The Great Gatsby | AudioBook Review

The Great Gatsby - AudioBook Version
F. Scott Fitzgerald (Narranted by Jake Gyllenhaal) 
Genres: Classic Literature, Romance
Publication Date: First published in 1925
Number of Pages: 180
Source: Bought from

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The Great Gatsby Goodreads Page

In 1922, F. Scrott Fitzgerald announced his decision to write "something new -- something extraoridinary and beautiful and simple and 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, event unfold with all the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama, with detached, cynical neighbour 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.

I didn't know what to expect from The Great Gatsby when I started reading it, I'd never heard about the book until I saw the movie trailer. I wasn't won over by the movie trailer, as although it looked picturesque with all the big parties and the amazing cast, I didn't know anything about the storyline and the movie trailer didn't portray that much actually happened in the film. I decided to read the book in the end because it seemed to be very popular among other booktubers and so I thought I'd check it out to see if I was missing something - the fact that the audiobook was only about 6 hours long (the book is 180 pages) then I wasn't going to waste too much time listening to this story if I didn't like it.

As I started the Audiobook, I soon began avidly listening and following the story as the happenings of all the characters' complicated lives were explained and described. The fact that Jake Gyllenhaal narrates the Audibles version that I listened to didn't hurt either *swoon*. At times I felt that I tuned out of listening to the Audiobook as I drove home from work, partly because my attention was needed for complicated road areas, but also because the story is mostly conversations between characters which does get repetitive and montonous. However, this wasn't a negative of the book and more my personal preferences, I was still able to continue enjoying the book and follow the storyline.

Overall this story is a mix of romance, infidelity, high society's inner power struggles, a non high society man understanding the high society system and life, as well as the motivation and persistence of a man who is trying to better himself to win the girl. I'm sure there are other layers to this classic that I have probably missed. The strength to this novel for me personally was Gatsby's determination not to give up on his love.

Quick comparison to the 2013 movie:
I think my understanding of this novel greatly increased by watching the 2013 movie. The movie actually keeps to the story very strictly in my opinion and there wasn't one of aspect of the book which I recognised as missing or changed. The visual representation of the story was fantastic and the casting was amazing. I particularly thought that Leonardo DiCaprio was a great Jay Gatsby and that Tobey Maguire was also a great Nick Carraway. I certainly think that having listened to the Audiobook made me appreciate the film more than if I had of just watched it without knowing the story. I would definitely recommend watching the movie as I liked the mix of 'glamified' old with the addition of more modern music from artists such as and Fergie - I will certainly be downloading some of the tracks from the film onto my iPod.

Over to you:
Have you read The Great Gatsby, did you enjoy it?
Have I missed any underlying storylines that you've picked up on or learnt within an English/Literature class?
have you watched the movie, did you enjoy it?
Where do you think you'd spend your time at Gatsby's parties?

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