Book Review: "The Great Gatsby;" Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald; Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc.; 1925 - Reissued (2008)
I want to be loved... just like that... with utter adoration and unwavering faithfulness that shines like a million twinkling stars in the dead of night, signaling to the world, 'I am love and my lover loves me'... just that way Jay Gatsby loved Daisy Buchanan in "The Great Gatsby." Exactly that way. Those were the thoughts that spilled through the gates in my mind and flooded my senses when I first read this book as a young teen, but being a hopeless romantic probably since the day I was born, the heart-on-his-sleeve kind of love displayed by Jay Gatsby was never forgotten by me.
And so, since then, I read "The Great Gatsby" yearly, every summer, stoking my appreciation for the fires of love that refuse to die as this story quietly slips from one era into the next, always delighting the majority of readers with its detailed writing and plethora of emotions, a book deemed riveting in its complexity.
So what is this hold that F. Scott Fitzgerald continues to hold over readers since 1925...?
Well, read these quotes from the book:
“His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy’s white face came up to his own. He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed like a flower and the incarnation was complete.”
“He looked at her the way all women want to be looked at by a man.”
This... is love on fire. This... love will live on in our minds. This... is a classic, an original hard to beat.
I was dizzy with the sheer appreciation I experienced from these above-noted quote and many other quotable sentences skillfully sewn together by Mr. Fitzgerald. Dreamy and other-worldly, he writes with a deep sadness, a man afraid to fully enjoy happy moments as he believes them to be fragile, no matter how beautiful they are for the fear of imminent loss is tangible within his mind. A sense of foreboding rings throughout the book. The quotable words are heavy and carry the weight of deep thought. The book displays layers of meanings and feelings so vividly, the complexity of the storyline is not lost on a highly attuned reader. Here is one quote that stays with you, coloring your thoughts in shades of gray, creating a sense of foreboding:
“All the bright precious things fade so fast, and they don’t come back.”
To love as fervently and with blind faith as Jay Gatsby, is... heavy. He is chasing an unattainable dream.
Daisy was... Daisy. She is revealed, layer by layer, to the discerning eye. No amount of soft depiction of elegance and grace by the author can hide her shallowness and greed. It begs the question, was Jay Gatsby truly in love with Daisy or the idea of loving her, closing his eyes to the truth, determined to love her for fear of shattering her perfect image in his mind? All his money, all the lavish parties and prominent friends... and Daisy owned his heart. For Jay, his intense feelings for Daisy are summed up in his quote:
“I love her and that’s the beginning and end of everything.”
This ache is prevalent throughout the book and yet these are words our hearts hunger for, to be loved and cherished; but, it is a beautiful thing when the love is equal and reciprocated.
I want to be loved like Jay loves Daisy but I also want the personal completeness of giving my love wholly in return, unifying the union. No gray within white clouds. Jay deserved that. A balanced love. A great love returned. A lot of times, we see as readers the intermingling of love and pain and when the author is a natural at depicting these in great detail, the words created become legendary quotes as is the case with "The Great Gatsby."
The writing, plot and characters are strongly depicted in this book. This a classic...an unforgettable, complex, mind-bending journey played out within the recesses of our emotions.
Naturally, 5 out 5 stars. An annual read.
I was not requested to do this review. I did it of my own volition, volunteering my views in an effort to bring the author and potential readers together. All opinions/views are my own.
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Book Reviewed: "The Great Gatsby;" Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald; Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc.; 1925 - Reissued (2008)
Book Blog Copyright (C) 2021 Mary-Lisa Russo
You have stumbled into the writing world of Mary-Lisa Russo, an avid storyteller observing the universe around her and her humble place amongst the stars. “Excerpts From The Wandering Mind” is Mary-Lisa’s first collection of poems and she is currently working on her next book, a compilation of romantic poetry. She is a university graduate having majored in English Literature and continues to nurture her ongoing writing education at a local college and other educational avenues. She is a member of the Ontario Poetry Society and various writers’ groups. She enjoys reading and giving a voice to fellow authors.