940 at the age of forty-four, while working on The Love of the Last Tycoon. For his sharp social insight and breathtaking lyricism, Fitzgerald is known as one of the most important American writers of the twentieth century.
 
Published May 27, 2003 by Scribner. 217 pages
Genres: Other, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Children's Books, History, Action & Adventure, War, Biographies & Memoirs, Comics & Graphic Novels, Travel, Computers & Technology, Arts & Photography, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Great Gatsby
All: 33 | Positive: 30 | Negative: 3

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by DewdropAvatar on Oct 14 2014

This book lets you make your own opinion on each character and it's not all black and white with baddies and goodies as each of them has multiple flaws which make them all the more interesting.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Robert McCrum on Sep 08 2014

There was, as Fitzgerald had predicted, no second act in this American life. Just immortality. The Great Gatsby, in short, becomes a tantalising metaphor for the eternal mystery of art.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Scoutingforbooks on Jan 22 2014

The Great Gatsby is also an amazing book that highlights class issues exceptionally well, showing the strange way they evolve and lag, and the way opinions are formed of the rich and poor. I would give this book a 4.9/5 for its pure and sheer excellence in portraying the cogs and cracks of an uncertain society.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Jay McInerney on Jun 09 2012

Fitzgerald's Gatsby is a very fragile creation, made of words and dreams.

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LA Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Lillian C. Ford on May 06 2005

The story is powerful as much for what is suggested as for what is told. It leaves the reader in a mood of chastened wonder...the weight of the story as a revelation of life and as a work of art becomes apparent. And it is very great.

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LA Times

Good
Reviewed by Carolyn Kellogg on May 06 2013

The story is powerful as much for what is suggested as for what is told. It leaves the reader in a mood of chastened wonder, in which fact after fact, implication after implication is pondered over, weighed and measured.

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Jonathan Yardley on Jan 02 2007

...the most beautiful, compelling and true in all of American literature.

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The Independent

Excellent
Reviewed by Alan Glynn on Sep 16 2011

'The Great Gatsby' retains that tension, that pull on the reader, taking us back, every time, to this blue lawn, and the green light at the end of Daisy's dock.

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The Bookbag

Excellent
Reviewed by TheBookbag on Nov 13 2014

Fitzgerald's descriptions have a way of transporting you fully into the place he's writing about...and the quality of his writing is perfect. If I could recommend just one classic book to readers young and old, in the hope they would fall in love with it, it would be this one every time. Highest possible recommendation to all.

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Seattle PI

Good
Reviewed by pmPilgrim on Aug 13 2013

It's a short novel, no words were added by Fitzgerald to make it longer. He kept it sharp, concise, poetic prose that flows from page to page, a stream of genius that describes an age long gone, but as sharp and contemporary as we can get. The mark of great literature.

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Chicago Tribune

Above average
Reviewed by H.L. Mencken on Oct 10 2014

What gives the story distinction is something quite different from the management of the action or the handling of the characters; it is the charm and beauty of the writing...The story, for all its basic triviality, has a fine texture, a careful and brilliant finish.

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Irish Times

Good
Reviewed by Anne O’Neill on Dec 02 2014

As with the two books on my shelf, one cover crinkled and shoddy, the other one hard back and ornate, it is what lies beneath that matters. Fitzgerald’s novel is a portal to the savage heart of the human spirit, affords a glimpse at our humanity and wonders at our enormous capacity to dream, to imagine, to hope and to persevere.

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Socialist Review

Above average
Reviewed by Jack Farmer on Jan 28 2014

The Great Gatsby is scintillating and beautifully written. The style of the prose seems languid - as though it were written after a couple of glasses of champagne - but Fitzgerald has a unique and delicious way with words. He invites us to linger over the language he uses, tasting its texture. Every description is full of colour.

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The Sunday Times

Good
Reviewed by Lynn Barber on Jan 14 2015

I was enchanted by Fitzgerald’s magical world with its haunting visual images: the green light at the end of the dock, the terrifying spectacles overlooking the ash-heaps, the glittering parade of Gatsby’s parties. And at the centre of it all stood Jay Gatsby, one of the most intriguing characters in literature

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Vanity Fair

Excellent
Reviewed by Christopher Hitchens

It was nearly entitled just plain Gatsby. It remains “the great” because it confronts the defeat of youth and beauty and idealism, and finds the defeat unbearable, and then turns to face the defeat unflinchingly.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Sparkle1pops on Oct 01 2014

F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby, is a story that yanks at your heart and pushes for your tears, it constantly craves your attention...I would definitely recommend this book, in fact it is my new favorite. This novel is so well written and thought through, that it can be mind blowing at times.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by Gettysburg63 on Oct 01 2014

The respect that the “old” money were supposed to have was more like carelessness and foolishness for three main characters in The Great Gatsby, Daisy, Tom, and Jordan. The “old” money were claimed to be those respectable among the rich, but Fitzgerald would deem them to be the least respectable in their morals.

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Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by RossR on Jan 28 2014

Fitzgerald does a great job adding cliff hangers at the end of his chapters. This is what kept me interested to read more. The jaw-dropping finish at the end is worth reading this novel...The Great Gatsby deserves 5 stars out of 5. If I could, I would reward this book with the Best American Novel of All Time.

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Reviewing the Evidence

Above average
Reviewed by Drewey Wayne Gunn on Nov 11 2012

In fact, we have two separate mysteries contained within its not quite 50,000 words. I presume that the novel is so well known that I am merely refreshing readers' memories as I try to persuade them to look at the novel as detective fiction.

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Fyrefly's Book Blog

Below average
Reviewed by fyrefly on Feb 13 2014

I didn’t dislike this book nearly so much the second time around, but I still didn’t like it much...In general, there’s just something about this book that I just don’t get. It was fun to discuss, and easy enough to read, but it just doesn’t click with me the way it does with other people.

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Literary Exploration

Good
Reviewed by MICHAEL KITTO on May 17 2013

F Scott Fitzgerald did a brilliant job of layering everything on top of each other that I feel the need to read this book again (already) just to see what I might pull out of it this time.

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Reading for Sanity

Above average
Reviewed by Kari on Jan 13 2014

It's fascinating to see how a specific group of people lived, moved, and expressed themselves during a certain time period. I find it intriguing to see how the wealthy justified their actions...The 1920's wasn't an era I've ever spent much time researching and after reading this book I am interested to find out more about Jazz.

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Between The Covers

Good
Reviewed by Heather on May 10 2011

The Great Gatsby is a very realistic look into one of the more interesting and exciting times in American history. Gatsby’s story is funny and sad, exciting and tragic...If you enjoy reading literary fiction or if you’re a fan of the Jazz Age, you will definitely enjoy The Great Gatsby.

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Reading World

Above average
Reviewed by Susan on Sep 22 2012

The Great Gatsby has been called the Great American Novel (or novella) and it is a marvelous book in how much it accomplishes in such a compact story. The characters (although awful) are well-drawn. The settings are stunning. And Nick’s narration is quite ingenious...

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http://roofbeamreader.com

Good
Reviewed by roofbeamreader on Sep 17 2012

What typically draws readers to this book...is its strikingly beautiful prose. There are moments of description in this narrative which nearly take one’s breath away...Fitzgerald’s brilliance lies in his ability to undercut his every thought, showing both the positive and negative arguments of a situation...

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Reading Matters

Good
Jun 25 2006

The Great Gatsby is an entertaining, quick-paced read wholly worthy of its classic status.

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Books: A True Story

Excellent
Reviewed by Jessica on May 22 2013

I loved the writing. It was simple, charming, and witty – an interesting contrast to the much deeper story going on...Overall, a novel that got me really thinking about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the context of a beautiful, tragic, and romantic story.

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http://www.booklore.co.uk

Good
Reviewed by Chloe Lizotte on Jan 28 2014

The last line of the book summarizes Gatsby's struggle over the course of the book: "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past" (180). Not only is this a stunning final sentence, it also ties the book together very effectively.

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Literary Corner Cafe Blog

Excellent
Reviewed by Literary Corner Cafe on Oct 01 2011

The Great Gatsby is a beautiful novel, perfectly constructed and written in gorgeously shimmering prose. It’s filled with symbolism and even with religious overtones...The book also presents a vivid, though quite unflattering, portrait of the decadence and sumptuousness excess of the Jazz Age.

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Vulture

Below average
Reviewed by Kathryn Schulz on May 06 2013

I find Gatsby aesthetically overrated, psychologically vacant, and morally complacent; I think we kid ourselves about the lessons it contains. None of this would matter much to me if Gatsby were not also sacrosanct.

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Book Monkey

Good
Reviewed by Emma on Dec 30 2011

I adored this novel, and I do feel slightly saddened that it has taken me so long to get to it...the prose can be slightly complicated and the sentences long, and I found myself having to re-read several bits just so it would sink in. But I am in awe of Fitzgerald as a writer, and I can’t wait to read more of his work.

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Bundle of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Bundle of Books on May 09 2014

The first thing that struck me whilst reading was the writing. I love how Fitzgerald conjures up an atmosphere...Set in the early 1920s, The Great Gatsby shows a different perspective of an era which I have always imagined as very glamorous and fun. It’s almost as if the mask has been ripped off, showing a sordid, shallow society underneath.

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http://beckybentrim.wordpress.com

Below average
Reviewed by Becky on May 16 2013

Despite the fact that I found the book to be less than an ideal read, there were some moments where I was quite entertained by the language...There are some classics that I completely understand why they got that title, and then there are others such as “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald that I just don’t understand the big deal.

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Reader Rating for The Great Gatsby
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James Goate 2 Feb 2013

Rated the book as 4 out of 5

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Brian Lee Kloosterman Jr. 17 Feb 2013

Rated the book as 4 out of 5

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Katrina Bernardo 18 Mar 2013

Rated the book as 4 out of 5

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BruceNolan 20 Oct 2013

A M A Z I N G !!!!!! The best romance in the history of the planet!!!!!

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Joshua Sloan 19 Apr 2013

Rated the book as 5 out of 5

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Anastasia Lebedev 13 Aug 2013

Rated the book as 5 out of 5

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Sophia 9 Jun 2013

Rated the book as 5 out of 5

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Jil 22 Sep 2015

Book was terrible.

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