Books are like that mystery flavour gum we get to try once in a while: everyone takes it in differently.
Because of our life experiences, no book review can be the same except for its literary observation (vocabulary, use of allusions, etc).
What i took from the novel, personally, was the notion that one must learn to forget their past, do not dwell on it; don't let it haunt you.
Gatsby devoted his entire life to earning a woman's attention, a lady who "got away".
I learned that sometimes it's best to forget or let the past go, to learn from it and move on. Or else you may end up in such regret and turmoil, trying to fix something that happened years ago.
I found Fitzgerald's writing style to be eloquent, visually evocative, and sophisticated. Which is one of the primary aims of the book isn't it - to portray ultimate sophistication during its' time? His visual imagery is incredible - I will always have in my minds eye the sign on the shabby road for the optometrist with the eyes and the glasses. That is one of the excellent things about this book IMHO - there are so many memorable scenes and bits of dialogue that one remembers long after reading the book. I will make a point of rereading it again - this will be my fourth reading, I think. Fitzgerald's whole life was dedicated to the glamor of the time in which he lived. It ultimately destroyed him and his wife, Zelda. It is a shame - The time was one of excess - he expressed it beautifully.
I don't know if some one else has mentioned it, but apparently the cover for the book was finished before he finished writing the book. Fitzgerald liked the image for the cover so much that he went back and wrote it into the book - hence the image on the optometrist's sign.
But, have you?
Yeah, we are too.It was a required read in college and for some reason, I could wrap my head around the likes of William James, but just couldn't "get" it. After I graduated, I must have started and stopped at least five or six times. I was very busy at the time and my heart was only half into it. I finally conquered and ended up loving the book about six years later when I would read it on work breaks. I remember reading it to this day there as it provided a great re-charge to me. I haven't picked it up since then, but I am really wanting to see the movie.
I read it a long time ago and would really need to reread it again to comment properly, but my overriding impression was of the emptiness of wealth and would compare it with a book like 'Bonfire of the Vanities'.