WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS CONTAINED WITHIN!
Quite a remarkable book, which manages to encompass a wonderful story in surprisingly few pages (less than 180).
The story is narrated by Nick Carraway, a young man who rents a house next to the mansion owned by the famous and mysterious Jay Gatsby. Nick and Gatsby become friends, with Nick attending some of the famous parties which are held with regularity at Gatsby’s home. Although popular, the parties are always populated by people who hardly know Gatsby (indeed, thoughout the novel it becomes apparent that Gatsby has few people in his life who he could call friends), and who like to speculate about his lifestyle.
Thrown into the mix is Daily Buchanan, Nick’s cousin, who shares a history with Gatsby. Daisy is unhappily married to Tom Buchanan, a bullish businessman, who i embroiled in an affair with another woman.
Such a situation can never end well, and throughout the telling of the story it becomes apparent that Gatsby does not seem to be a man destined for happiness.
This book is simply wonderful; the writing is beautiful and almost poetic, with a sense of melancholy. The characters – in particular Daisy – are very well drawn. There is more here than the straightforward plot – this is a novel about dreams and illusions, and discontent. It’s a fabulous read – I wish I had read it years ago, but I am certain that I will rereading it in years to come.