I read The Great Gatsby mainly because it has been calling to me from the bookshelf for far too long, but also because I a plan on seeing the film.
To begin with it is not something I would usually pick to read and review but giving it's infamy I don't think, that as a reader or a writer I can avoid its influence. The plot is surprisingly bland, the characters aren't particularly likeable and are at time harsh but mainly shallow. It is the skill of writing the thing that makes this book special. Fitzgerald has managed to take a plot, cast and setting that could be uninviting and stir up emotion.. It was have been easier (but not easy) to fall back on the parties, to use their obvious luxury to entice the reader. Instead Fitzgerald takes us on a detour to discover West Egg. Each character seems to contain a single trait of human nature and so it is the book combined, or as an entire picture that reflects the world we live in.
The great Gatsby himself is actually not that great. I think that this is where the beauty of the book lies. It looks past all the pomp and extravagance, using it as a tool to both conceal and reveal Gatsby and the inhabitants of West Egg or further a field. This outer shell of presentation is torn back before the book has begun and so in 180 pages we get to the heart of it all. The period is truly dissected.
I admire it, the effect the book has had on the public recently and the imagery it contains. The book itself is alluded to occasionally in other writing and so knowing where that comes in is helpful. Fitzgerald's writing is beautiful and more-ish, it's likely I will read more of Fitzgerald's work very soon.