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I am a ravenous reader. I consume books (audio, electronic, and paper) by the pound and byte. I RARELY go back and reread a novel I've read before. It just seems a waste of time, a waste of an opportunity for another book, another story. The Great Gatsby, however, is one of those handful of books, those rare literary jewels, where this rule of thumb is consistently bent and re-broken. For readers of good literature, this novel is like scripture. IT is something you read to enjoy the page, the paragraphs, the sentences, the words. It draws you back. It haunts future books you read. It invades you.
For American Literature, The Great Gatsby stands with 'Moby-Dick' and 'Huckleberry Finn' as a monument of not just literature but the uniquely American experience. It captures the excess, the energy, and the decadence of the 'Lost Generation'. Other Fitzgerald books are amazing, but Gatsby is one of those novels that seems to have surprised everyone, even Fitzgerald.
Finding the right narrator for any book is an art form (often misunderstood, almost always ignored). Certain books require a certain type of reader. Gyllenhaal was an inspired pick for the Great Gatsby. He has the range to subtly capture the different characters, but the charisma and the energy to embody the dialogue of Gatsby and the easygoing narrator Nick.
141 of 152 people found this review helpful
Fitzgerald's classic written in simple prose tells the story of the upper crust's frivolity from the point of view of an outsider looking in. You relive the pretense, wastefulness, desire to fit in and aching loneliness lurking within all.
Gyllenhaal embodies Nick so well, you see him as the mild wallflower character instead of the handsome, charming actor. Well read.
For $5 and 2.5 hours of time (on 2X speed) this is a great way to revisit a classic or prep for the movie.
54 of 59 people found this review helpful