A new edition of the story of Jay Gatsby, a Prohibition-era bootlegger whose obsessive dream of wealth and lost love is destroyed by the reality of corruption and cynicism.
Set in the post-Great War Long Island/New York world of the rich. The narrator, Nick Carraway, sympathetically records the pathos of Gatsby's romantic dream which founders on the reality of corruption, the insulated selfishness of Tom and Daisy, and the cutting edge of violence.
One of the French novelists, I can never remember accurately whether it was Maurois or Mauriac, said that 'the door slams shut on a writer before the age of 12' - meaning that all his raw material has been formed by then. It feels a bit early but I know what he meant. Likewise, perhaps all the influential books are those encountered in one's formative years. Fitzgerald had many faults - unpursued ideas, incomplete themes - but in Gatsby he created a sleek monster, a metaphor for that society of the rich dangerous to the heart even when passive . Review by Frank Delaney, whose books include 'The Sins of the Mothers' (Kirkus UK)
Runner-up for The BBC Big Read Top 100 2003
Short-listed for BBC Big Read Top 100 2003
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