The Great Gatsby

As everyone is well aware, The Great Gatsby has recently been released in theaters and as a result has been the subject of quite a bit of talk.  Undoubtedly, this has caused many people to pick up a copy of the original book, hoping that the movie will stay true to its words.  While I have yet to see the film, I did recently finish the book.  Honestly, my thoughts are a bit jumbled at this point as I am suffering from what I like to call a “book hangover”, which, in this instance, means that I feel as though I am in Gatsby’s mansion back in the twenties rather than my suburban home in 2013.

Despite my book hangover, I feel that I should share my thoughts, however murky, on Gatsby. First of all, I am in no way questioning the literary value of Fitzgerald’s work, but I did find it to have a strange quality about it.  It felt that he wrote in primarily metaphors and at the beginning it was difficult to understand.  By the second chapter, I was able to comprehend the author’s style without a problem, but I still found myself questioning the plot.  I felt that the relationship between Daisy and Gatsby was not nearly as well-developed as I would have liked it to be and honestly, Gatsby and the narrator, Nick, were the only two characters I could stand.  I absolutely hated Tom, but I gather that Fitzgerald was aiming at this, and I know that I am supposed to admire the lovely Daisy, but I really just found her dim-witted and weak.  Again, this is most likely what the author intended, but it frustrated me just the same.  Overall, I did enjoy the book, even with my dislike of most of its characters.  I found it to contain a fascinating plot, written exquisitely by a masterful author. Now I can justify my claims to be a fan of Fitzgerald’s writing and I do not feel like a fake for pinning many of his quotes on Pinterest.  I highly recommend this book as a quick and intriguing read.  As Jay Gatsby might say, “Give it a try, old sport!”

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Gone With the Wind

I recently finished reading Gone With the Wind and let me preface this by saying, only read this book if you are at liberty to devote your entire self to it for the full extent of its 1000 pages.  I encourage everyone to not just read it, but to read it with the type of whole-hearted obsession that prevents one from studying for finals or doing her homework (oops.)

I began reading Gone With the Wind some time ago, when I was struggling to finish another novel, which I had expected to love due to its attractive cover, proving that one really should never judge books by their coves. This book was exceedingly dull and I began to search for literary satisfaction elsewhere, thus enter Gone With the Wind. My relationship with Margaret Mitchell’s work began as a sort of love affair; I would sneak into my school library at lunch, read a few pages, and then sneak away, returning to my other novel as if I had been completely faithful to it. A fellow bookworm, my “Gilbert Blythe” understood my dilemma and later that week, presented me with a gorgeous copy of Gone With the Wind, severing my relationship with the other novel forever.  For a few days, the new book sat forlorn on my nightstand, waiting to be read. But with finals looming, I vowed to study instead of read for pleasure. Finally, I caved and opened to the first line: “Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized that…” Immediately I knew that I was trapped in the world of Confederates, southern belles, and scandals that is Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind.

My fascination with this book continued until the very last sentence: “Tomorrow is another day.” Having devoted so much time and emotion to this book, however, I could not bring myself to believe this line; life simply could not continue without Rhett, Melanie, and Scarlett! (Well, maybe Scarlett…) I sat in a state of shock after I reluctantly let the covers fall shut. Mourning as I might for a departed friend, I realized that there was only one thing left for me to do: watch the movie and hope that it is even half as good as the book. 🙂