May’s Book List

June 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

This is a series of brief book reviews of literary works that have been read by Ben or myself. The book list will be published at the end of the month and will include titles that have been finished in the previous month. All books are rated using the following system:

5 Stars – Excellent. Couldn’t put it down, a real page turner. It’s easy to be a bookworm when the material is this good!

4 Stars – Very Good. Liked most of the book, a little slow in parts. Was an enjoyable read overall.

3 Stars – Average. Nothing really made it stand out. A bit boring. Unrealistic plot.

2 Stars – So-so. Blah. Could only read a few pages before I fell asleep.

1 Stars – Poor. So boring…why did I even finish this??

  •  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Read in paperback, available as an e-book and audiobook
  • 5 Stars

I thought I was a decently read person. Then I met a friend here in Lusaka who shall remain nameless (*cough*Eric*cough) who has a “basic” list of both Christian and secular titles that should be read in order to consider yourself well read. I’m currently on the secular list and have completed only a few of the 100+ titles that he has listed. The Great Gatsby was on the list and I dug in after finding a second-hand copy at a local market.

The Great Gatsby chronicles the life of the wealthy Jay Gatsby and his obsessive love for Daisy Buchanan, an old flame and who is now married to another man. The story is told through the eyes of Nick Carraway, Gatsby’s neighbor and cousin of Daisy. It is set in New York City in the 1920s.

Fitzgerald does an interesting job introducing the characters and the storyline. I felt like I was a rubbernecker at an accident scene watching the train wrecks of people’s lives unfold. The story becomes a chase after the wind, showing the emptiness of vain pursuits. Interestingly, the story doesn’t seem very far off from the craziness of his own life. I’m now reading “the Paris Wife” (a novel based on Hemingway’s memoir) which features Fitzgerald as a character and it’s interesting seeing this other side of him after reading his work.

It’s a sad book but it is an easy and enjoyable read.

The movie bearing the same title releases on Christmas Day later this year. The trailer can be seen below:


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