The Great Gatsby

Front Cover
Penguin Books Limited, Feb 24, 2000 - Fiction - 176 pages
1486 Reviews
Now the subject of a major new film from director Baz Luhrmann (Romeo+Juliet, Moulin Rouge!), starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan, The Great Gatsby is F. Scott Fitzgerald's brilliant fable of the hedonistic excess and tragic reality of 1920s America. This Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction and notes by Tony Tanner.

Young, handsome and fabulously rich, Jay Gatsby is the bright star of the Jazz Age, but as writer Nick Carraway is drawn into the decadent orbit of his Long Island mansion, where the party never seems to end, he finds himself faced by the mystery of Gatsby's origins and desires. Beneath the shimmering surface of his life, Gatsby is hiding a secret: a silent longing that can never be fulfilled. And soon, this destructive obsession will force his world to unravel.
In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald brilliantly captures both the disillusionment of post-war America and the moral failure of a society obsessed with wealth and status. But he does more than render the essence of a particular time and place, for - in chronicling Gatsby's tragic pursuit of his dream - Fitzgerald re-creates the universal conflict between illusion and reality.

Like Jay Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) has acquired a mythical status in American literary history, and his masterwork The Great Gatsby is considered by many to be the 'great American novel'. In 1920 he married Zelda Sayre, dubbed 'the first American Flapper', and their traumatic marriage and Zelda's gradual descent into insanity became the leading influence on his writing. As well as many short stories, Fitzgerald wrote five novels This Side of Paradise, The Great Gatsby, The Beautiful and the Damned, Tender is the Night and, incomplete at the time of his death, The Last Tycoon. After his death The New York Times said of him that 'in fact and in the literary sense he created a "generation" '.

'A classic, perhaps the supreme American novel'
   John Carey, Sunday Times Books of the Century

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
607
4 stars
484
3 stars
233
2 stars
103
1 star
59

Great prose & storytelling...beautiful words! - Goodreads
The plot itself is also weak and pacing is difficult. - Goodreads
I appreciated the eloquent writing of Mr. Fitzgerald. - Goodreads
The ending totally threw me off guard. - Goodreads
A wonderful depiction of a post World War One America. - Goodreads
the purest love story ever.. - Goodreads

Review: The Great Gatsby

User Review  - Anna J - Goodreads

The writing was incredible, really! But I didn't enjoy the story. I was bored through the first 100 pages, and I wasn't interested in the whole plot. I didn't get attached to the characters, which is a kind of a problem : I felt like I had to be sad for Gatsby, but I didn't care. Read full review

Review: The Great Gatsby

User Review  - Wsb - Goodreads

One of the BEST books that I have ever read. Nick Carraway moves in next door to the elusive Jay Gatsby. After being invited to one of Gatsby's parties he begins to spend more time with him and finds ... Read full review

All 330 reviews »

About the author (2000)

F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in 1896 in St Paul, Minnesota, and went to Princeton University, which he left in 1917 to join the army. He was said to have epitomized the Jazz Age, which he himself defined as 'a generation grown up to find all Gods dead, all wars fought, all faiths in man shaken'. In 1920 he married Zelda Sayre. Their traumatic marriage and her subsequent breakdowns became the leading influence on his writing. Among his publications were five novels, This Side of Paradise, The Great Gatsby, The Beautiful and the Damned, Tender is the Night and The Last Tycoon (his last and unfinished work); six volumes of short stories and The Crack Up, a selection of autobiographical pieces.

Fitzgerald died suddenly in 1940. After his death The New York Times said of him that 'He was better than he knew, for in fact and in the literary sense he invented a 'generation'. . . he might have interpreted and even guided them, as in their midle years they saw a different and nobler freedom threatened with destruction.'

Bibliographic information