Updated: Dec 23, 2018
A thought-provoking story of decadence, longing and tradegy.
The Audible version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel of the roaring twenties is narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal as the voice of Nick Carraway. Carraway was the young bond salesman, who rents the small house next door to the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby. Nick was also a second cousin once removed to the beautiful Daisy Buchanan. Jay Gatsby had met and lost Daisy during the war. After the war, Gatsby made himself very wealthy. He wanted desperately to get back into the life of Daisy Buchanan and he uses Nick to reintroduce them. Their reunion leads to a disparity between the characters’ fantasies and reality.
“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever sense. “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”
It been quite awhile since I read this book and I wanted to revisit it to reacquaint myself with the story. I’m so glad that I did. I had forgotten more of it than I remembered. It’s a moving, poignant and thoughtful work of literary fiction which explores the trials and tribulations of attempting to achieve the American Dream during the Jazz age. It’s a story of decadence, longing and tragedy. The writing was eloquent and seemingly perfect for the 1920’s period. The characters were memorable, particularly Nick Carraway, Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan. My favorite part was the vivid scene descriptions, from Daisy and Jordan’s billowing dresses to the description of the “valley of ashes”
“Everyone suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known.”
“I couldn’t forgive him or like him, but I saw that what he had done was to him, entirely justified. It was all very careless and confused. They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”
Publisher Audible Inc
Published April 9, 2013, original publication 1925 Charles Scribner Sons
Narrated Jake Gyllenhaal