Title: The Great Gatsby
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Cover: (way too many. I do like the Penguin Classics edition one, though. Hate the original blue one)
With all the hype surrounding Gatsby because of the movie (and, let's face it, DiCaprio), reading Gatsby took me completely by surprise.
I'm not sure what it was, exactly, that I was expecting, but whatever it was... it definitely wasn't what I got
Fitzgerald creates believable, flawed characters that, despite our misgivings, we can't help but fall in love with. In a clear light, Gatsby is an obsessed, dangerous man who uses his illegally earned money to throw huge parties. But the view presented to us of Gatsby by Nick is that of a lovesick man, who wants nothing more than to be loved by the woman of his dreams. And we can all relate, on different levels, with that kind of unrequited love.
Even more interesting are the other characters, as well as Fitzgerald's narrator choice. When you read the title, you instantly think that the book will be narrated by Gatsby, or at least have him introduced immediately. But the book does neither, and that is the first hint that nothing about this book is what it seems.
Fitzgerald played smartly with the conventions of a society used to debauchery, and showed us, without ever actually saying he was doing so, the dark side of love. Reading Gatsby, it's easy to understand why Fitzgerald described the 20s as the 'biggest orgy in the world'.
Gatsby is delicious, enticing, sad and frustrating. A definite must-read.