Ardent Audible listener with a long commute!
I read an article a week or so ago, criticizing electronic reviews, and pointing out that in some cases, the reviewer obviously hadn't read the review because its rating was so low. One of the examples quoted was a 1-star rating for this book, "The Great Gatsby." The article's writer pointed out that this is one of the greatest novels of the 20th century.
I can completely understand a 1-star rating for this book, although my rating is higher. I, too, was bored at the beginning. I almost stopped listening after the first third of the book. I kept going because I wanted to know why this was considered a great novel. I'd heard so much about it.
The story became more lively, and the characters became more complex and more interesting. By the end, I was enthralled. When I finished the book, I spent quite a lot of time thinking about what it meant.
Before I wrote this review, I read several other reviews, and I realized that one of the reasons the book is considered great is that individual readers see the book differently.
I saw the main characters and the story as a metaphor for a dissolute age, and I thought that the story could have taken place in the 1990's just as easily as it takes place in the 1920's. In both eras, the world was relatively at peace. Money could be easily made, impressions bought, and everyone wanted to be friends with the hottest celebrity around.
With a book like this, there's a temptation to just get the Cliff Notes to discuss the book knowledgeably, without reading it. Avoid the temptation - that would be like eating a Hershey's Bar instead of Godiva Chocolate.