This book was chosen as we felt our group had been lacking the “classic”, generally our members either like classics or don’t but The Great Gatsby was fairly well received, mainly because it was a short book. Very well written, with rich content, it wasn't the quickest book to read, regardless of it’s size.
It was mentioned by a few members that although the book was hard to get into, by half way it became enjoyable. Very much a story of “The American Dream”, the characters were shallow, selfish and mainly boring – Although these qualities were stereotypical of the people of the era, it didn't deter us readers from liking the book, even though we disliked all of the characters. Those people who have watched TV programmes such as “Made in Chelsea” compared the show to a modern day Gatsby, showing all the undesirable qualities of the Gatsby characters. Social climbing and networking played a huge part, people showing up to the famous Gatsby Parties, but no one actually recognising him when they met him. More TV shows that the book was compared to were “Through the Keyhole”, “Cribs” and even “Come dine with me” – All participating in “showing off” a beautiful house and belongings.
We were not sure of the character of Nick, his opinions of his fellow characters seemed very superficial, we never really got to see their positive qualities (if they had any)! It always seemed as though he was on the outside looking in, and we had to wonder if should another character (such as Jordan) been the narrator, the story may have had a completely different feel about it. Nobody felt that Gatsby was great, so the title would have either come from his opinion of himself or the initial perception of his acquaintances.
The one part of the book we all thought summed up the people of the era, was at Gatsby’s funeral. None of his so called friends showed up to pay their respect, which although sad from Gatsby’s point of view (everyone would like to think people would attend their funeral), it perhaps said more about his “friends”. They were more than happy to attend his parties, but no one felt the need to attend his funeral. We were all happy Gatsby’s father showed up, a nice surprise and also a nice conclusion, showing that he was the one person in the World who was proud of his son.
Some members thought the last part of the book felt like an epilogue or an afterthought, and maybe not needed to sum up the story. Others thought it made a good conclusion, and like a love story gone wrong, not just between Daisy and Gatsby but also Nick and Jordan.
Most members thought that F Scott Fitzgerald, was a good author, although with many of his characters in his other books also seeming shallow, we would read a book of his again, but maybe not in a hurry.
Nine people attended this meet, giving this classic an average score of 6 out of 10. The highest 8 and the lowest 5.
Buy on Amazon