Hi everyone this is Meghan from Coffee & Wizards, and I’m here to talk about The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I listened to the audiobook. As far as audiobooks go, this one wasn’t super amazing. The voice actor was good. His female characters weren’t too annoying, which often happens with male narrators.
I don’t read a lot of classics, especially from this time period. I already talked about that in my review of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. At least with Fahrenheit 451 it was about books, and it was a dystopian. I really like the dystopian genre, so it wasn’t too much of a stretch for me, but when it came to the Great Gatsby, I can’t see what all the fuss is about.
I understand that it’s a great American classic. It’s well-written. I wouldn’t say that the characters are poorly done. I wouldn’t say that the plot isn’t good. It’s a solid book, so I can understand why it’s lasted, and I can even understand why it’s considered a classic. That being said, I just didn’t find myself enjoying it. I might have enjoyed it more if it was read for a class, perhaps. I think this is the kind of book that is often studied. There’s probably tons of papers written on every single aspect of this book. I get why it’s part of the scholarly canon.
Sometimes when I think about what is considered part of the literary canon, I really wonder how it got to that point. Did the author really put all of that stuff in there on purpose, the stuff that people read into it? Maybe the green light is just a green light? I think people read into books a lot, and really you can do that with any book. I am a huge fan of Pride and Prejudice. I could read a ton of stuff into it. I have done so in classes. So what’s the difference between Pride and Prejudice and The Great Gatsby? Well, The Great Gatsby is part of the American literary canon because…reasons.
It got there and now it’s stuck there and it’s never going to leave because people are like, “Oh, everyone else loves this book: it’s the greatest book ever. It’s got the word “great” in it, that means it must be great!” It’s just going to stay there in the literary canon because that’s what people think it is now. People expect it to be great, so it is great. I don’t really agree with that. Some books get hype for a reason, and some books don’t.
That’s my literary rant for the next little while…until the next time I read an American classic.
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