WBN 24: The Great Gatsby

This was my second reading of The Great Gatsby and I didn’t like it any more this time than I did last time.

Of course, I’m aware that many, many people disagree with me. It’s inside the top 25 so clearly has its fans and I’m really hoping some of them will get in touch and tell me what they love about it.

I found that it took me a lot longer than it should have to read. It was less than 200 very small pages with very spread out type, but I felt like I was reading it for days. The narration is awkward and jumbled and occasionally unclear: at complete odds with the narrator’s character, which is conservative, logical and balanced. Oh, and boring. It’s not remotely clear to me why Gatsby falls in love with Daisy, let alone why that love burns so hard and so long. The dynamics between Daisy and her husband Tom are not only awkward but unrealistic. Gatsby’s death is anti-climactic and unemotional, and Jordan Baker, Carraway’s fleeting love interest, is two-dimensional.

Of course, there’s no way anyone could read the top 100 and enjoy every book. This is one of the few that I’ve already read and wasn’t looking forward to reading again (Perfume is another one). Since finishing this I’ve read Chocolat (delightful) and started Notes from a Small Island (pant-wettingly hilarious) so there are two more positive reviews on the way!

What books are on the list that you aren’t too keen on?

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Filed under Books, World Book Night challenge

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