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Publisher's Summary

Critically acclaimed novelist Michael Farris Smith pulls Nick Carraway out of the shadows and into the spotlight in this fascinating look into his life before Gatsby

Before Nick Carraway moved to West Egg and into Gatsby's periphery, he was at the center of a very different story - one taking place along the trenches and deep within the tunnels of World War I. 

Floundering in the wake of the destruction he witnessed firsthand, Nick delays his return home, hoping to escape the questions he cannot answer about the horrors of war. Instead, he embarks on a transcontinental redemptive journey that takes him from a whirlwind Paris romance - doomed from the very beginning - to the dizzying frenzy of New Orleans, rife with its own flavor of debauchery and violence. 

An epic portrait of a truly singular era and a sweeping, romantic story of self-discovery, this rich and imaginative novel breathes new life into a character that many know but few have pondered deeply. Charged with enough alcohol, heartbreak, and profound yearning to paralyze even the heartiest of golden age scribes, Nick reveals the man behind the narrator who has captivated readers for decades.

©2021 Michael Farris Smith (P)2021 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about Nick

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Misrepresentation

No spoilers. I normally don’t write reviews but I feel like this needs to be said. The reader was good. The story was fine. But it was not a story of Nick Carraway. I feel like the author had a story that he thought was decent but could not sell, so he threw Nick‘s name on it and a couple of Gatsby quotes, and added a last chapter to tie this previously existing story to Gatsby. What an easy way to make a few bucks, hitchhiking on the Gatsby name. If you want to hear about a WW1 soldier, the “lost generation” as Gertrude Stein called them, and of the events of his life immediately after the war, then this story is OK. But if you buy this book because you want insight into the character of Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby you will be disappointed. Most of what we know about Nick Carraway’s background is replaced with an entirely different person. There is a line in The Great Gatsby, Nick says, “when I returned from the war I was disgusted with everyone and everything”, this entire book is based on that quote.

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Don’t waste your time....or credit.

A completely superfluous rip off of a classic novel and it’s immortal character. The book holds no clue as to whom Fitzgerald’s Gatsby was and, worse, isn’t even true to the original story. A waste of time on every level.

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Like a Rolling Stones Cover Band...

I wanted to like it, but the writing seemed forced, ringing hollow against the backdrop of F. Scott’s lyrical prose. Perhaps it was the performance that also left the writing flat. His tone/inflection was inconsistent which distracted from the story. Overall, this was one of my least enjoyable Audible experiences.

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  • LC
  • 01-13-21

Highly Recommend NICK

This novel explores the formative years of Nick Carraway, the narrator of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Farris Smith creates an imaginative backstory for Nick that travels from his hometown in Minnesota to WW1 Paris, Post-War New Orleans, back to the Midwest and then concludes with his arrival at the cottage in Long Island where Gatsby begins. His novel simultaneously pays homage to the tenor, tone and themes of Fitzgerald’s most famous work while inventively exploring Nick in his own voice. Highly recommend this 2021 release!

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doesn't match with Gatsby

this is an interesting story, but there is no way this character is the one that later appears in gatsby. stories just don't match up.