The great Gatsby (Leading English literature library)

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9780140007466: The great Gatsby (Leading English literature library)

The mysterious Jay Gatsby uses his fabulous wealth to create an enchanted world fit for his former love, Daisy Buchanan, now married to Tom. Daisy, though, is a romanticised figment of his own imagination, and the extraordinary world that he creates is equally illusory.

He gives lavish, legendary, parties where the guests and gate-crashers enjoy free-flowing champagne and cocktails and carefree hospitality. It is easy for modern readers to forget that the story takes place in the time of Prohibition (1920 to 1933) something that would have been immediately apparent when the book was first published. It enforces the nature of the unreal world that Gatsby creates, beyond the reach of the law and the police.

But a more sinister reality begins to break through, as idealised romantic figures prove to have human frailties and selfish motivations, and the grandiose world of Gatsby's creation crumbles and disillusion turns to tragedy.

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Review:

In 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald announced his decision to write "something new--something extraordinary and beautiful and simple + intricately patterned." That extraordinary, beautiful, intricately patterned, and above all, simple novel became The Great Gatsby, arguably Fitzgerald's finest work and certainly the book for which he is best known. A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author's generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald's--and his country's--most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed, and the promise of new beginnings. "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning--" Gatsby's rise to glory and eventual fall from grace becomes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream.

It's also a love story, of sorts, the narrative of Gatsby's quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan. The pair meet five years before the novel begins, when Daisy is a legendary young Louisville beauty and Gatsby an impoverished officer. They fall in love, but while Gatsby serves overseas, Daisy marries the brutal, bullying, but extremely rich Tom Buchanan. After the war, Gatsby devotes himself blindly to the pursuit of wealth by whatever means--and to the pursuit of Daisy, which amounts to the same thing. "Her voice is full of money," Gatsby says admiringly, in one of the novel's more famous descriptions. His millions made, Gatsby buys a mansion across Long Island Sound from Daisy's patrician East Egg address, throws lavish parties, and waits for her to appear. When she does, events unfold with all the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama, with detached, cynical neighbor Nick Carraway acting as chorus throughout. Spare, elegantly plotted, and written in crystalline prose, The Great Gatsby is as perfectly satisfying as the best kind of poem.

Book Description:

This critical edition of The Great Gatsby draws on the manuscript and surviving proofs of the novel, together with Fitzgerald's subsequent revisions to key passages to provide the first authoritative text of one of the classic works of the twentieth century.

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F. Scott Fitzgerald
Published by Penguin UK (1974)
ISBN 10: 0140007466 ISBN 13: 9780140007466
New Mass Market Paperback Quantity Available: 2
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Murray Media
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Book Description Penguin UK, 1974. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110140007466

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