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The Great Gatsby is a novel by the American author F. Scott Fitzgerald. Written in 1925, it is often referred to as "The Great American Novel," and as the quintessential work which captures the mood of the "Jazz Age."
The novel takes place following the First World War. American society enjoyed prosperity during the "roaring" 1920s as the economy soared. At the same time, Prohibition, the ban on the sale and manufacture of alcohol as mandated by the Eighteenth Amendment, made millionaires out of bootleggers. After its republishing in 1945 and 1953, it quickly found a wide readership and is today widely regarded as a paragon of the Great American Novel, and a literary classic.
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'Gatsby': The Greatest Of Them All.
It seems to me, though, that no American novel comes closer than "Gatsby" to surpassing literary artistry, and none tells us more about ourselves. In an extraordinarily compressed space -- the novel is barely 50,000 words long -- Fitzgerald gives us a meditation on some of this country's most central ideas, themes, yearnings and preoccupations: the quest for a new life, the preoccupation with class, the hunger for riches and "the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder."
~The Washington Post
“The quintessential Jazz Age novel.”
Rated 48 of the 100 Greatest Novels of All Time
Ranked 2nd of the 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century
Ranked 46 of the 100 Books of the Century
~ Le Monde
Audio reviews reflect PW's assessment of the audio adaptation of a book and should be quoted only in reference to the audio version.FictionTHE GREAT GATSBYF. Scott Fitzgerald, read by Tim Robbins. Caedmon Audio, unabridged, six cassettes, 7 hrs., Readers in that sizeable group of people who think The Great Gatsby is the Great American Novel will be delighted with Robbins's subtle, brainy and immensely touching new reading. There have been audio versions of Gatsby before this by Alexander Scourby and Christopher Reeve, to name two but actor/director Robbins brings a fresh and bracing vision that makes the story gleam. From the jaunty irony of the title page quote ("Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover, I must have you!") to the poetry of Fitzgerald's ending about "the dark fields of the republic" and "boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past," Robbins conjures up a sublime portrait of a lost world. And as a bonus, the excellent audio actor Robert Sean Leonard reads a selection of Fitzgerald's letters to editors, agents and friends which focus on the writing and selling of the novel. Listeners will revel in learning random factoids, e.g., in 1924, Scott and Zelda were living in a Rome hotel that cost just over $500 a month, and he was respectfully suggesting that his agent Harold Ober ask $15,000 from Liberty magazine for the serial rights to Gatsby.