The Great Gatsby

By F. Scott Fitzgerald,

Book cover of The Great Gatsby

Book description

As the summer unfolds, Nick is drawn into Gatsby's world of luxury cars, speedboats and extravagant parties. But the more he hears about Gatsby - even from what Gatsby himself tells him - the less he seems to believe. Did he really go to Oxford University? Was Gatsby a hero…

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. (learn more)

Why read it?

10 authors picked The Great Gatsby as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Is this the perfect novel? I suspect it is one of them. How can I feel so uplifted, so enraptured, by a tragic story of deluded liars? The language: Fitzgerald’s writing is transcendent. So richly lyrical that it always threatens to tip over into melodrama, but somehow never does, this brief but vibrant story always grounds itself in the fundamental need to be loved.

It's set in 1922, on an island off New York City, narrated by the passive Nick Carraway. Nick watches his friend, Daisy, endure a loveless marriage to a bully and briefly revive an affair with the…

From Tessa's list on the 1920s.

Fitzgerald himself saw the book as a struggle between rich and poor. Bootlegging functions as a backdrop to the corruption of America and its aspiring classes. The narrator, Nick Carraway, escapes the attention of most readers who think the book is about Gatsby, when in fact it is about Nick, who at the outset disapproves of Gatsby and concludes by praising him. I particularly like the irony that Nick and readers of the novel think Gatsby foolish for thinking that you can repeat the past; but in fact, the book proves that you can repeat it. Nick relates his story…

From Paul's list on arresting gangsters.

Century Press is pleased to present a special new edition of The Great Gatsbylimited to 500 letterpress printed copies

  • Bound in black, upcycled designer sheepskin leather, letterpress printed on premium cotton paper, and Smyth-sewn for maximum durability.
  • Italian, tight-weave, 100% cotton ribbon bookmark.
  • Original gold-stamped artwork on the front cover, back cover, and spine by Canadian artist Rachel Moranis.
  • New introduction by Canadian Miles Corak, Professor of Economics at the City University of New York and originator of the Great Gatsby Curve.

Check out this amazing letterpress version here.

I know this is a bit of a conceit. Jay wasn’t really changed by war in the way we’re talking about, but he did return a different man than when he left. I really just wanted to talk about the influence of Fitzgerald’s musicality, his incredible prose, on how I try to write. He’s writing a song, it seems to me, and when I read it, it’s like a spell and I think I vibrate at a different frequency than before I read it. Hunter Thompson had it too, but Fitzgerald was before him. Also, it has my favorite last…

From Christopher's list on being changed by war.

F. Scott Fitzgerald, in The Great Gatsby, played his classic variation on the same theme of the American Dream gone sour for a poor boy fatally obsessed with a beautiful rich girl, but did so, unlike Dreiser, in some of the most gorgeous and quotable prose in all of American literature.

The Great Gatsby – the novel is thoroughly steeped in the Twenties.

The Great Gatsby celebrates the Roaring Twenties because its writer, Scott Fitzgerald lived through that magical time, when all things became possible; short skirts, girls meeting boys without chaperones, dancing all night; the world was very young. 

A second reason to feature this novel is its recent film with Leonardo DiCaprio playing Gatsby.

From Renee's list on women with pasts and futures.

This is a book everyone should read. The language is as fresh today, as when it was published in 1925 and demonstrates a uniquely American lingo. The intensely romantic prose centers on the immorality of wealthy people and how lower-income people pay the price but the rich never do. Gatsby is a handsome “young roughneck” who cannot get over his youthful love for the now-married Daisy Buchanan. But “Rich girls don’t marry poor boys” and so their love is doomed. Gatsby makes it his obsession to earn the money he thinks he should in order to win Daisy back, despite…

This book does not fall strictly into the crime genre, but the climax of the story hinges on a hit and run car accident. There is adultery in the novel but the central theme is one of unrequited love, which is the main tragedy of the novel. The personal story of the characters is set against the backdrop of America in the 1920s, the ‘Jazz Age’, and the book gives a snapshot of the era, in a veiled but excoriating exposé of the Great American Dream. In the real world, another tragedy played out, with the novel a commercial flop…

From Leigh's list on wanting to read about murder.

After the heady summer of 1922, during which he has become entangled with the enigmatic Jay Gatsby and the cheery hedonism of New York society, Mid-Westerner Nick Carraway decides that he needs "no more riotous excursions with privileged glimpses into the human heart." His experiences are truly once-in-a-lifetime. In the end, however, he realises that, for the sake of his personal identity—and his sanity—he needs to return home and recover a much-needed sense of groundedness. He needs to reacquaint himself with his own character.

From Michael's list on to confront the forks in life’s road.

Don Quixote, who first appears in public in 1604, imagines himself riding around the world saving damsels in distress, righting wrongs, and punishing criminals, and his imagination is so powerful that it drives his life. I believe, therefore I am! That his beliefs are delusional does not seem to matter.

The only people he actually helps are the leisured aristocracy, who stand as proxy for all who dwell in the modern world. They become fascinated by his adventures—and for the very quality in him that they lack, his capacity for life. To use the terms of Don Quixote’s leading…

In my view (and that of wonderful mentors, like Rollo May), this book is the great American novel, until proven otherwise. The book captures both the wonder and possibility of our vivacious country, while at the same time, pulling no punches about our “shadow” side.  It’s all here—ambition, boldness, the breaking into fresh terrain, romance; but also and equally, greed, bigotry, lust, and disillusionment.  The book also covers an underappreciated shadow side—“carelessness.”  Poignantly, the work shows that “careless” people, such as Nick and Daisy (as well as Gatsby at points) are the result of a too often corrupt and fear-driven…

From Kirk's list on meaning and purpose of life.

Want books like The Great Gatsby?

Our community of 7,000+ authors has personally recommended 10 books like The Great Gatsby.

Browse books like The Great Gatsby

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in New York City, the Roaring Twenties, and midwest?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about New York City, the Roaring Twenties, and midwest.

New York City Explore 699 books about New York City
The Roaring Twenties Explore 10 books about the Roaring Twenties
Midwest Explore 23 books about midwest