Published in 2013 by Vintage Classics | Originally published in 1925 | Five Feathers
Summary from Goodreads:
The world and his mistress are at Jay Gatsby’s party. But Gatsby stands apart from the crowd, isolated by a secret longing. In between sips of champagne his guests speculate about their mysterious host. Some say he’s a bootlegger. Others swear he was a German spy during the war. They lean in and whisper ‘he killed a man once’. Just where is Gatsby from and what is the obsession that drives him?
I first read this almost three years ago. That was some Swedish translation, and it was also the summer before I began studying at university. I don’t think I fully appreciated it back then, while I think I have a different view of it now that I’ve actually studied literature for a bit. And I’m surprised by how much I liked it.
I actually went back to my notes from 2014 to see what I though about it then, and found that I felt a bit meh about it because I thought it lacked some of the Hollywood flair from the Leonardo DiCaprio movie. But I don’t think that’s what this book is all about. Yes, the parties are a big part of the book, but they’re just for attention – I think the book is really about what happens when the parties are over. And that’s what I missed the last time I read it.
Discussing this in class made it so much better too, because it made me think more about it. It’s not only about the details, it’s about the whole picture that the details make up together, and I sat there thinking that “this really is such a good book”.
I was surprised, though, by how evasive some of the characters felt. Especially Daisy and Gatsby. No one really knew anything about Gatsby, and both of them would sometimes say things twice as if they were trying to not answer the question. But maybe that’s the point too.
Overall, I liked this a lot better this time around, and now I really want to rewatch the movie to see what I think about it now.