Once in a while, a book comes along that, after you read and close the book, leaves you with a sense of loss. Not every book does that, though the feeling is that it does. I’m not a big fan of love stories when it comes to books, but that is perhaps down to having read very few good ones. The Great Gatsby is a tale that has rekindled a hope that there are love stories that do not require mush, or an overt, public display of love. They hold my attention with how the love is expressed, how long it lasts, and how beautiful it feels to read it.
Reading the first chapter of the book, you don’t get an inkling as to where the story is headed. It is only in the third chapter that the book does seem to get a move on. We meet the Gatsby who we’ve heard of earlier, Nick Carraway’s neighbor who’s rich, throws wild parties where people even come uninvited, whose story no one knows but everyone tries to assume, who’s generous enough to let some stay in the large mansion and is perhaps the most interesting character in West Egg. It’s Gatsby who makes the pages turn after that. Gatsby, with his partial honesty with Nick, giving proof of who he claims he is. Gatsby, with his determination to win the heart of the woman he once had to leave… Nick’s cousin Daisy. It’s with small details that the depth of his love is known; like the number of days since they last met, asking him through Jordan to ask Daisy to tea, not revealing his identity, and even going on to directly inform Tom, Daisy’s husband that Daisy never loved him. Gatsby’s love is something to admire. Tom’s love on the other hand, wavering, adulterous and unsure till he realizes that his mistress may no longer be around, didn’t feel like love at all. And Daisy… did she love Gatsby as much as he loved her? That’s something I find difficult to answer. Till the twist to the tale, I thought she did. After that too, I thought she did. But looking in retrospect, I do not know for sure. Why did the story have to end, and have to end the way it did still saddens me. It went a direction that I did not expect, and made me wonder if it is indeed “survival of the fittest” when it came to love.
I do not know what to make of this book, except to say that it was one of the finest I have read to date. The slow start to the book can be forgiven because of what follows it. Wonderful characterization, with narration and a plot that kept the pages turning, the story had essence. It was delivered with panache, wit, humor at places where it was needed. The story felt real too. But I hate, yet love, the ending. I think this is one of those classics that is enjoyable. I definitely shall read it again.
|Title: The Great Gatsby|
|Author(s): F. Scott Fitzgerald||Genre: Classics / Romance|
|ISBN/ASIN: 9788182524378||Publisher: Wilco Classics|
|No. of Pages: 170||Price: INR. 199|
(© 7th August 2015)