Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Great Gatsby

I re-read The Great Gatsby during my recent vacation. I'd originally read the book when I was an undergraduate in the 1970s (I still have the same copy of the book I read then; it cost $0.95!) and was inspired to read it again when one of my favorite NPR programs, Studio 360, devoted a whole show to the book and its related spinoffs a few months back.

The only part of the book that I could recall clearly was the justly famous image of the green light hanging on Daisy's dock across Egg Bay from Gatsby's mansion. When I began to re-read the novel, I found the first two pages of the book to be a confusing sort of preface and I regretted hauling the book along on vacation. But once past that introduction I was drawn in quickly and utterly. In places, the language is a bit dated, but in general, this is one helluva book (duh!). There's a great, compelling story, wonderful language and writing, engrossing characters and even some humor as Nick, the narrator, describes the life of the poseurs that are drawn to Gatsby like moths to a flame.

The book's not long, and it's a treat. It's more than worth a re-read (or a read, it you haven't already enjoyed it.)

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