The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby is the tale of Jay Gatsby, a self-made man who lives in comfort in a large mansion and holds the kind of parties that people come to from miles around. Despite having all the luxuries money can buy, he longs only for Daisy Buchanan, an ex of his who is now married. His neighbour, Nick Carraway, witnesses the tragic consequences of Jay and Daisy's affair.A few days after reading this book, I'm still not sure whether I liked it or not. There's no question that Fitzgerald is a very talented writer and he makes remarkably perceptive insights about the characters and events in his book. I enjoyed his writing so much that I found myself deliberately slowing down my pace and rereading certain sections throughout. The Great Gatsby is short and very tightly constructed; no word is wasted. The central character of Jay Gatsby was intriguing and Fitzgerald managed to show his loneliness despite always surrounding himself with people.I think what threw me off with this book was the author's ambivalence towards the decadence he was writing about. At some points Gatsby is portrayed as 'living the dream' and Fitzgerald certainly seems to approve but in other sections he makes it clear that the party-goers are drifting loose from their moral fibres and that the lifestyle doesn't lead to happiness. For me, these parts seemed like a commentary on the corruption of the American dream and how it had been ruined by too much money, alcohol, greed and selfishness. Correct me if I am wrong on this, it's only my personal impression.My other quibbles with the book are minor. Reading it in 2012, the wild parties don't seem as wild as they might have done to a 1925 audience. I thought the ending was a bit too dramatic. But The Great Gatsby is well worth reading if only for the beautiful prose; "In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whispering and the champagne and the stars." I got this book as part of a set with Tender is the Night and The Beautiful and the Damned. I will be definitely be reading both at some point in the future.