Name: The Great Gatsby
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Genre: Romance, Young Adult Fiction
Difficulty: 4/5 Dictionaries
From the eyes of Nick Carraway, who we eventually find out is the only true friend of Jay Gatsby’s, we learn what Gatsby has sacrificed and done for Daisy Buchanan’s love.
In short, the story is about love and how unreliable love can be, especially when it is built on lies and misguided principles.
“Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”
Reasons Why You Too Should Read It:
1. It’s a great book to boost your vocabulary.
For half of the book, I was stumbling on two or three new words on every page. Words such as hilarity, echolalia, caterwauling. It’s also a recommended book for those taking the SAT.
2. You learn several moral lessons.
You learn the ugly trait of greed and carelessness. You learn the hard truth that life isn’t always fair. But, you also realise that eventually, the ones that we can truly depend on when all things fail are family. Some friends might become family, but not if the relationship was built on lies.
3. It’s a classic.
The book tells a story of the bygone age of US history. In the 20s, the parties were bigger, the morals were looser, and by 1933, prohibition ended because it was clear it had backfired. Instead, people were making their own moonshine or getting alcohol through other illegal means. The Great Gatsby is a window to the world that most Americans wanted to learn from as America became a wealthy superpower in the years after.
The Great Gatsby (2013 Edition)
If I had three words to describe the movie, they would be wild, jazz and elaborate.
The book trumps the movie because there is more sincerity and emotion in and between the characters. Such as that seen through Daisy and Gatsby’s love, Wilson’s pain and Nick’s disappointment at the novel’s end. I believe this is because the movie was produced for the big screen and is thus flamboyant. As a result, the audience is distracted by all the glam, and the focus on the moral lessons is minimised.
In addition, although I understand it is natural for there to be some slight differences between the movie and the book, I am pretty surprised by one. In the film, I think Gatsby is portrayed to be a villain. One example would be when he takes Nick out to lunch and decides to tell him his story while speeding across town. Clearly, he was scheming – trying to confuse Nick and get him to believe his lies. Also, there were strange phone calls and expressions that supported such an impression.
In the book, on the other hand, upon my first reading, Gatsby is portrayed as a man who is foolishly in love. Even though he isn’t a saint, his mistakes and evil doings all seem to be the fault of Daisy or have Daisy as the reason.
When it comes to a book with a movie, I always read it before watching it (whichever was published first, books/plays based on a film are not as common). I would recommend doing so because you get the most accurate version of the story. What about you? What’s your habit?
P.s I would love to hear your take on which was better, the movie or the book?
P.s.s The review was also uploaded to Goodreads, do have a look!