Gransnet forums


The Great Gatsby

(41 Posts)
KatGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 16-May-13 12:43:57

Jolyon Connell author, with John Sutherland, of The Connell Guide to The Great Gatsby - looks into why The Great Gatsby is seen to be one of the greatest American novels. Read his guest blog post here.

Have you read the book? Are you going to see the film?

j08 Thu 16-May-13 12:50:58

No and no. But if you've got a free book going, I will be happy to read it.

And give you an excellent review of it. smile

Daisyanswerdo Thu 16-May-13 12:59:11

I'm reading The Great Gatsby now; I'm about half way through. I should have read it before, but for some reason I've always just assumed I wouldn't like F. Scott Fitzgerald. I'm ashamed of this unreasonable assumption now. Over and over again I'm astonished at the vocabulary, the humour, the assurance of the writing.

Whether I'll go to see the film, I'm not sure. I'm not encouraged by some of the reviews I've read, and so often the mental pictures engendered by reading a book are distorted by its cinematic treatment.

Never will I forget the huge disappointment of seeing the film of National Velvet, when I was a child. I adored the book (still do), and Elizabeth Taylor and the horse were just so unlike the description of Velvet and The Pie.

JessM Thu 16-May-13 12:59:49

So lousy characterisation of a nasty little bunch of people. Not very long. Not much plot. But good writing. Why would this translate into a successful film?
Book didn't do a thing for me. Why the success?
Personal theory is that it is a great, alliterative title (useful for the film) and that the USA was truly desperate to identify its own literary heroes.

Tegan Thu 16-May-13 13:11:05

Yes; I was disappointed with National Velvet, the film, with it being one of my favourite books [I don't regard it as a childrens book as it deals very much with fame and what happens to people when fame is thrust upon them. In that way it's a very contemporary book eg the press try to fabricate a romantic liason between Velvet and Mi] but I do like it's quaintness now. I always wanted it to be remade using Desert Orchid as The Pie [with a few black splodges painted on]. I did suggest it to his owner [who was a scriptwriter] but he said it wouldn't be the same without Elizabeth Taylor [he had a point there]. The Great Gatsby always appears on 'best books ever written' lists and I did enjoy reading it many years ago, but the new film has been critiscised [maybe the Robert Redford film is still the better adaptation?]. Will probably see it next week. Maybe the more interesting aspect is/was the relationship between the author and Zelda who was a fascinating [albeit tortured] woman.

HildaW Thu 16-May-13 14:09:30

I read the book many years ago and my recollections of it do not match the trailers I've seen of the new film. Its got a rather arid almost bleak feel to it when you read it. All that flashy glamour of the film seems at odds with my memories.

Tegan Thu 16-May-13 14:29:29

Not to mention being in 3D shock...

JessM Thu 16-May-13 14:38:01

Our multiplex cinema has just acquired something called DBox motion experience (or some such) - i.e seats that move. To help you get the best out of your 3D experience, i assume.
Can see how this would work with the forthcoming car crash film Fast and Furious 6 (or is it 7) - saw the trailer last night when we went to StarTrek.
I think it might be a laugh. But will not be losing my DBox virginity on either the GG or FF6 grin

nightowl Thu 16-May-13 14:38:53

I love the book, and I loved the film with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, even though I think it received bad reviews at the time. I seem to remember it being criticised for the huge budget (?) though I'm not sure if I'm remembering that right. Who could have imagined the enormous amounts involved in the film industry nowadays.

I will go to see the remake, but only because DD and son's partner have asked me to go with them. I can't see Leonardo de Caprio as Gatsby or Carey Mulligan as Daisy ( even though I love her in other things). As for the soundtrack by Jay-Z, just shoot me now. I can't stand him or his wife. I hope to be able to persuade my DD and daughter-out-law to read the book after seeing the film, but I'm not holding my breath.

Tegan Thu 16-May-13 22:01:20

My son in law read the book years ago and loved it. I've not liked some of Carey Mulligans recent films [Drive and Shame srpring to mind] but loved her in Never Let Me Go [sob] and An Education.

Bez Thu 16-May-13 23:03:57

I have just been to see the film with DD and DGD - we all loved it - very well filmed - the party scenes gave a huge number of extras a bit of work!! Leonardo Di Caprio was good in the part - I saw the original black and white film but not the Robert Redford one. I remembered the gist of the story but that was all. I was not expecting it to be as good as it was- but then I often like films better than the critics do!! grin

petesuffolk Fri 17-May-13 18:17:08

Saw TGG today. Very slow start, nearly fell asleep during first hour and a half, then it perked up towards the end?

1Rockingran Sat 18-May-13 11:20:26

I won't be going to see this film as I saw the original with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, thought Redford was very wooden in it. Did not like it as I found it boring, have not got round to reading the book as the film put me off. Maybe try to read it now as it is not fresh in my mind.

gran4 Sat 18-May-13 12:09:10

Saw it yesterday in 3d and loved it! Want my 70th birthday party to be just like the parties gatsby held. Neither leonardo de c. Or Toby McGuire favourites of mine but they played their characters well. It's a tale of superficial lives, corruption, and bigotry.....but I am in love with 3d.

j08 Sat 18-May-13 12:33:39

Actually I think I have read this book. And liked it. Is it the one where someone lives next door to him? (Or not? hmm

Maggiemaybe Sat 18-May-13 17:13:00

Yes, that sounds like the one, j08 smile As I recall, Gatsby moved next to, or across from, his beloved Daisy so that he could gaze out soppily into the dark over to her house.

I loved the (gasp) 1974 version and am off to see this one in 3D tomorrow - confound the critics and the 3D sceptics, I can't wait to get those glasses on again!

Maggiemaybe Sun 19-May-13 19:54:09

Wow, I loved it! So different from the 1970s version, but the party scenes were spectacular and the modern music track really worked. I'm glad I didn't listen to the critics.

j08 Sun 19-May-13 20:33:13

This is a bargain if you haven't read it. Gatsby and two more

Yes, I have read it Maggiemaybe. Going to download this lot and read it again though.

MargaretX Sun 19-May-13 20:54:36

I never go to see any film of a book I have read, and as I read The Great Gatsby as a young woman - and found it rather long winded- I won't miss anything. It was serialised in Radio 4 Classic serial a while ago and actually there have been so many better American novels written.

Its appeal must be the time and the dressing up of the American moneyed classes and a few goodlooking actors.

feetlebaum Mon 20-May-13 09:30:41

I too put off reading Gatsby for years - but I recently picked up a Kindle edition, and was very agreeably surprised... I can certainly see that any film-maker would have problems with it, as with any novel with a first person narrator.

It seems to me a very American style, lean and surgically accurate use of vocabulary - I can't help thinking of Steinbeck...

j08 Mon 20-May-13 10:44:16

Steinbeck! Loved his 'big' novels but ground slowly to a halt halfway through Sweet Thursday. Must find it and try to finish it.

j08 Mon 20-May-13 10:46:04

Anyone else find 'Gransnet' and 'Book Club' a contradiction of terms?

Elegran Mon 20-May-13 10:55:07

? Jingle I don't follow? Grans/books not mutually exclusive. surely? Most of us can read.

j08 Mon 20-May-13 10:57:14

I mean the time spent gransnetting eats into reading time. I read far more before GN came on the scene.

Elegran Mon 20-May-13 11:00:14

Now I get it. Gransnet/Kindle is another mismatch.