Is it me, or I have missed the point of F Scott Fitzgerald’s masterwork?
Read it over the weekend for the first time, and, well, it’s a great book. Brilliantly written, a section of New York society vividly recreated on the page, and a couple of shocking events. But what’s it really all about?
I mean, this is regarded as The Great American Novel. The one. The book that defines American literature. And I just can’t see it. It’s not an innovative user of language like James Joyce’s Ulysses, or an encapsulation of physics like Newton’s Principia, or a canon like Shakespeare’s plays, or a lesson in narrative like Gibbon’s Decline and Fall. It’s just a really good book. The trouble is, I had such expectations for this little paperback that I came away deflated.
American readers: help!