The Great Gatsby

Written by: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Narrated by: Jake Gyllenhaal
Originally Reviewed: 09-29-17 on
Rating: 2 – Don’t bother unless you just want to say you’ve read it

What’s All the Fuss?

Other than the beautifully descriptive prose (on par with the truly ‘Great’ Steinbeck) this story was – relative to its legacy – wholly unworthy of the praise it receives. In fact, I only rated it three stars for the imagery the author was able to convey and my delight in hearing the flow in the writing. However, Gyllenhaal, the editor – or both – nearly ruined it for me as the dubbing in the beginning was obvious and Gyllenhaal’s voice even changes with the character Tom Buchanan.

This isn’t an awful story and captures a perspective of that time, but seriously the story itself is nothing novel or inspiring; it’s just a random story. The title even fails at helping this book as I anticipated a thorough investigatory history of Jay Gatsby and what made him so great. But, in the end he’s just a character among characters, he just has the natural attraction that brings the story together. It’s almost as if the author drafted several distinct and unrelated characters and decided to put them all in a story and then created Gatsby as the connection.

I usually listen at three times speed, but had to slow it down to 2.5 in order to hear everything clearly and appreciate the poetry.

I probably won’t listen to this again. It’s not the worst of the “classics” I’ve listened to, but by no stretch of the imagination “…the Modern Library editorial board voted it the 20th century’s best American novel.”

Other works for consideration:
1. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
2. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
3. The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas

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