In preparation for the upcoming movie, I read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby, which was published in 1925, is regarded as a “Great American Novel” and one of the best novels of the 20th century. I think a lot of people probably read The Great Gatsby in school, but it was never part of my curriculum, so I got to read it for the first time. It’s less than 200 pages long, so it’s a quick read.
The Great Gatsby is set during the Roaring Twenties, when the book was written. The novel is narrated by a character named Nick Carraway, a Midwesterner who moves to New York to start his career. He rents a modest cottage on an island called West Egg, next to the extravagant mansion of the young and mysterious Jay Gatsby. After Nick receives an invitation to one of Gatsby’s lavish parties, he finds himself drawn into his neighbor’s world and he attempts to figure out the man behind the facade.
I’m not sure why, but I was under the impression that The Great Gatsby would be a dull, tedious book. On the contrary, I thought the writing was beautiful and I found myself enjoying the story much more than I was expecting.
As I was reading, I remembered a short video segment I had seen on CBS Sunday Morning two years ago. It had footage of the demolition of the 21,000 square foot house that is believed to have inspired The Great Gatsby. It’s really unfortunate that the house was destroyed, but with a daily upkeep of $4500, I can hardly blame them.