What Is So Great About Gatsby? Part One.


Currently I reside on page 105 of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’. You may get to page 106 and ask yourself “Have I been wasting my time?” The answer is YES, yes you HAVE. Douchebag.

I have read over one hundred pages of nothing, it feels. I am aware there’s this character Gatsby, who’s a bit of a cad and and rich tosser, and a main narrator who is quite obviously so bloody boring the story had to be about someone else. He appears to have no personality. I am of the opinion that Fitzgerald has made a classic mistake – focussing on the wrong character. There are some interesting people to read about – or at least more interesting compared to the main two – but we get minimal information about them. Fail, Fitzgerald, serious, serious fail.

Going back to our narrator with no personality, what’s his game? He has no strong feelings about anything. Ever. He mentions a relationship, in about two lines, that he had over the summer, but he cuts this off because the bird’s brother started to get angry. That’s some serious love dude. There is no hate about anything in particular, not really even a “this was good” at the end of each day. BORING.

But maybe I’m not giving Scott boy enough credit. Oh no wait, yes I am.

Maybe he was trying to achieve a reflection of the 1920s? How it was all money a-go-go, parties and frivolity, but all surface and no feeling? The trouble is, he is actually a good writer. I have enjoyed – or at least been able to read – the first part of the book easily. Is this a very shrewd writer who draws you in with his way with words but doesn’t have any effect on your life? Reading ‘The Great Gastby’ is kind of like watching a Richard Curtis film, or listening to an Eno album – perfectly enjoyable the first time, but no real meaning.  Maybe the last eighty pages will improve. Or at least have an exciting incident in there…

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