I'm a pop culture writer and editor living in San Francisco who commutes about half an hour with audio books five days a week. I go through a lot of audio books.
I bought this, as I'm sure many will, just to listen to Tim Robbins read it. As a longtime fan of "The Great Gatsby," I'm very familiar with the book, and thought this would make for a fun way to revisit the material.
Robbins is wholly at home in the role of Nick Carraway, and he's wonderful when he's reading for Tom Buchanan, but I had a hard time with his characterizations of any of the women, and, most importantly, with Gatsby himself. Robbins slips into a lazy sort of disconnected voice for Gatsby, as if he's constantly existing on another plane, never fully present. While that's arguably true to the character's mindset, it comes off as distracting and contrived. His Daisy and Jordan are worse, every word bent into an equally lazy lilt that made me want to fast forward every time I heard it.
The saving grace is the story itself of course. And Robbins' narration does help bring to life some of the descriptions of Gatsby's parties, and Nick's outsider perception of the entire ordeal. I would never warn anyone away from this book, but you might go with a different narrator.
First of all, my review title has nothing to do with the book itself but instead the narrator. I love Tim Robbins on screen. He has great screen presence and charisma but his speech style does not transfer well as a narrator and especially not for this story. Frank Muller's speech style plays better.
I love The Great Gatsby, but Tim Robbins' narration is just awful. He gives the characters terrible Southern drawls and the voices are annoying. I couldn't finish listening to it because Robbins was just too distracting. This is one of my all time favorite books and it was just ruined by the narration. Find another reading if you love Fitzgerald.
This is by far the best job of reading/acting I've ever heard. This classic novel will not disappoint if you enjoy complex stories. No doubt I will listen to it again.
I wouldn't recommend this audiobook to any friend of mine that is reading the Great Gatsby for school. The chapters do not line up. The book has 9 chapters and the audiobook only has 6. it made it hard to follow along with.
Never read the print but Tim Robbins did a wonderful job of reading it for me.
With legendary novels like The Great Gatsby it is very difficult to pick out the memorable moments but rather than going with instances like Daisy hitting Myrtle Wilson but I remember most the feeling I had after Nick blew off Jordan at the end. It really just capped off a story in which every single character had such a beautiful light shown on them at the very beginning and throughout the book, one by one, the lights begin to go out and I really began to hate the characters. And when Nick, himself, was fed up with the dispicableness of his peers, it only made sense that rather than step up and be the only hero of this book, he just acts like a dick to his girlfriend and lets his light go out with the rest.
You can actually come to believe that Tim Robbins must absolutely love this book. He reads with such enthusiasm and breathes so much life into these characters that every moment is a joy for what he'll do with the words just as much as what the words are going to convey.
This book made me laugh and go "WHOA!" It's a very emotional story that throws very disconcerting twists. Its probably an important book for kids to read so that they can learn about the things in life that we would never condone but still would never disclose.
How many books have been written? Millions? If you take the time to think about that and then have the realization of how outstanding this book is, you may begin to understand the differences between writing and literature; between something interesting and something artful; between something worth remembering and something unforgettable.
The Great Gatsby may be a classic novel but it is a terrible audiobook. Tim Robbins is a great actor but talent did not translate well in this audiobook. His voice was monotone in the extreme and the overall performance was anything but good. This is a great literary work of art but don't waste your money on the audiobook unless you are looking for boredom and then sleep.
It's pretty hard to mess up The Great Gatsby, but Tim Robbins' narration is not ideal. To be fair, his rendering of Gatsby himself is absolutely spot-on: he makes Gatsby incredibly muted and restrained in his speech, capturing brilliantly the man's enigmatic and repressed demeanour. Unfortunately, I found his rendering of Daisy and Jordan to be an irritating travesty, as he turns both of them into absurdly flamboyant caricatures of Southern belles, with no subtlety or charm. It's hard to imagine anyone falling in love with these monstrosities.
Other narrators are available and you might want to give them a try.
All of it.
The reader is dry and slow and sleepy and sounds like he's bored or just woke up. He sounds like an amateur. Like he's never done an audiobook before, and probably hasn't. Famous actors sometimes make awful readers. The BEST VERSION is on CASSETTE TAPE by Christopher Reeve. Yes, SUPERMAN reads GATSBY BEST! Find the old cassette version. It hasn't been put on digital, sadly.
Please put CHRISTOPHER REEVE ON DIGITAL!!!