The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The book for our on-line readers for August is the American classic [sometimes called masterpiece] , the Great Gatsby, of the 1920 period . The novel features Jay Gatsby who had grand vision and a murky past - a sort of American Dream/tragedy theme. When I have finished reading it again I will add to my thoughts on it but feel free to start making comments whenever you wish. I enjoyed it very much when I first read it and recommend it warmly. It is colourful and very easy to read.
F. Scott Fitzgerald was a larger than life literary character himself whose tempestuous marriage to his writer wife Zelda has been the subject of various films and popular stories. - See also Sheilah Grahame, newspaper columnist who had an affair with Fitzgerald.
A current work which has received critical acclaim in the US and elsewhere - Netherland by Josph O'Neill - has been compared to Gatby in that it amplifies the theme of the American Dream and Tragedy.

Additional note from Faye
I am delighted to have read this again - it has well and truly stood up with a second reading for me. I think it is close to perfect prose. The first person narrative by Nick Carraway - the sympathetic observer of Jay Gatsby - is convincing and engaging. A fair bit of melodrama keeps the interest up along with the characterisation . The observation of nature and general description of the surroundings are both fantastic. J. B. Priestley writing fulsomely of Fitzgerald's talent in an introduction for the older Bodley Head Edition I have been reading says of his writing power he has " an uncommonly acute sense of time and place , and an unforced and easy and very economical power of what I can only call symbolic effect" This smallish novel book contains all of this yet remains a relevant and entertaining read.

The ending of Gatsby really blew my mind this time - I re-read the last 4 pars several times - they are magic. I realise i didnt really know what the American dream meant and now I do . It is a more complex and more expressive idea than I had realised or remembered. This novel hold your interest throughout with the story line and finishes as well as it starts. No wonder it sits there firmly in the pantheon.