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Editorial Reviews

Editors Select, April 2013 - I knew I always liked The Great Gatsby, but having not read it since high school, I couldn’t remember exactly why. After listening to Jake Gyllenhaal’s superb narration, I was reminded of what I found so great about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic. Gyllenhaal strikes the right chord as, Nick Carraway, who exists within the hyper-privileged world of Long Island’s upper crust but manages to avoid becoming jaded and swept up by the materialism of his cousin, Daisy, and the titular Gatsby. Fitzgerald’s elegant yet simple prose still holds up, and Gyllenhaal treats it with the utmost respect, allowing the vivid descriptions of mansions, landmarks, and 1920s New York to flow at just the right pace. While ultimately tragic, The Great Gatsby is full of light and beautiful moments that kindle a nostalgia for the Roaring Twenties, and I was glad to have been reintroduced to a favorite book this way.

Publisher's Summary

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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Perfect Combination

If you could sum up The Great Gatsby in three words, what would they be?

Fast, blinding, tragic.

What did you like best about this story?

This is a classic. It presents a glaring portrait into the period, love and a man.

What about Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance did you like?

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.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Terry
  • Wells, MN, United States
  • 04-15-13

Narration was great

Where does The Great Gatsby rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This would be rated in the middle, however the narration makes all the difference in the world.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Great Gatsby is a classic no one can say anything about the story

Any additional comments?

Jake Gyllenhaal as a narrator is excellent and I will look for his narrations in other books in the future because of the excellence and the variations when necessary. Love the narration Jake want more!!!!!!!!!!

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Boring

Classic literature is one of my favorite genres, but I had a hard time sinking into this. I had never read The Great Gatsby before and I have not seen the movie. I'm not sure if it was the story or the narrator, but I think it was the latter. No offense to Jake Gyllenhaal but he has to be one of the most boring narrators I've listened to. The cadence of his voice made me want to sleep and half way through the book, I was still reluctant to see it to the end. I also had a hard time discerning whether some dialogue was intended to be tongue in cheek or serious, and I think that was the narrator as well. There are a lot of positive reviews, so I might try this again with a traditional book rather than an audio book.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Pitfalls of celebrity narration

Any additional comments?

Jake Gyllenhaal's vocal quality is perfectly adequate to convey Nick's story, but unfortunately there are several passages that are read incorrectly (i.e., with emphasis on the wrong words or phrases) and presumably the director didn't call these out because Jake Gyllenhaal is a BIG STAR. I am compelled to recommend the late great Frank Muller's narration over this one.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Tori
  • Danville, CA, United States
  • 04-15-13

I can't believe I hadn't read this sooner

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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Charles
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • 04-11-13

This May Be Heresy, But It Didn't Hook Me.

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.

14 of 19 people found this review helpful

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I LIKE YOUR DRESS

I AM SLOW THINKING
I am sorry, but if this is F. Scott's crowning work, I will pass on all Fitzgerald. Yes, the writing is descriptively beautiful, I will give you that and for many literary types that is of utmost importance. As a simpleton, I need a plot, characters and if you can't give me that how about some sex and violence. Some of that may have came later, but I only lasted two hours. Glad I only wasted 5 dolla on this. Tastes differ, as is obvious by the reviews.

I AM PARALYZED WITH HAPPINESS

21 of 29 people found this review helpful

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Flat performance

What disappointed you about The Great Gatsby?

I've read the novel and it has always been one of my favorite classics, but I was bored to death by the reading. I listen to lots of audiobooks and this one could not keep my attention. The reading just seemed flat to me. I couldn't finish it.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Barbara
  • HOUSTON, TX, United States
  • 08-28-13

Stunned!

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

If they would have used another narrator.

Has The Great Gatsby turned you off from other books in this genre?

No

How could the performance have been better?

Wrong person for the job he just couldn't read the story.

What character would you cut from The Great Gatsby?

None, the book was not the problem, I love the book.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Tolerated it in high school. Loved it now

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.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful