Saturday, 22 June 2013

Book Review ; The Great Gatsby

Well if I'm honest this book review is probally going to pretty much suck. Not because I hated this book, or that I have nothing to say about it because I could talk about this book forever. But because from what I hear most people read this book and analyze it in school (We did of Mice and Men). I wrote this review now even though I finished the book two days ago because I saw the film with one of my friends yesterday so I thought this post could be a book and film review rolled into one. Here's the cover which I've got;

So to start off with this is supposed to be known as the 'great american novel' and since I'm from England I had to google the premice of the american dream. Only to be told by John Green that it is a universal dream that the americans have just claimed it which I found quite humorous. but after knowing what the American dream is I dove straight into the book, pulling out all the symbolism and talking to myself as I went through
Firsly I will say do not go into this book looking for an easy read, It is not one of those books that you can just read without thinking about it. Even though in my version it's only 115 pages it is a difficult read. I had to re-read the first chapter because the first time I read it I wasn't really into it and that makes me read without paying attention and in this book made me miss everything, with all the big ideas that Nick randomly spouts off it's hard to read it without getting confused if you aren't paying attention. So as you probably know the book is not from the point of view of Gatsby as the title would suggest, or even from the point of view of his love interest Daisy Buchanan. It is from the point of view of Gatsby's neighbor and Daisy's cousin ; Nick Carraway. This was kind of distracting at the beginning since I wanted to know about Gatsby and there Nick was talking about how his family got into money and where he lives in west egg. It took a while to get into the story from his point of view and although I get why it's not from any insiders point of view I think I would have liked a view from one of the more central characters. Apart from Gatsby reaching to the green light, the first view you get of who he is, is from the guests and the huge extravagant parties he throws at his mansion next door to Nick. I did find it really funny when they were all drinking his liquor and enjoying his house while they could only ever speculate about the kind of man he really is, and they all sit and enjoy speculating while none of them (apart from Jordan) ever thinks well how about we get to know this man who is nice enough to throw us parties and show him a little bit of decency. He is very different from the rest of the characters and I think that is refreshing, he didn't earn his millions honestly like everyone else but he also wasn't born into it like the others who are all from considerable family wealth. At first I loved his love for Daisy and how it was shown, about him moving across the bay from her and all the parties but then I realised one; that Daisy is not a likable nice person, and two; Gatsby isn't really in love with her, he's very obviously in love with the idea of her, of her wealth and her family and her house and what they could have had had the war not come about. I really did hate Daisy and her husband Tom and I think that's the point of it. They're the old money type who get what they want and who completely go against the american dream, as not everyone in the book gets as good fortune as these two horrible people did. 
Another thing I didn't like so much was the to and frowing about Jordan's relationship with Nick. It was obvious that they were together and he admits that he was half in love with her but how that could be I don't know because she's only ever there when she's needed. She's never seen around Nick alone apart from on a favor to Gatsby and you don't see their relationship so I thought it was just a way to make Nick sort of emotionally involved with some character but not very much. 
So the film. It stuck to the book well with quotes pulled directly from the book that I sat and whispered while in the cinema, although one thing that struck me as annoying was that the sympolism while in the book is done discreatly and cleverly, they butchered F scott fitzgerald's delicacy as instead of the clever whispers it was more like they were shouting at us to realise that it was symbolism which isn't how it's supposed to work. The green light was way too over empasised with Gatsby actually trying to grasp it and Nick noting that the light is what he is trying to get to in his inner monlogue, which in the book he didn't actually realise. 
Also another thing is that while Daisy's daughter didn't get much screen time in the book she got significantly less in the film. There is a rather short but important scene in the book where Gatsby meets her which was missed out and I understand why but It still bothered me. Also Nick got into a weird kissing thing with Mytle's sister which I might be wrong but I can't remember that happening in the book. and his relationship with Jordan was actually none existent which suited me fine. By this I realise that it sounds like I hated the film which I didn't, I loved the modern feel to it and all the yellow and the shirt scene was amazing. but I do think it was over done on the symbolism which annoyed the hell out of me. Anyway I'm done now so Bye:)


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