While i think that this is a really good book, and a thoroughly enjoyable read, i certainly don’t think that it deserves to be ranked as one of the ‘best novels of the 20th century’ and all the other plaudits it gets.
Basically, this story boils down to: poor young man falls in love with a rich, young and beautiful woman but doesn’t have the wealth to support her in the life to which she is obviously accustomed.
So Gatsby disappears from her life and sets out to become the wealthy man that he thinks will attract her. In the meanwhile, once Gatsby’s disappeared from her life, she meets and marries someone more of her class, breeding and money. But all the while Gatsby’s been stalking her until he has the courage to finally reveal himself and all the wealth he has somehow amassed.
So yeah, nothing much new there. You can find plenty of books of that ilk, plenty better books published in the 20th century, and plenty better American novels.
But what you can’t find very often is the delightful prose in which this is written and the way the story is presented. And the story is rather more nuanced than my simple precis above.
So yeah, definitely a good book and well worth a read, but it’s certainly not the greatest and i’m certainly not planning on ever reading it again.