This chapter is a free excerpt from Quicklet on F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.

Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s grand story about disillusionment and hopeless love has charmed generations of readers and critics, but perhaps The Great Gatsby’s greatest fan was its author. He told his editor, “I think my novel is about the best American novel ever written.”

So Fitzgerald is not the most humble man, but as the author of a novel which both  chastises and celebrates humanity’s vices, that fact should not come as such a surprise. The Great Gatsby, though a rather slender book, expounds upon larger-than-life flaws and mistakes of its characters. It is a story of more than just people, but of a country and a society lost amidst their own wealth, searching for their individuality and salvation.


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Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s grand story about disillusionment and hopeless love has charmed generations of readers and critics, but perhaps The Great Gatsby’s greatest fan was its author. He told his editor, “I think my novel is about the best American novel ever written.”

So Fitzgerald is not the most humble man, but as the author of a novel which both  chastises and celebrates humanity’s vices, that fact should not come as such a surprise. The Great Gatsby, though a rather slender book, expounds upon larger-than-life flaws and mistakes of its characters. It is a story of more than just people, but of a country and a society lost amidst their own wealth, searching for their individuality and salvation.

The Great Gatsby is set during one eventful summer in 1922. It’s the “Roaring Twenties” in New York. While every night is a party and prosperity seems never-ending, there is a sinister undercurrent. Fitzgerald introduces us to this world of curious glamour through Minnesota-native, Nick Carraway. Nick serves as a guide to a time and a place as foreign to him as it is to modern readers. But, while the parties are different and the mood is strange, many unsettling reminders echo faintly of our own lives, our own time, and—most disturbing of all—our own sins.

When Fitzgerald published The Great Gatsby in 1925, the initial critical and commercial response was underwhelming. He would never know of the worldwide success his novel would receive after his death.

Now a staple of high school and college literature classes, The Great Gatsby is one of the most critically-acclaimed novels of all time. It manages to paint a startlingly vibrant picture of American life in the 1920s while giving insight into the vices that still plague our society.

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