The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby

The parties at Gatsby’s Long Island mansion were legendarily glamorous affairs.

Yet amid the throng of guests, starlets and champagne waiters, their host would appear oddly aloof. For there was only one person Jay Gatsby sought to impress. She was Daisy Buchanan: married, elegant, seducing men with a silken charisma and ‘a voice…full of money’.

As Gatsby pursues shady deals and his doomed obsession with Daisy, F. Scott Fitzgerald distils the essence of the Jazz Age, and probes to the empty heart of the American Dream. – Blurb from Penguin Popular Classics book

In 2013, I believe, The Great Gatsby was gifted to me by a pen-pal in Scotland at Christmas. I don’t know why I didn’t pick up the book before now – maybe the idea of reading it didn’t interest me, or I had other things to read – and the book was pushed to the back of the pile. Then, I had a question from her asking about my characters and who they would be in Gatsby. That was when I decided it had to be read.

I was pleasantly surprised, and regret not picking it up earlier. Although it didn’t entice me to begin with – moreover, I had trouble deciphering exactly what the book was talking about due to language I was not used to (but has apparently furrowed its way into my mind) – it grew on me, and I spent one morning finishing it off after not turning a page for about a week. It was in this morning of the 26th June 2014 that I fell in love with the book.

The characters are all unique to themselves – Daisy with her snootiness and naivetés; Nick with his straight-forward thinking and probably the most stable of the lot; and finally Gatsby, with his ‘doomed obsession’ and varying moods. The have different voices and even catchphrases, old sport. They are also painted in such a way you can see them as you read, and they become real. Obviously, this is something you want in a good piece of writing, and it is presented perfectly.

As for the plot, well, it isn’t the most interesting. It is the way Fitzgerald has told it that makes it interesting. Events that occur all the way through – side plots, if you will – add to the main one, and make it so the actual plot doesn’t bore you. Sure, this is used in all books, but I particularly noted it in Gatsby. Vivid descriptions that bring the scenes to life. Fitzgerald’s way of narrating is, although it was written 88 years ago, rather relatable also.

I think it was Fitzgerald’s entertaining voice that kept me reading; that, and the descriptions, which were brilliant. I think this is one of the few books I would be willing to read again, and may even do so.

Overall, I seriously recommend Gatsby. Some people may not like it because they had to study it in school (that really does destroy so many good books!) but I think that if you want to have a look into the past, it’s a brilliant way to do so. Although I can’t yet completely put my finger on why I love this book so, I think it has something to do with the characters – maybe they’ll grow on you, too. I may even try watching the film.

Names…

Now, I don’t know about you, but I really really really have a thing for names.

Since I first heard it when I must’ve been about 5, my all time favourite name was ‘Sam’ (for boys anyway; girls is ‘Alice’). I even named my teddy bear ‘Sam’ (although this got awkward when I moved house and started fancying a guy called Sam. BOOM, everyone thinks I named by teddy bear after him…).

But what about meanings for people names. Do the names you use mean anything? I like mine to mean things, but if I see the perfect name, I will bloomin’ well use it.

For example, though, I am planning for a Teen Wolf fanfiction (happy face!). I want my MC to be called ‘Quinn’, which is the name of one of my American friends, and also means ‘smart’, which I would like my character to be. Another name I want to use for a boy, who I am likely going to kill, is ‘Enos’, which means ‘mortal’.

Gods, I feel so evil sometimes.

But what really made me write this post was trying to think up place names. I ended up using a generator today, because after failing to find inspiration in my living room, I gave up. I think place names are much much harder than character names, mainly because you can name someone ‘James’ and no one will think anything of it. But if you call a small village ‘London’, people will think you’re a bit odd.

I own a baby name book (no, I’m not pregnant) with 60,001+ names; it is my savior. For another work in progress, I used the place name ‘Haute’, which I later looked up in my book (it gives meanings, too). If I can’t think of any names, I use the book. If I can’t think up surnames, I use the book, because some of the names are a bit weird and suit surnames instead. Normally, if I can’t think up any place names, I’ll have a look in the book (I just really could not be bothered to get up and get it today. Tells you how tired I am, really).

So yes, I’m not really sure what the purpose of this was. Just go and get yourself a baby name book, and you’ll never ever look back. Trust me. I’m the Doctor.

(Well, not really, but could you imagine?!)