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Audie Award Finalist, Classic, 2013
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel of the Roaring Twenties is beloved by generations of readers and stands as his crowning work. This new audio edition, authorized by the Fitzgerald estate, is narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain). Gyllenhaal's performance is a faithful delivery in the voice of Nick Carraway, the Midwesterner turned New York bond salesman, who rents a small house next door to the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby. There, he has a firsthand view of Gatsby’s lavish West Egg parties - and of his undying love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan.
After meeting and losing Daisy during the war, Gatsby has made himself fabulously wealthy. Now, he believes that his only way to true happiness is to find his way back into Daisy’s life, and he uses Nick to try to reach her. What happens when the characters’ fantasies are confronted with reality makes for a startling conclusion to this iconic masterpiece.
This special audio edition joins the upcoming film - as well as many other movie, radio, theater, and even video-game adaptations - as a fitting tribute to the cultural significance of Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age classic, widely regarded as one of the greatest stories ever told.
©1925 Charles Scribner's Sons. Copyright renewed 1953 by Frances Scott Fitzgerald Lanahan (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
This has to be one of my top ten favorites - no one can deny that this is one of the greatest American novels ever written.
There's a reason we all have to read it in high school, although lamentably we're mostly too young to understand it very meaningfully at that age.
Impossible to say - the myriad interpretations offered by various symbols; the forgiving and compassionate way human folly, hypocrisy, and unthinking offhand cruelty are portrayed throughout the book; the equanimity of the narrator; the rich detail of the descriptions of wasteful yet magical opulence; the heartbreaking, love-soaked idealism of Gatsby juxtaposed with the completely amoral and brutal source of the income with which he intended to pursue Daisy; ok so this is already too long and you didn't read it.
My review is really about supposed to be about Jake Gyllenhaal.
In short, his narration allowed me to fall in love with the characters.
Jake Gyllenhaal lends a quality to Nick's telling of the story that provides insight into varied aspects of the book - things I would not have understood quite as richly as a female reader with only a page in front of me.
He brings phrases such as "old sport" to life without the cartoonish and annoying cadence my brain would have imposed on them.
His voice is perfect for this. He's at just the right age to play Nick, whose point of view is so essential, and he perfectly portrays Nick's character as earnest, thoughtful, self-aware, unblinkingly critical, and yet still compassionate.
Gyllenhaal also has a more than impressive vocal range to bring the various other characters vividly to life. His portrayal of female characters is notably nuanced.
I'll be listening to anything and everything else he chooses to read.
Jake, please keep reading stuff so I can listen to it!
I loved the reader, Jake Gyllenhaal, and I loved the book itself. They could not have picked a better reader for this masterful work of art!
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
There's good news and bad news.
First the good news: As expected, Fitzgerald writes beautifully and has clearly communicated the decadent and dissolute atmosphere of the time and people of whom he writes.
The bad news: I just didn't like any of the people of whom he writes. Reviewer Melinda has cheerfully offered a 21st century version of Gatsby, and I totally agree with her "then vs now" comparison. Fitzgerald's characters have the depth of the Kardashians and the moral compass of Lindsey Lohan. Gatsby himself is little more than a celebrity worshipping groupie trying to sell himself as one of the beautiful people in his effort to make his delusional fantasy of love and riches with Daisy come true. I found nothing authentic or admirable about any of the supposed loves, as every one of them is self-serving at the core. The single honorable act was Gatsby trying to protect Daisy, but even that reveals a basic contempt for another person's life. Nothing "Great" in that.
I know this is a classic. I acknowledge Fitzgerald's use of words. As a reflection of the "lost generation" of which he was a key member, this is a literary reality show. I just didn't enjoy the show very much.
Fast, blinding, tragic.
This is a classic. It presents a glaring portrait into the period, love and a man.
Jake Gyllenhaal's performance was nothing short of perfect. It's ironic, I have never been a huge admirer of his acting but having heard him perform Gatsby I don't think any other reader would ever do for me from here on out. I believe another reviewer indicated sometimes you find the perfect narrator for a given novel. Gyllenhaal is definitely that for Gatsby.
Absolutely. The prose is beautiful.
Gatsby, the person with a past.
No, I have not heard him narrate. It's wonderful for actors to narrate classics such as this. They bring intent and interest to the story. The elocution is wonderful. Gives me a new appreciation for how important voice is one of the instruments of master actors.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
Like most people I read this book in High School but did not remember much of it. Fitzgerald's ability to set a scene, his descriptive passages, the command of word choices is unparalleled. The core of the book is the elaborate infatuation Jay Gatsby has for Daisy Buchanan. The broader context of the setting is the irreconcilable nature of the American dream in the 1920's that gives the novel it's ability to capture the essence of an era. Jake Gyllenhaal does a great job narrating the story. It is easy to see why this book is considered a classic of American literature. Glad I decided to re-read the story.
This is a classic American novel that I can't believe I hadn't read earlier. Having just finished it, I can see why it is a classic. Great story that made me feel like I was living the lifestyle of the 1920s that the author described so vividly. Jake Gyllenhall did a fabulous job narrating and the tone and cadence of his voice made me want more and more. My only regreat was that I finished it too quickly.
I vaguely remember grinding through reading this book in high school. With the new movie coming out and knowing that is one of the great classic American novels, I wanted to give it another chance. This time the experience was so much different and better in every way. The story was fascinating and crisp and the prose was wonderful.
I won't really review the novel itself since it is a classic and held in the highest regard. I will say that Gyllenhaal did an outstanding job with the narration -- one of the best I've ever heard. The only disappointing thing was learning that this is the only book he has narrated on Audible.
If you are at all curious about this book, I can't imagine a better way to experience it than this.
Enchanting story told well.
Gyllenhaal's performance is enthralling. It draws you in. He changes his voice for each character, and doesn't sound ridiculous as the female characters. Fantastic!
With a 4 1/2 hour commute to work, it's not hard for me to find time to listen to a good audiobook.
I must say that I gave tried to give this audiobook a fair chance that I didn't do to the book when it was required reading in Mrs. Hobbs 11th grade English class 20 years ago. Jake Gyllenhaal was a very pleasant surprise as I thought him narrating a classic was more of a gimmick than anything. But he was extremely good with varying his tone, inflections, and giving life to the story that just didn't resonate with my interests. So, that is why my people may feel that I am off of my rocker for not liking the story, The Great Gatsby. But the storyline and writing style did not pull me in like many of my favorite books in the mystery, thriller, and business genres.
The mastery of literary devices that make F. Scott Fitzgerald an icon and The Great Gatsby an American classic are lost on me. I have conditioned myself to enjoy the drama of Grisham and Baldacci, the thrill of Patterson and Ludlum, and the wit of Fey and Halpern.
I don't think it was a waste of a credit by any means. It was well worth trying out this classic given it was not a very long audiobook. But be warned, if you didn't enjoy The Great Gatsby when it was required reading in high school, you may not fall head over heels with this rendition. However, I am glad that I listened to it so I can speak with intelligence and authority when I critique Tobey Maguire and Leonardo DiCaprio when the movie is released later this spring.
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