The Great Gatsby is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s brilliant fable of the hedonistic excess and tragic reality of 1920s America. Young, handsome and fabulously rich, Jay Gatsby is the bright star of the Jazz Age, but as writer Nick Carraway is drawn into the decadent orbit of his Long Island mansion, where the party never seems to end, he finds himself faced by the mystery of Gatsby’s origins and desires. Beneath the shimmering surface of his life, Gatsby is hiding a secret: a silent longing that can never be fulfilled. And soon, this destructive obsession will force his world to unravel.
The Great Gatsby captures brilliantly both the disillusionment of post-war America and the moral failure of a society obsessed with wealth and status. But he does more than render the essence of a particular time and place, for in chronicling Gatsby’s tragic pursuit of his dream, Fitzgerald re-creates the universal conflict between illusion and reality. Like Jay Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) has acquired a mythical status in American literary history, and his masterwork The Great Gatsby is considered by many to be the ‘great American novel’.
This edition is edited with an introduction and notes by Tony Tanner.
Penguin Books, 2000 (1925)