“He smiled understandingly – much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced–or seemed to face–the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.”
Okay, so some of you may be wondering why I only gave this book a rating of 3/5. I know it is a well loved story - a classic American novel - but it was just lacking in some areas for me.
I enjoyed the description and liveliness of the 1920′s in this novel. I could vividly imagine glamorous girls and suave gentleman, including Gatsby himself. I didn’t feel like I got to know Gatsby well enough though. I understand that this was probably done intentionally, to coincide with his reputation but I wanted more. There was a nice air of vulnerability about him.
As for the narrator, Nick Carraway, I enjoyed reading the novel from his point of view. I thought at times he came across as a little rigid and boring. I suppose he had to contrast with Gatsby’s rougher and more mysterious edge. The narration allowed Gatsby to remain aloof, as we never got to hear his thoughts or feelings from his own POV. I longed for more description of the goings-on of Gatsby’s many parties though, I wanted to attend one!
I despised Tom Buchanan. I thought he was a miserable, arrogant, aggressive man who did not deserve to be with Daisy, his wife. I desperately wanted him to get his comeuppance. Jordan Baker was a relatively strong, independent woman and I liked this about her. Compared with Daisy, she exuded girl power.
The pace certainly picked up in the last third of the book, which I felt was needed. I wasn’t expecting the events that happened towards the end, so this was a pleasant surprise.
Overall, I liked the book and am glad that I finally got around to reading it. I will certainly be watching the latest film adaptation soon.