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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.

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I Hope this Starts a Trend

Would you listen to The Great Gatsby again? Why?

Absolutely. The prose is beautiful.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Gatsby, the person with a past.

Have you listened to any of Jake Gyllenhaal’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

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.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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I just didn't like the story

I must be un-american or something because I simply did not enjoy the story very much. It's well written, it is on of the most acclaimed american works of literature ever........and I just did not understand what all the fuss is about. I guess I'm just uncultured swine.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Absolutely incredible!

Jake Gyllenhaal's narration of this book was likely the most amazing performance I have ever heard. From the amount of different types of voices to the variations between both men and women, it was very easy to tell the difference between characters. Every shift from one character to another was fluid, and it was though each person came to life right in front of me. I'd watched the movie before I read the book, and despite how much I loved the movie, this audio telling of the story was 100 times better. I would love to see more narration from him, and actually, I'm quite looking forward to it. The book in itself is an amazing love story and exactly what I was looking for when I chose it. Fitzgerald is a genius. I only wish there were real life Jay Gatsby's in the world.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Listen!

Wonderfully elegant prose by Fitzgerald.
Fabulous narration by Gyllenhaal.
Well produced recording. I would listen again and again!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A masterpiece that never gets old

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

One of the best, I own the book but Gyllenhal adds something to the narration that just reading it doesnt have.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Great Gatsby?

The ending of course, I wont spoil anything for people who havent read it or havent read it in a very long time.

What does Jake Gyllenhaal bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His performance slowly changes through out the book portraying the subtle nuances of the characters change from the beginning to the emotional end.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The end made me cry. This book is in no way a happy book, no one is actually happy and every choice each character makes just nudges them closer to the explosive end.

Any additional comments?

If you havent already, wait to watch the movie till you at least read the book. The 2013 version not the crappy old versions.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great book and wonderful narration!

What made the experience of listening to The Great Gatsby the most enjoyable?

I knew the story would be wonderful as I've read it several times but Gyllenhaal's narration was wonderful! Very much worth the download.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Great Gatsby?

The scene of Myrtle's death and her husband's reaction stands out to me the most. It was beautifully written, subtle but powerful.

Have you listened to any of Jake Gyllenhaal’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I haven't listened to any but I plan to now!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I did listen to it all in one sitting. I couldn't turn it off!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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it's simple:

The book is a classic masterpiece, who stood the test of time.
Jake Gyllenhall's narration is a classic too!

'nuff said.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Superb rendering of iconic Jazz-age novel

What made the experience of listening to The Great Gatsby the most enjoyable?

Jake Gyllenhaal's performance really keeps it moving. I listened to the whole thing in one sitting (couldn't put it down, so to speak).

What did you like best about this story?

Has universal appeal due to the perennially relevant themes of how: 1) the well-established wealthy and privileged tend to run right over the "little people" (literally, in this story); and 2) the "nouveau riche" (e.g. Gatsby) find that, in their life at the top, the "dream" continues to elude them.

Which character – as performed by Jake Gyllenhaal – was your favorite?

Nick, the narrative voice through which we "see" the others. Jake Gyllenhaal is a perfect choice to channel this voice.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I think we are meant to be MAD at the carelessness of the old money (Tom, Daisy) and SAD at the destruction of the new money (Gatsby) in the vain pursuit of his dream. I felt both.

Any additional comments?

Stellar example of how a classic can be made highly palatable for a non-text-media-oriented contemporary audience. A GREAT LISTEN!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Debbie
  • Toney, Alabama
  • 05-01-14

Interesting Listen of By Gone Era in America

I really enjoyed listening to The Great Gatsby which covered the time of prohibition and boot legging in America. The story of Gatsby was both inspiring and deeply sad. This is the times that my grandparents and mother-in-law grew up in and I was surprised to find that people back then could be just as superficial as they are now, nothing new there. Like Solomon said, there's nothing new under the sun. The lonesome end to Gatsby's life after everyone rode on his coat tails just about summed it up for me. That was the moral of the whole thing. Be who you really are. Love honestly. Be able to look yourself in the mirror.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Beautiful, musical and entrancing

What does Jake Gyllenhaal bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His voice brings the poetry of Fitzgerald to a rhythmic and flowing narrative.

Any additional comments?

I remembered liking the book in high school but didn't remember anything about it. When the movie came out, I thought it was time to revisit it. All I can say us this book was meant to be heard, not read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful