This story is the story of every man, woman and inner child. The hopeful anticipation of tomorrow and the disappointment with today resonates throughout the american spirit. In many ways Gatsby is the american dream itself, the unrelenting unselfish sacrifice of today in hopes of a better tomorrow. The pursuit of an unattainable ideal and the resentment of those who have what they can neither appreciate nor do they deserve. The world is filled with Toms and Daisys and Jordans; and while finding a Gatsby is rare - it is mr. Carroway that most eludes the real world. Carroway metaphorically representing our own consternation and disgust with the end of Gatsby as the end of optimism and the jaded cynicism that 30 brings with it leaves one to ponder the question, who lived best? Was it the moral man Carroway, the golden girl Daisy, the bored socialite Tom, the gangster Wolfshiem, the realest Jordan Baker? Or was it in fact Gatsby? Tragedy is unavoidable in life. Gatsby teaches us however that tragedies can be beautiful, heroic and meaningful. Fitzgerald seems to posit the ending to your own life and poses an unspoken challenge, an ultimatum of sorts: will your life's sentence end with a period, a question mark or will you end life end with exclamation!?
Someone else said it better than me - “It grieves me deeply that we Americans should take as our classic a book that is no more than a lengthy description of the doings of fops.”
Been sooo many years since I read this in highschool. So glad I read it again with wiser and more mature eyes. What a literary work of art.
Normally, my standard for liking an audio book is that the narration doesn't interfere with the original text. This is one of the few times in my experience when listening to the story surpassed the experience of reading it. Gyllenhaal did an amazing job.